Crack out for Dansco 7070???

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Eric Babula, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Active Member

    So, I started a Dansco 7070 Type Set a bunch of years ago. I got a decent start, but the coins are very mis-matched. I do have a few coins that could fit into that Dansco Set and would be upgrades to the fillers I currently have in the Album, but they are in slabs. The big dilemma for me is, do I crack them out and put into the Album? Or, do I try to find raw coins to fit in the Album? Do I match quality of all coins? Do I just let it be the mis-matched set it is, and upgrade as I can?

    What is the breaking point as to whether you are willing to crack a coin out of of its slab in order to fit into an Album? Is there a price point? Is there a grade, where you just wouldn't do it? Or, would you NEVER crack a coin out of a slab (blasphemy!)? Would you rather find, or have someone help you find, raw coins that would fit the bill? And, who would you trust to find those raw coins for you?

    Do you just NEED to make sure the Album coins all kinda match (say, all in VF - AU range, or MS-62 - MS-64 range)? I kinda really like the idea of all the coins kinda matching in quality. But, I also realize that I might not ever be able to accomplish this, due to funding. Do I just put in the best examples I have, for now (and, crack out if I have to), and have a mis-matched set, until I can afford to upgrade at some point? As I look at what I had, I don't really like the look of such mis-matched coins in the Album (right now, they're anywhere from G-4 (cleaned) to MS-66ish). I'm more inclined to want maybe XF-40+ or AU+. Maybe AU-53 - MS-65 range??? But, again, funding may stop me on some types.

    How have others been doing this? I know there's no right or wrong, and that I need to do whatever makes me happy. I'm just curious as to what others (with modest financial means - I know if funds are unlimited, I could do whatever I wanted) are doing.

    And, since we're on the subject, what's the best technique (are there websites or video tutorials?) to crack a coin out of a slab without damaging it?

    And, NO!!! I'm not asking all of this to play the crack-out game for re-submission! I truly want to make a Dansco 7070 Set that I'm proud to show off! (PS - I do have some coins in slabs (not necessarily PCGS or NGC) that I would consider possibly re-submitting for potential upgrade if I were going to sell them, but that's a different topic for a different day.) Ok, that should be enough questions for you......discuss!
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  3. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    You'll have to weigh your options on the decision to crack or not to crack. If you do, keep the slab labels. I understand your dilemma.

    I would suggest having two or three categories of consistency. In one (budget-minded) 7070 I did, all the pre-1820 types were G-VG, all the other 19th century types were F-VF or better, and all the 20th century material was MS or Proof.

    I counted the Barber coins as a 19th century type, since they started in 1892, and that way I didn't need to buy MS Barbers to match the rest of the 20th century stuff. Of course some 20th century coins like the Standing Liberty quarters have gotten pricier in Mint State since I last did a 7070 set.

    My crackout technique is ridiculously primitive, but effective, and safe enough for coin and person alike. No plastic shrapnel in the eyes, no hammering... no ... tools.

    (*German shepherd and housecoat optional.)


  4. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    I built several of these sets over the years. I cracked several coins from slabs. The sets looked great. Today, I feel I wasted a lot of money and wish the coins were still in the slabs.
    buckeye73 and Kasia like this.
  5. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Active Member

    That crackout technique scares me! Cracks are very close to the coin! Yikes!

    Thanks for the idea of different "levels" of quality/consistency, based on age of coins. Never thought of it that way. Thanks!
  6. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Active Member

    So, you'd prefer to get raw AU/MS coins instead, for the Albums? I'd have to find a trusted source for some of those raw coins that might be counterfeit. Something to think about.
  7. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    Would you do this with a PCGS slabbed 1879 Stella $4 too? :-D
  8. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member

    My son is working on a 7070 type set (well, actually now it’s in a Guardian Shield book, but same premise) and it has a few coins in it from a previous owner that were cracked out. They were lower value coins (war nickel, Rosie dime) but the grade labels are taped in the book and look pretty nice. He just recently acquired a trade dollar for the set, which was a pretty big get (he sold a partial Indian head cent book to finance the purchase). The trade dollar is in an NGC details slab which we felt was important due to the frequency of counterfeit trade dollars. He plans to crack it out and include the label in the book.
    Two Dogs likes this.
  9. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Good point. When I was doing this there were not near as many counterfeits.
    I made mistakes with some of the coins I picked for the album. They needed better protection and did not belong in an album, long term.
    buckeye73 and CircCam like this.
  10. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector

    I want there to be no question about the coins that I have in my type set.
    Hence they are ALL slabbed (NGC or PCGS only).
    Kasia likes this.
  11. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    After 50 years as a collector I finished my U.S. coin type set from the half cent to the $20 gold pieces. This involves a good deal more coins than are required for the Dansco Album, but the principles are the same. Here is my advice:
    • I understand the allure of filling an album and seeing all of the coins side by side, but cracking coins out of slabs can get expensive. Not only do you have the cost of postage and regrading fees, but you also run the risk of getting lower grades the second time around. If you have coins of substance, you won’t get the best price if they are raw. You have got the get them re-graded when the time comes to sell. I have not done a crack-out just the get the coin out of the holder since the late 1980s.
    • I would not worry about getting all of the coins in the same grades. Unless you have an unlimited budget, that is almost impossible if you are collecting the modern pieces in Choice or Gem Mint State or Proof. My collection goes back to the 1792 half disme. That one would cost me over $1 million in Mint State. I think you get my drift. Buy the best your budget allows for each of the types.

    • At the same time, I don’t like low grade “filler coins.” I would rather have a blank spot in the album than a really poor coin for which I paid a strong price. For example, the Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half Dollar (1796-7) is the toughest silver U.S. type coin. Many years ago, a dealer had one with AG sharpness that was holed and polished. He wanted $9,000 for it. If I had really stretched, I could have raised the money but to heck with that! I left the spot blank. When I had the funds, I finally did get one in Fine-15. It was the last silver type coin I needed, but I had to wait for almost 30 years to fill the hole.
    I have a bit of bias because I weaned myself off of albums almost 50 years ago and went to envelopes and Capital holders and then slabs. My U.S. coin albums are “sort of in my head.” I still use Eagle Albums for my 19th century presidential campaign medalet collection.

    I hope my experience has helped you. If you ever want type coin advise, start a string. I’ve had a lot of experience.
  12. Murphy45p

    Murphy45p Active Member

    The 7070 is my current focus as well. There is another thread on this site that contains a lot of good information about the set. There are coins I wouldn't crack, but I don't purchase those coins for the album. For me, I started the album with just filling the holes as my goal, but then I went back and filled some of the holes with nicer coins, I shoot for the 40 - 58 range.

    That causes two problems: first, its more expensive than just getting the right coin in the first place, and second, now you have an extra coin to deal with.

    The good thing is, that each set WILL be unique. For instance, I really like the buffalo design, so I filled the state quarter with a Kansas example, and for the moderns I chose the buffalo dollar. But you will get to choose your own coins for those slots. AND the grade, and that will depend on your budget. The album is doable at very modest budget levels for most coins, but for others you will have to stretch a little.

    If you ever get a chance to look at Mr. Milton's (poster above) set, please do! I suggest putting on a bib beforehand so the drool doesn't get on your shirt. As such, his advice is very good here. From when I began to now, my budget has increased, my minimum grade has increased, and so has my patience to find the right coin. Those seem to be common themes, so don't be in a rush to fill it, take your time, find the right coins. I crack coins graded details, and probably half of my coins have been cleaned at some time or another (never by me). I've probably cracked out six or seven coins in filling the album. At this point, I have 13 slots left to fill and it will probably take me at least another year to finish.

    Collecting in slabs does hold some advantages for sure, for one thing, that type 1 SLQ can be a part of multiple sets, it isn't confined to one holder. For me at the moment, I like being able to have the coins organized in the folder, with all of them there to observe, and the folder fits nicely on my bookshelf and is easier to show off to selected people. To each their own, but I can also see the appeal of slabs, and nothing protects the coin as well.
    Islander80-83 and Eric Babula like this.
  13. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    The only coins I would crack out for an album are ones that shouldn't have been slabbed in the first place.
  14. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Although if you are doing the registry thing, you need to have those coins to fill the slots. The trick is to buy them for less than the cost of slabbing them. That's why I have purchased some of the slab dealers' "losers" over time. Generally those pieces are graded PR-69 Ultra Cam or DCAM.

    You don't want to crack such coins out because i've found that they tend to deteriorate in the conventional albums.
    Murphy45p likes this.
  15. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Active Member

    Thanks for all your comments, everyone! When I get my set updated, I'll post pics. It will be nothing like some I've seen in the forums I read, but it'll be mine, and I'll enjoy it, whatever it ends up being.
    WashQuartJesse likes this.
  16. Islander80-83

    Islander80-83 Well-Known Member

    In the back of my 7070. (no gold)

    S20190204_030-ccfopt.jpg S20190204_031-ccfopt.jpg
    Two Dogs likes this.
  17. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

    There is no way I would put together a 7070 that 'matched' with grades, nor would I now do it raw or break out from slabs.... Because the cost of keeping all in one grade range would be prohibitive if high grade and just weird for the 20th/21st century coins to go all low grade.

    So, basically my choice is to get MS where I can 'afford' them now (mostly modern) and step down from there for numerous others, with the realization I likely will never complete one all in slabs, and might have to pick up some damaged raw ones (but genuine) at some point just to get a little further along.

    I only started one to see Where I might eventually get with it.
  18. trogdor

    trogdor Junior Member

    I've completed six 7070 sets over the years and typically have a fair number of incomplete sets in process. Recently I've liquidated all of them to help fund a large purchase, but will no-doubt be rebuilding given how I operate.

    My personal collecting strategy for 7070 sets has been to have several sets going at once and try to match for quality among the cheap coins, generally MS-64-65; then AU or so for most of the 19th century types; and finally EF or so for the seated dollar. "Lesser" sets get the lesser coins. I never put better dates or varieties in them but stick with common dates, ideally dates known for being struck well. The source for my sets has almost exclusively been the "rejects" among group lots and collections I've purchased. Basically, if it's worth slabbing and selling I do so; otherwise it has a shot of going into one of my 7070 sets.

    I really love the 7070 filled with XF-AU details coins that wouldn't slab well, but have a great look without taking a loupe to them. I'll specifically look for coins that fit that category for the 7070 as long as the dealer is selling them for what they are and they are fairly priced. In the same vein, I have purchased circulated coins in details slabs and cracked them for the album, but I've paid no premium for the certification. To get these coins, attend coin shows, go to your local club if you have one, frequent your local shops if you can. Ebay can be ok if you're buying right and learn to judge pictures well, but you'll make a good number of mistakes getting to that point.

    When I complete an album of this type I generally run it through auction, and they usually do well. I like cleaned coins that have retoned, old scratches on the reverse, rim damage or other non-obtrusive issues. I steer clear of environmental damage or anything that has been dipped and stripped to a lifeless disk of metal.

    I have, in the past, attempted to fill more extensive type set albums with Draped Bust coinage, etc. but I stopped after realizing I was losing money at the end of the day, because I'd need to either: buy slabbed coins to fill it and crack them out, or use relatively expensive, raw, problematic coins, which is nearly always a bad purchase. There's also limited enjoyment IMO from a Good Details Draped Bust half dollar. Further, when selling these types of incomplete albums I've had limited success; the 7070, in contrast, has always been well received; I believe due to it's larger consumer base.

    Personally, I think the 7070 album is a great way for casual collectors with limited means to collect because none of the coins required to fill it are rare, and none of the coins are that expensive if you exclude gold (which I would recommend). If, however, the collector has the means to buy nicer coins, I'd recommend sticking with slabs. For me, they have always been a pleasant diversion and a source of cheap thrills. I wouldn't recommend "investing" in complete 7070 albums, but as an easy and relatively inexpensive way to collect, I don't think they can be beat.

    Coins I'd steer clear of for your 7070:
    • better dates/key dates
    • blast white coins that you want to stay that way
    • anything with environmental damage
    • ugly filler coins (wait, save, buy better)
    • certified coins that you paid a premium for
    • coins that have large value spreads (e.g.1923-S Peace dollar) If you must have a 23-S in your set, stick with a MS63. Don't put a 64 that looks like it could possibly be a 65 in the set. You'll spend too much for it raw and won't recoup your investment when you sell (the dealer will buy it as a 63 all day long). Better yet, you should buy a nice 1923, 1924 or 1925 to fill that hole instead. Good strike, and cheap even in MS65.
    Hope this helps. Most important, have fun filling your set. The thrill is in the hunt :)
  19. Maxfli

    Maxfli Well-Known Member

    I might crack a coin out of a slab.

    But I'd never do so for the reason of putting it into a Dansco album.
    Eric Babula likes this.
  20. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Active Member

    Thanks! Great, well-thought-out reply! I do want to complete my 7070 some day, and these are rely helpful suggestions!
  21. Islander80-83

    Islander80-83 Well-Known Member

    Very detailed synopsis @trogdor! No holed coin type sets?
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