Featured Noble Roman Coins' "Deluxe Beginner's Set" Review

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by hotwheelsearl, May 20, 2020.

  1. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    (LONG POST WARNING)

    I spent $150.00 on Noble Roman Coins' "Deluxe Beginner's Set" so you don't have to.

    This is the product I will be reviewing.
    https://nobleromancoins.com/product_info.php?products_id=237

    NRC offers two Beginner's Sets - the regular and the Deluxe. I will indicate the individual price of each component, as sold on NRC.
    Regular includes:
    5 cleaned and attributed Roman coins ($8 x 5 = $40.00)
    5 Premium Uncleaned Coins ($1.70 x 5 = $8.50)
    regular dental pick ($10.00)
    5 archival double-pocket plastic flips ($0.12 x 5 = $0.60)
    2 20-pocket pages ($0.50 x 2 = $1.00)
    3-ring lay-flat binder (~$5.00 (not sold on the site))
    Custom printed title page for the binder
    TOTAL VALUE: $65.10
    Sold For: $50.00
    Savings: $15.10, or 30%


    Deluxe includes: everything above PLUS:
    Diamond Dusted Dental Pick #2 ($39.95)
    8-ounce packet of Gringgott's Wizard Mix #2 ($10.00)
    50 archival double-pocket plastic flips ($0.12 x 50 = $6.00)
    25 Premium Uncleaned Coins ($1.70 x 25 = $42.50)
    TOTAL VALUE: $163.55
    Sold For: $150.00
    Savings: $13.55, or 9%

    REVIEW OF EACH INDIVIDUAL ITEM CONTAINED, starting with supplies and ending with coins.
    Supplies
    1. Binder: standard lay-flat 3-ring binder.
    10/10

    2. Customized title page: printed on nice photo paper.
    10/10

    IMG_5439.JPG

    3. Archival plastic flips: good quality, just what you need.
    10/10

    4. 20-pocket pages: good quality, just what you need.
    10/10

    IMG_5440.JPG

    5. Dental pick: it's a dental pick. I had better results with my molybdenum pick that I used to clean a Geta provincial with nothing but distilled water.
    8/10

    6. Diamond-Dusted Dental Pick #2: it's a dental pick with diamond dusting on the tips. I guess you could used this to smooth things out, but it does leave a lot of fine scratches on the surface that I didn't like. I didn't find this one very useful and used the standard pick for the most part.
    6/10

    IMG_E5443.JPG

    7. Gringgott's Wizard Mix #2: a relatively strong base. Ingredients unknown, but certainly got some Hydroxide compounds of some kind.
    Description does not mention safety precautions, and does not mention that this will strip the patina from the coins. Treat this like a lighter form of lye, and don't use it on anything you really care about.
    It did the trick, but I wish I was more well informed that this is a pretty aggressive solution. It didn't dissolve my skin like NaOH would have, but it still made my fingers feel a bit slick.
    7/10

    Coins
    8. 5 Cleaned and Attributed Coins: I received Constantius II (two victories), Constantius II (Gloria Exercitus), Constans (Fel Temp Reparatio Galley), Valentinian I (Victory left), Valentinian II (Gloria Romanorum captive). Good condition and well cleaned, but larger coins and/or more variety of emperors would have been preferred. Oddly enough, reference used was Van Meter, instead of the more common RIC or Sear.
    8/10

    IMG_E5451.JPG

    Constans AE3. Van Meter 62

    IMG_E5453.JPG Valentinian II AE3. Van Meter 39

    IMG_E5455.JPG

    Valentinian I AE3. Van Meter 46

    IMG_E5457.JPG Constantius II AE4. Van Meter 76

    IMG_E5459.JPG
    Constantius II AE3/4. Van Meter 81

    9. "Premium Uncleaned Coins": I was not terribly pleased with the quality of these coins. The reviews and the description seemed to indicate that you could just rinse and rub and the coins would be ready to present. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I've spent over 6 hours scraping and cleaning the 30 coins, and so far I've only gotten 5 that look decent. By the end of everything, I doubt I'll get more than half the batch as reasonable coins.
    Keep an eye out for a full review of these uncleaned coins in the next few days.
    5/10

    IMG_E5444.JPG


    Avenues for improvement:
    1. larger sized coins, both uncleaned and cleaned. For the price, I would have liked a at least one AE2, either cleaned or uncleaned. Best would have been one cleaned AE2 and one uncleaned AE2. On that vein, more denominations would have been nice. Maybe a lower grade Antoninianus would have been cool.

    2. More variety of cleaned emperors. For the price, I wished for some guys other than the "usual suspects." Maybe an Aurelian, Licinius, or Constantine I would have been nice.

    3. More Gringott's Mix. Small, 2-oz bags of Gringgott's Mix #1, #2, and #3 would have been great. Just having 2 is alright, but does not allow beginners to really experiment with other methods.

    4. A Jax patina product sampler. This is sold for $12, and would have been a very welcome addition to the package.

    5. Ren Wax Micro-Crystalline wax. Even a 1/4 ounce tin would have been great.


    Conclusion: As a Deluxe Beginner's Set, this is a bit lacking. My main beef with the package is the lack of extra cleaning solutions, patina products, and wax. At the very least, wax is an essential product and needs to be in a complete beginner's set.
    The quality of uncleaned coins was disappointing. Advertised as "premium," I expected to find some really nice coins. Although I'm not fully done cleaning, I only foresee less than half of the coins coming out in any sort of presentable appearance.
    Additionally, the price savings isn't that great over individual purchases. It would be more enticing if you saved 15-20% off individual purchase prices. As it is, you could easily skip certain things you don't need (like the $40 diamond pick) and put that cash towards some more useful products from NRC (like Jax, wax, and more Gringgotts)

    Comparison to other products: better than the standard uncleaned lots on eBay. Worse than the hoards I've purchased before.

    Recommendation: Skip this product. Unless you really like spending hours and hours on disappointments, then you could use this $150, buy some coins you want, get some cleaning products for later, and have cash left over.

    Final Rating: 6/10. Poor quality uncleaned coins and lack of useful cleaning products means that this package is not your best buy. Unless you find that you need exactly the products included, you should piecemeal it and exactly what you really want, not not waste money on things you don't.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
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  3. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I purchased some uncleaned lots from them when I started out. Managed a few decent smaller LRBs. Mostly slugs though. Pretty much turned me off of uncleaned lots.
     
  4. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, a beginner set should include some nice coins to entice beginners to keep going. If a beginner spends 10+ hours cleaning coins just to get a few small, low grade, and low value coins, I can bet that they would probably find a new hobby...

    Thus far, I've managed to net a nice VRBS ROMA She-wolf.
    One poor Constans Gloria Romanorum.
    One ??? Gloria Exercitus.

    There are at least 3 others that should clean up nicely. The rest are destined to be sold in one of my "low grade" lots on eBay...
     
  5. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Supporter! Supporter

    Earl, first, it really wasn't that "LONG". :happy:

    But really, you were at a disadvantage...when you click on "Reviews", there were none! :( So instead, you relied on their graciousness, sensing they would give a great value to a beginner & try to develop a continuing relationship, rather than just trying to keep their 60% margin intact.

    Well, thanks for the "heads up"...and hey, leave them their first review! :D
     
    dougsmit and hotwheelsearl like this.
  6. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Um, well, good on ya, @hotwheelsearl ... even when I started collecting Ancients 30 years ago, I decided NOT to go the cleaning route. Had seen several ratty LRB’s, and thought: “Nope, I am gonna start with Silver, and in the area of History I enjoyed.” Got some Alexander Drachmae, some Athens Tets, and jumped into Roman Republics. I just have no patience or lust for cleaning LRB’s.

    Great write-up, and frankly, you held my interest all the way through. I like that you reaffirmed that I am not interested in the coin cleaning route.

    Wishin’ you the best on getting the results you want with this project. And thank you for the well-written, step-by-step progress and results.

    I also agree that the Seller should had put a few “hidden gems” in there so that you would come back for MORE! And to get awesome reviews UP FRONT! (Marketing 101)

    Thanks.

    Oh, a coin to post:

    I paid under your beginner set price, and got this... My first Republic coin:

    (I got it cuz of the Janus)
    [​IMG]
    RR M Furius LF Philus AR Denarius 119 BCE Janus Sear 156
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  7. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    @hotwheelsearl, your review confirms my instinct that buying uncleaned coins is not something for me!

    You may want to fix the typo under item #5, if it's not too late.
     
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  8. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Well I don't know what to say... I appreciate you posting your findings so others can learn from this.
    But when I look at your other posts discussing your previous uncleaned lot purchases (800 coins) - you have spent A LOT of money.

    But hey - it's your money. If uncleaned are your thing then I hope you enjoy the process and the hobby.
     
  9. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Yes, I have spent WAY more money than I really should have. I don't think the money is worth the "learning experience," but one of the few ways I can contribute to this hobby is to "spend X dollars so you don't have to"...

    I don't necessarily like the uncleans. It's satisfying when you get a good result, but was it really worth 8 hours of neck pain and eye strain to unveil a Geta Pautalia provnicial? Probably not
     
    DonnaML likes this.
  10. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Thanks for pointing out the typo! I appreciate you reading my post so thoroughly :)

    Moral: unless you really enjoy wasting your time and destroying your back and neck, stay away
     
    DonnaML likes this.
  11. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you are ready to move on.. we don't need you falling on the sword anymore (but I really appreciated the experiments - we all learned something).
    Perhaps your next targets should be the coins you wished were included in the uncleaned lots? You listed a few in your post above: Aurelian, Licinius, or Constantine I.. you can get some very presentable examples of these Emperors at very reasonable prices and this may be a good way to expand your collection?
     
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  12. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Good idea! Enough self sacrifice, and time to treat myself to something that I would actually appreciate :D
     
    Justin Lee, Clavdivs and DonnaML like this.
  13. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Trajan Decius

    Having gotten back into the hobby by buying uncleans at .5 to 1.0 kilos, often several hundred late roman bronze pieces with a cull rate of over 50% I decided to just focus on collectible coins rather than one-in-a-million finds. I assume whatever was in these "hoards" was severely picked over. I've been giving away uncleans and some of those I had cleaned to those getting started in the hobby.
     
  14. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    That's Valentinian I
     
  15. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    LOL, yeah I saw that too. but, didn’t want say anything as I laughed when I reinterpreted the context!
     
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  16. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I didn't want to say anything either, but I know that if I had a typo like that I'd want someone to let me know!
     
    Alegandron likes this.
  17. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I guess we can add misattribution to the list of improvements...
     
    paschka likes this.
  18. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    You are correct. I was just chuckling too much.
     
    paschka likes this.
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