thinking about buying a random key date

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by enochian, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. enochian

    enochian silver eater

    Can some one list the cheapest keydates of each type of us coins i only need a rough value of the grades g4 and ms60 not sure which type i want. I dont have any key dates of any coin type or any graded coins so i would like to get one. Also maybe this will start me collecting types i dobt have
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  3. TypicalCreepahx

    TypicalCreepahx Hello There! ( ͡⚆ ͜ʖ ͡⚆)

    1950 d nickels are considered the "key date" of the nickels. You could get one for cheap
  4. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    That's a lot to list. Do you have a Red Book? It's a great tool to have. It will show you the keys.
  5. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Personally I find "keys" as grossly overpriced. My problem with them is their price no longer reflects demand from set collectors. There probably are over 200,000 1909sVDB's in existence. I seriously do not believe there are more than 200,000 active collectors of lincoln cents left anymore. Same with the 1877 indian head cents.

    Key prices used to reflect demand from date/mm collectors who wished to own every date. However, in the past 20 years, key date demand is mostly from those who wish to own "key dates", believing they are superior investments, than from set collectors. So, prices have risen because people expect prices to rise. However, without underlying support from set collectors, I find prices of "key dates" to effectively be a "greater fool" price, meaning you are betting you can find an even bigger fool than you to buy it from you for more than what you paid.
    ToughCOINS likes this.
  6. jerryc39

    jerryc39 Active Member

    I agree with medoraman. I have a few key dates in slabs I bough a couple years ago. 1893S Morgan, 1909Svdb, 1937 3 legged Buffalo, 1914D Lincoln, and so on. I am underwater on every one of those coins. Thought they might be a good long term hold due to past price increases over the last 50 yrs or so. Maybe they will pop up again maybe they won't but so far I have done far better buying raw coins for a good price and reselling them to my LCS. Jerry
  7. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Sorry to hear about it Jerry. :(

    I am not against buying keys if you wish to collect a set Enochian, but just to spend the extra for a "key" just beacause someone says its a "key"? No for me. I would be much more interested, if you wanted to buy a "key", to buy a TYPE KEY, something like a Type 2 gold dollar. I believe scarce type coins are a much better deal, since I simply see more people assembling type sets, so the demand for scarce type is real demand.

    Btw Enochian, "cheapest keys" is kind of an oxymoron. Almost by definition key=most expensive coins in a series. If you are talking about a sleeper, well we can discuss those. Problem with sleepers is you never know if they will ever wake up. ;)
  8. jerryc39

    jerryc39 Active Member

    by underwater I mean if I had to sell them to a dealer right now. Buying retail and selling wholesale is not a good way to make money!
  9. LindeDad

    LindeDad His Walker.

    Books before coins and in this case the basic book of the hobby is needed.
  10. bg35765

    bg35765 Member

    I'm with medoraman that old key date coins are priced way out of line in comparison to the number of people collecting the set.

    What I enjoy is trying to identify the key dates before they become keys. There are quite a few coins available on the mint's website right now that have key date potential. Many of them are gold, but others are very affordable.

    S Mint quarters
    5 Star Generals Half Dollar - Proof and Uncirculated
    Native American dollar coins (?) - I don't follow those

    Burnished Silver Eagle
    Half Dollar and dime from Silver Proof Set
    5 ounce silver America The Beautiful "quarters"

    2012 First Spouses
    5 Star General Uncirculated
    Regular Buffalo Proof
    Proof Gold Eagle set -- especially the 1/2 Ounce
    Uncirculated Gold Eagle
  11. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

  12. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    If you're going to play that game with the moderns you better be willing to flip them in a hurry or risk losing. Some may tend to rise at first but after that they also tend to drop very quickly.

    With the modern commem series, if you want to pick a winner, then pick the ones that are likely to be the ones nobody wants. Those have turned out to be the winners every time. And they tend to hold their value or keep increasing.
    spock1k likes this.
  13. Tom B

    Tom B TomB Everywhere Else

    I would have to disagree to an extent with those who believe that key dates are overpriced as long as we can define what "key date" means.

    In my opinion, there are two kinds of key dates; those that can be found by looking at mintage numbers in the Red Book and those that are uncovered through time and effort spent studying a series. These might be better thought of as "mintage key dates" and "survivorship key dates". Sometimes these two lists overlap while in other instances they are quite different.

    If you want a mintage key date simply buy a Red Book, look at the mintages and buy the coins. Typical examples would be the 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent or 1932-D Washington quarter. Oftentimes, these key dates are available in quantity or at least within each major auction and/or on the bourse floor at larger shows. They are not that hard to find in many grade ranges, but have attracted a popular, almost cult-like following over time. These coins have paid off well for many over the years and they attract series collectors and key date collectors. Both collector bases are completely valid pools of buyers and one should not be discounted more than the other. Remember, the dynamic of supply vs. demand will dictate price.

    However, if you are looking for a survivorship key date then the Red Book is not quite so informative. In these instances one must have knowledge of the series of interest. In my experience, these coins can be far tougher to find than their better known mintage key date brethren and when they are found they might require funds far in excess of printed guides in order to obtain them, but I have also found that they are liquid as all get out at very aggressive prices. In my experience over the last two decades, survivorship key dates have treated me far more kindly than mintage key dates with respect to return on investment. The problem with these, though, is that one must find them first. That is often not a trivial task.

    Please keep in mind that in both instances I am writing about problem-free coins with good eye appeal that are accurately graded and that are not low grade culls or superb MS examples. Rather, I am writing about those coins that populate the vast grading range from VF through AU.
    crinoidgirl and mush195 like this.
  14. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I would agree that harder to find good collector coins in VF to AU always do well. Of course. I have always said what a collector really wants to buy is what is usually not found in dealer inventory, that is problem free, collector grade, rare coins.

    I was mainly talking sir about coins that everyone thinks about when they say, "key coins". I used to collect SL halves by date in XF-AU. There are tons of coins that 99% of US collectors never hear about that are very, very scarce in such a series, but they are never talked about when you say "key coins".
  15. mush195

    mush195 Member

    Tom B – agreed.

    Key dates are interesting coins to collect, but like any other coins, they aren't always particularly rare or a good value. In the series I tend to focus on, the key dates are both rare and out of my price range. I could afford them if I only bought one coin every few years and waited patiently for the key date to appear on sale, but that doesn't seem like much fun. Kudos to those collectors who have the patience to do that, though.
  16. Mr. Flute

    Mr. Flute Well-Known Member

    I've recently settled my focus on mid range (F-XF) Buffalo nickels and Standing Liberty quarters.

    The "keys" I'm looking for are:
    Buffaloes - visually "strong" dates and overall good strike, which is readily visible on well worn (F) examples.

    Standing Liberties - pretty much the same as Buffs, but with SLQs you can have date wear that is not consistent with the overall wear on the coin for the pre-25 years. A VF example can have decent detail strength throughout the coin, but the date is very weak. I intend to accumulate as many "strong" pre-25 SLQs a possible, because I don't see them very often and will have good liquidity in the future. This is despite the series, being kind of sleepy, in my opinion.
  17. enochian

    enochian silver eater

    yeah not sure what i was thinking when i wrote this at 6am with no sleep.
    i guess ill narrow it down. what i realy want is something pre 1950. I will have $40 to $50 to spend. and im likely to spend it all on one coin to make it my highest valued coin.

    im intrested in sleepers and survival key dates for mercury wheat ihc v nickle ike walking liberty babrber series and rosie dimes etc

    or i could use it to upgrade my album which needs better then g4 barber series high grade v nickle unc morgan. unc walker

    im realy not sure what i want i know i want something nice. maybe something slabbed because i dont have any .

    i just want something that i cant normally afford something maybe a little rare and unique to my collection

    I dont think i can justify in my head spending $50 on something modern or something like a wheat penny tho. in the case of some coins like wheats or rosie dimes id go for quanity of unc over buying one coin. to help fill my albums. buts thats something id rather work on over time instead of buying all at once.

    any ideal how much a complete ike set minus proofs costs
  18. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    A semi-sleeper is the 1927s quarter. For $50 you could get one in about f-ish I believe, (US collectors please correct me). I always loved this date, and bought all of the g-f examples I could when I collected US coins. I believe less than 400,000 were minted, which for a quarter was a fairly low mintage. It has always been overshadowed by both the famous 1916 and the 1918 overdate.
  19. enochian

    enochian silver eater

    i do like the design on the slc but for some reason i dont like them for how much they cost im not realy sure why i dont care for them. Ill eventualy have to buy one for my 20th/21st century album but i dont plan on it just yet. the slq and peace dollar will be the last thing i get for my album after all other spots are filled with what i want.

    my favorite series are mercury dimes and walking libertys got any info on keys or semi keys or survival keys or sleepers on these
  20. stldanceartist

    stldanceartist Minister of Silly Walks Supporter

    You should usually be able to pick up a 1921 p mercury dime for $25...I saw a couple in the bargain bin today for around that price point...
  21. coleguy

    coleguy Coin Collector

    Going along with Chris, the 1927 D is also, I believe, a sleeper in that series. In many other series it would be downright "rare" and expensive, but for some reason in the sl quarter series it's overlooked and dirt cheap.
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