There are many things that make objects valuable. Origin, usefulness, condition, scarcity, and history all make a difference when considering value. We understand this easily when it comes to other items. For instance, a pipe may have value to someone who likes to smoke a pipe and no value to someone who doesn’t. A pipe made from rare or valuable wood might have value as a piece of artistry. The same pipe once owned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be a very sought after item among Sherlock Holmes fans, and if it could be proven that Conan Doyle smoked that pipe while he wrote A Study in Scarlet that item would even more valued for the role it played in the history of an iconic fictional character. The proof that that particular pipe was owned by Conan Doyle and smoked during the writing of a specific novel would be its pedigree. It’s much the same with coins.
We’ve often discussed the importance of scarcity in regard to coin value. Mint origin is also important to collectors who like to locate and purchase all variations of a certain coin. Coins that have never circulated are much more valuable than ones that have. All of these things factor into the determination of value. If a coin has a rare pedigree, this can make a large difference as well.
What kind of pedigrees do coins have? There are a number of different types, including:
Coins that can be traced to the possession of famous people or famous collectors, such as Matthew Adams Stickney
Coins that were once a part of a coveted coin collection, such as those in Louis C. Eliasberg’s famous collection of every United States coin issue
Coins that have a history that can be traced in an unbroken line back to the mint of origin
Coins that are related in some way to a historical event, such as those recovered from famous shipwrecks or the coins that helped historians determine the lost site of the Battle of Teutoburg Forest
Pedigree is all about tracing a coin’s journey through time. If a collector can show that a specific coin passed through the hands of interesting people, whether historical personages or famous and admired coin collectors, it makes that coin itself more interesting because people can imagine where it’s been and feel more connected to that fascinating journey. There’s a built in brag factor to owning that kind of coin. Even people who aren’t interested in coins may want to hear that kind of story.
Of course, today’s collectors can create pedigree themselves by building interesting collections that will pique the interest and admiration of other collectors. Any collector who makes a name for him or herself in the coin collecting world is automatically increasing the value of his own collection. Most of the factors that make coins valuable are already established, but this one is not, and it’s a way for any coin enthusiast to make a mark in coin history.
If you’d like to know more about pedigree coins and how to find and add them to your coin collection, contact Grand Rapids Coins today.