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The Nicholas Fritz Collection Offers Affordable, High Quality Princely States Coinage

Every collector who purchases and assembles a collection faces difficult choices. Do I want to add this coin to my collection? How much do I want to pay for a coin? Among these questions, perhaps the hardest to satisfactorily answer is “when should I sell my collection?” To this question, there is no right answer, and anyone who takes the time to assemble a coherent collection has invested both in the endeavor and in the coins that they have acquired. Selling a collection often results in a feeling of loss, be it big or small. Despite this, I have decided to sell a large portion of my personal collection, and hope that a few lessons learned along the way can serve other collectors. Offered in the August 2023 Global Showcase Auction is the Nicholas Fritz Collection, a small grouping of mostly Princely Coinage, with a few other areas represented. The focus of this collection was on South Asian coinage generally, with a specific interest in Indian coinage, particularly those of The Princely States.

I learned two major lessons in my collecting journey that I feel are worth sharing. The first lesson regards focus – a great way to coherently assemble a coin collection. Focus, in this case, means having clear objectives about what you want your collection to look like, and purchasing according to these. While some find it rewarding to simply buy interesting things as they strike their fancy, for me, this approach did not work. I often found myself intrigued by many things, buying or bidding on varied items with no clear direction. The world of numismatics is a big place, in both time and space, and with limited resources, one can never purchase every cool item.

The second important lesson is to value quality over both quantity and rarity. When I first started collecting, I was tempted to purchase many common coins in common grades to try and fill out what was then a sparse collection. I purchased quite a few common types that I later regretted; as I filled out the better pieces, these stuck out more and more as not belonging. In the end I realized that purchasing the best example I could afford was the right approach. My collection features many common types, though most examples are preserved in uncommon grade levels, coupling a level of conditional rarity with the expressed quality of the grade.

Thus, I chose to acquire quality coins with a focus on South Asian and particularly Princely States coinage. No one example is particularly valuable monetarily, but the time and effort that I invested in the pursuit of these examples and the enjoyment I found made it worth it. I hope the next owners of my coins enjoy and value them as much as I did.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from my collection.

Lot 56367 offers a Rupee from Alwar produced in 1882. Alwar produced coinage under the Native States Coinage Act, whereby a Princely State was given coinage produced at the Calcutta Mint with the British ruler on it, in exchange for shuttering their mint for a period of 30 years. Examples of the type are somewhat abundant in lower grades, but in Mint State or higher, the type becomes exceedingly difficult to acquire. Lot 56385 was produced by Bikanir, and likewise was made under the Native States Coinage Act. This example, while not the highest graded, is phenomenally toned and is simply beautiful with varied rainbow color throughout. Lot 56401 features a Nazarana, or Gift, Kori from Junagadh that is not only the finest certified example of the type by PCGS, but it is also one of only two certified by either PCGS or NGC. Finally lot 56400 represents a Paisa from Jaora, a rare example of a coin with three dates, being dated in the Christian AD calendar, the Islamic AH calendar, and the Hindu Vikram Samvat calendar, and serving as a testament to the cultural mixture of the Indian subcontinent. It is tied with a single NGC example for the finest graded of the type, and offers a less commonly seen princely state with wonderful condition.

To view these coins and our entire August 2023 Global Showcase Auction visit StacksBowers.com. To consign to an upcoming sale call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].

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