In practical terms, it may be bizarre to think of why one silver coin is just not as good as another silver coin of equal size, weight and condition. But nobody ever said that coin collecting was practical – an activity as engaging as having a coin collection rarely is.
The real difference between the values of two largely similar yet partially different rare coins is in the eye of the collective beholder.
It's not all about perceptions - there are facts and figures involved, but they’re not the facts and figures that we normally associate with economics. More important than weight, purity, condition and other physical attributes, when collectors acquire new items, they're actually buying into stories.
Especially in coin collecting, it's extremely unusual to find a collector who is not also a history buff in some way or form. Facts that may seem trivial to those who don’t bother to look beyond the surface, can amount to stories that keep collectors awake in the middle of the night. For them, rare coins are pieces of historical puzzles, the more intricate the history, the more unique the puzzle piece.
Coin collectors are also akin to archeologists – unearthing the past and learning about life and history during a specific period. Some of these coins come from periods studded with the marks of politics, dramatic human acts and global or national events like world wars and economic recessions.
Yet rare coins are only really rare in so far as they are rare in the minds of many. The more popular the coin, the more evidence there is of its rarity. Not many people can say that they own a coin that used to belong to a King. Even less can say that they own the single coin from its entire mint that can be legally owned by a civilian. That legend, in particular, was worth $7,590,020.00 to one collector.