If you are having trouble completing your collection with expensive or hard-to-find mint coins, a filler coin might be a good stopgap measure.
Part of the joy in collecting gold bullion coins or other historical coins is completing a collection of coins from a particular series. However, doing this can be a very time-consuming and expensive proposition — especially for the beginning coin collector who is just starting to get involved in the hobby. This is especially true if the person is collecting coins in a series where certain, specific pieces are much more expensive than others.
Not every coin in a series is identical, and the distribution of precious metals within the coins along with other factors can determine its scarcity and desirability by collectors. This can mean that finding the final coins to fill out a collection — and having them be in mint condition — can be expensive and difficult.
If you are trying to complete a collection of coins from a certain pressing or period but are having trouble finding mint condition items or affording to purchase them, you might want to consider filler coins. These are gold and silver bullion coins that are of a lesser grade than mint condition but will help you to “fill” your collection. Purchasing filler coins is affordable, easy to do and will give you the satisfaction of completing your collection.
One example is the XF Jefferson nickel series. Most XF Jefferson nickels can be purchased for no more than $5, making it a great starter series for the beginning collector. However, the 1939-D XF Jefferson nickel is rarer and more desirable and usually sells for $10 to $12. Many novice coin collectors don’t want to pay that kind of money for one coin.
Instead of spending more than $10 for a mint condition 1939-D from a coin dealer, many collectors will buy a “filler” 1939-D that is at a lower grade than mint. This allows them to complete their collection and not have any gaps while they look for and purchase a mint 1939-D at a better price. This is a perfect example of how a filler coin can benefit the novice collector and help them experience the joy of finishing their collection.