Why are double digits worth more?

Posted By: DANIEL

Why are double digits worth more? - 12/15/19 02:55 AM

I found this that I wrote 10 years ago. I thought it would be interesting to bring it back.

A question that has been asked many times through the years is why a low number (11 to 99) worth more than the higher numbers.. The first person that wrote about Harbour Lights and set the very game rules that we follow today was Jim Rutherford.
He felt that the desire for collecting low numbers developed from early days of people collecting lithographs. The low numbers had a better print quality and therefore was sought after and was worth more.

I personally, as a veteran collector feel differently. I went through many stages of collecting just to satisfy my collecting hunger. At first it was satisfying enough just to go to my dealer and buy whatever lighthouses were available at the time. Then I started to hunger for the lights that where no longer found at my dealer. So I stretched out to other dealers to the point of making phone calls and special trips. This only lasted so long until I realize that to fill some of the holes in my collection I would have to get involved in the secondary market.

My collection grew to the point where I had a complete collection of the first 100 HL.
So where to go after that. How was I to keep my collecting fun and have something that the novice collector didn’t have? I then got involved in an auto shipment of matching double-digit numbers. This gave me Bragging Rights. Something that made me part of a special secret collecting club that put me into the super collector category or at least in my own mind.

It didn’t stop there, I went back over the first 38 that I collected and started to collect them all over again in the Canadian version. But that still wasn’t enough. I again when back over the first 50 and collected them all in double digits and in a few cases APs, paint samples and founders collection pieces.

At times I felt I was alone but all it was that I was going thru different collecting stages. Some collectors quit at the first stage and never really understand the die heart collector, while others of the true collecting wackos like me follow the cycle out to the last stages.

Yes the double digits are more valuable to the die-heart collectors and are in more of a demand than the higher numbered lighthouses thus making the double digits more valuable.
Posted By: flacoastie

Re: Why are double digits worth more? - 12/15/19 04:00 PM

I basically went through the same outline as Daniel did but why I prefer the low numbers I still have plenty of higher numbers in my collection. I started collecting in 1994 and by that time you could not find any low numbers of the first 3 years so I gave up on the hunt and settled for anything I could find of the first 38 issues. Since I started collecting I have been able to find low numbers but it has not been a priority for me.
Posted By: RMau

Re: Why are double digits worth more? - 12/17/19 12:00 AM

Well ... I sure don't know!

I can see the logic of Mr. Rutherford as well as Daniel and Rich. For me, matching numbers were more of the goal, but as Daniel points out, once you arrange for the same number all the time, some of the passion for collecting fades. Unless you can replace it as Daniel outlines in his experience. A true collector will always find something about their collection that needs to be 'fixed'. Low numbers, matching numbers, all the variations, all the mistakes, it will always be something that keeps the diehard collector collecting.

Posted By: The Cape Cod

Re: Why are double digits worth more? - 12/17/19 01:40 PM

Very well put Daniel. In today's market, though, there are very few "hard core" collectors out there. Harbour Lights still has a following, but mostly from a "casual" collector perspective. With HL out of business for 7 years and no new lighthouses being produced, (except those from Harry Hine), few collectors outside of those "old-time veterans" really care about flag numbers and country of origin. I find myself teaching collectors about them whenever I can, but most only care about the lighthouse and not the intricacies of collecting. It's more of a challenge now to explain to today's collector why one piece of the exact same lighthouse is more expensive than another. Some understand while others don't care. In fact, the majority of collectors don't even know that HL is no longer in existence!
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