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Part III-Return to Collecting



Auction results, Conders and "Hot Rod" Lincolns

I had opted to use Teletrade to ease back into the sell side of the auction market with the minimum of work. My goal was to stay ?cost neutral? by selling off any of the coins I may have accumulated that don?t fit into one of my active collecting categories. In addition to my consignment of 13 ?old PCGS slabs? (which some collectors seem to like for their upgrade possibilities), my dad added the 1934 ?wrong metal? cent which he found in his change drawer a long time ago. While cashing in some silver coins some years back, he was offered $63 for it in its old ANACS VF holder, but decided against selling. We figured he might pick up a hundred or two in the auction. When the dust settled, my coins had sold for a grand total of $839 and his cent brought $875! Here?s a case where ignorance is bliss. For all we know, the buyer was tickled pink to get it for that!

I had only one ?coin? on my buy list for the Heritage sale that was coincident with this Teletrade auction. I had seen very few choice pre-1858 Canadian colonial proof tokens during my first round of collecting fever in the 80?s and early 90?s. In fact, it worked out to less than one per year. I couldn?t resist bidding on Heritage?s proof Bank of Montreal penny token that would complement my half penny of the same type. The Heritage catalogue showed an expected range of $400-600 for this token, which I had not come across in over a decade of collecting! Of course, all of this is just rationalization for paying way more than that but I?ve found that when something is a keeper, price becomes a lot less important.

While cruising the coin boards a couple of months ago, I came across a thread regarding Conder tokens which featured a striking image of a wild man. It looked pretty familiar so I went to the bank and pulled one just like it from a box labeled ?Conders.? Yikes, the accompanying notes were in my handwriting! (Memory is the second thing to go!) The labels suggested that I had picked them up along the way at various coin shows while hunting for proof type and large cents. It seems I already had a copy of the Conder bible (Dalton & Hamer) so I was off and running. Lots of neat Conders were scheduled for sale in the ANR June sale and that seemed a good place to start. The shortage of coinage in the British Isles during the latter part of the 18th century gave rise to a great number of private tokens with delightful designs available for a fraction of the cost of many US issues. This brings me to ?modern? coins.

I had been through the ?condition rarity? boom that took some relatively common coins to great heights back in the late 80?s, but was still taken aback by the prices being paid/realized for top condition modern coins and bullion issues! I grew up with Lincoln cents and still had my Whitman deluxe folders. So, I was attracted to the pop reports and Registry Sets for Lincoln cents. Wow! With the additional differentiation (cameo, etc.) by the grading services, the quest for condition rarities among Lincoln cents and other modern coins to fill registry sets was going gangbusters. It appeared that a single Lincoln proof cent or Franklin half, at the top of the condition ladder for its year, could pay for every proof set I had ever purchased! For several nights, I had to reassure my wife that I would give back the dining room table once I had removed the best examples of proof coinage from the 40?s and 50?s from their capital holders or mint envelopes. I had been pretty careful to select unspotted proof sets (but not smart enough to focus on ?cameo? coins) over the years. I?ve yet to tackle the sets from the 60?s but with the lengthy turnaround times at the grading services, I figure there?s absolutely no reason to rush!

Part IV-Crossovers, regrades and George III


Obverse Mi



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