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A (dirty?) 1980 Z Cent



So, it's a Sunday, morning at the time. Ben has had a friend over all weekend and the bickering has been constant all morning and we're both just short of the point of sending the kid home to just get some peace because they're driving us insane and we're tired.

About a week prior I'd seen a 1980 Zimbabwean cent up for auction in "Mint State" with a $2.99 starting bid with $1.50 shipping. The seller's pictures weren't the best, but it looked promising at first glance.

1980-1989 cents from before they went steel-clad are harder to get and you mostly see 1997-1999. So, this had me curious.

But looking at the pictures closer, it looked like there might be some unappealing junk on one half the coin - both faces.


So, at that point I ruled it out - I unwatched it on eBay and wasn’t going to bid - but I had still been thinking about it...

I got a push notification on my phone about it when it was 15 min from ending and I looked at my phone and saw it with 3 minutes to go an no bids on it. At that point, just on an impulse, I bid $2.99.

I just decided I'd put $4.50 down to see it in person. I can easily afford the loss if it was a dog. I was even telling Shandy I'd be open to maybe paying NCS $15-20 to clean it if I couldn't find nicer pre-1990 examples – and so far I haven’t.

I was grumpy and tired from harassment… bad ideas are born in this way. lol

This may seem silly - the idea of maybe paying for conservation on one of these - but this set is 100% a losing venture. It being a good investment is a complete non-issue. The whole escapade is a complete waste of money in the name of fun, and I honestly think that's one of the best things about it as a focus in a hobby. It means I just don't have to care much as long as I'm not just willfully getting myself fleeced paying $15 for coins, I could get for $1. lol I feel like I maybe sound like I’m contradicting myself with this but what I’m getting at here is, I don’t mind that this whole set is a waste, but I want to pay close to market-bearing prices for things and not over-inflated prices based on false hype. lol

And it's a 1980 - first year of issue. I'm not saying that's a goal, but it could be cool to have a full 1980 set. I already have the 10C in MS65...

So now I have it... In person it is a very pretty coin IMO but there is something on it. The darker spots I was seeing in their pictures that concerned me appear to actually be gaps in this film / covering material where the metal surface is showing through:

Here are my shots.


The coin looks very pretty in hand, and it has solid luster all over, but the pattern of those spots and the bits of dirt elsewhere has me wondering if someone tried to clean this and I’m more than a little afraid of what NGC will think if I send it in, as pretty as it looks. I’m trying to decide if I’m willing to put $18-30 into finding out and then maybe seeing what NCS would make of it.

In any case, I own one now, even if it isn’t graded, and, for the cost of $4.50, it’s an option I have the freedom to explore later.

I think I will indeed be sweating things out with the Tuesday morning census updates and watching for new sets or additions by Xan for most of the next ~49 days to see if my set holds on to the top spot for this year. lol



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