I thought I'd take a minute and belatedly share some progress on the 500 Lire set.
A few weeks ago I won (unopposed) an auction for an MS68 1985. It is the only one in the grade currently with none finer. The seller chose to highlight and play this up in a somewhat over-the-top way that gave Mike and I a laugh. This is the same seller that I got the 1982 MS68 from, but there is an MS69 1982, and 1982s are far more heavily graded and in high grade than the later years.
Just something about that visual of the globe behind the coin...
Somehow I doubt that in all the world there isn't another one of these that would grade MS68 at NGC. They just haven't been sent in yet - probably just because the owners don't feel the need or see enough market demand for these things in certified high grade to make it worth the risk and grading fees.
I think if anyone else believed otherwise I wouldn't have scored this for under $50.
Grabbing this did have me thinking about the future look and make-up of the set. I'd thought the set would be mostly self-graded but if the coins come on the market in higher grades than what I have I think I will buy them. I even have a 1985 500L at NGC right now, waiting to be graded, but I know enough to know that coin isn't going to get an MS68. Only the 1990 and 1991 are really "safe" to me in terms of wanting to keep those special coins that they brought back with them in the set.
Of course, I do have other coins for other years that I didn't send in for grading - I think from the 1980s. But those coins are so clearly circulated and so clearly won't grade well that I just can't bring myself to grade those. It would cost too much and I would like this set to be reasonably nice and competitive long term and those coins just aren't really. They're far better left in a raw state.
Speaking of the 1990, when I started down this road the set did not have a slot for the 1990, which had me concerned that I might not get to add that coin to the competitive set at all. But I put in a request to Ali and the Team and they added the slot for me.
So I guess that's one slot filled and one slot added.
While working on this I also put in some orders for a few Italian Franklin mint sets, getting 3 total for about $9 each. I think 2 have 1983 500L and 1 has a 1987... or the other way around... Anyway...
Those 500L coins look great and at some point two of those three sets will probably be broken up so I can have a good 1983 and 1987 to plug some holes with another submission down the road.
I have not had the same luck finding sets with or individual 1986 coins that look good, and that is really frustrating given that 1986 is "our year."