Thursday of last week, when everything was going down with Sam, that MS68 1986 100L arrived in the mail and over the weekend I won an auction for an MS67 1986 20 Lire. That, with the MS68 1986 50L I got last year, gives me (or will soon give me) 3 of the 7 coins for an Italian 1986 Mint Set, so I've gone ahead and made a custom set for that and popped in what I have so far.
The MS67 20 Lire is the highest graded example out there right now. Not to say there won't be MS68s later but I'll take a Superb Gem Uncirc Top Pop for now over buying and submitting and hoping for the best - I get some good grades and some not-so-good grades on my own.
I have a 4th coin for it - the 500 Lire - raw that I'll hopefully be submitting in a month or so, once I can get my act together.
In a bit of retail therapy impulse buying I also picked up an MS68 1994 200L, because I showed it to her and Shandy thought it was pretty, and the seller combines shipping. This logic seems to hold up. I'm not going to be shot for blowing $80 on a whim this week.
I seriously, seriously thought about pulling the trigger on an MS66 1986 200L. If it had been an MS67 I probably would have gone for it, but MS66 just didn't do it for me. This sparked me to look at some coins I have from Franklin Mint Sets that look really nice. I have a 1986 200L, 5L and 10L that I think could all grade quiet well. So, since I'm thinking about sending in the '83, '86, and '87 500L anyway, I'm seriously thinking about sending in a 1986 5L, 10L, and 200L, and using that to finish up that set, making it, with the '86 500L, 4/7 self-submitted.
So... actually. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure, right now, I have a complete 1986 mint set of Italian coins in high grade. They just aren't all NGC-graded yet.
Some of this is causing me to expand into a couple of new competitive categories and some of this may ultimately lead to Shandy becoming a force in the Modern Italian registry. And I do mean Shandy when I say that - The other night, with the 1986 100L in hand, I laid all the graded Italian coins in our room to show her the state of it. We boxed them up at the end then then she scooped up the box and put it on her side of the bed saying something like "I'll just take this and put it over here." So... Yeah. I'm finding them and buying them but she very much claims them. I find it hilarious and love it.
With opening up these new sets, that for now are mostly just places to park and display single coins in the new registry - because custom sets don't work in the new registry for now - I'm only really invested in defending the #1 spot on the 500 Lire set for now, but I'll take any other wins I can get, if I can get them.
There IS a competitive category for a 1991 Italian proof set, and that does make me wonder if I could get a competitive category for this 1986 mint set if I asked for it, but... I don't know... that just feels a little too self-serving of a request for now. Maybe if I keep making these posts and inspire more interest and activity in the Modern Italian registry... But it is my hope that I get at least a few years before the Zimbabwe set and the 500L set suffer the same fate as the 1932 set and now the 10G set. I guess we'll see.