So here we discuss the Italian coins – 6 coins that come in 2 sets of three: 3 coins to fill out the 1986 Italian Circulation Strike Birth Year Set and 3 coins to fill some of the remaining gaps in the 500L set she wanted. Though the 1986 500L actually fits in with both groups even though it was acquired primarily for the 500 Lire set / as part of that effort.
Here are the grades:
On the 1986 set front…
With the 5 Lire and the 10 Lire, with MS66 and MS65 grades respectively, I don’t consider them a disappointment really, but I also don’t consider them a big win. I would have been happier with a SS and a 67. I was hoping they’d do a little bit better than that but… They’re solid enough and the coins look good in hand, which is why I wanted to try sending them in from the remainders of those Franklin Mint Sets I broke up.
The 1986 200 Lire on the other hand feels like a solid win. Unlike the other two denominations I just talked about, the seller I’ve bought a lot of these Italian coins pre-graded from had several NGC graded 1986 200 Lires in stock. They just wanted $55-60 for them at minimum, and I was pretty sure I could get at least an MS65 submitting myself. I knew I had this coin, and I was pretty sure it’d do well, and now I have my MS67, which is at least for now the solo-finest example graded by NGC, beating the 6 MS66s and the 9 MS65s out there.
I think most if not all of those other 200 Lire coins were graded by this eBay merchant and many/most of the 65s seem to still be in his/her possession – 7 of the 9 MS65s are currently listed on eBay. Not sure what the story is on the MS66s – none of those are listed at the moment. However, on the MS65s that seller likes to brag up that there’s “only 4 finer,” and there’s 6 MS66s now, to say nothing of my MS67. So, either they or someone else has submitted some of these and increased the population recently. But that seller seems to send a lot of 1980s Italian material to NGC.
On the 500 Lire front, I am very happy about the MS66s on the 1983 and the 1987. Those are solid enough grades and they’ll make strong enough additions to the set to help keep it as a strong contender in the category for now and hopefully for a while to come. The one I’m really happy about though, oddly, is the 1986, the MS65, the lowest grade of the three. Why?
The 1983 and 1987 were pulled from Franklin Mint Sets. I knew those were good and I knew they’d probably do just fine. It’s also cheap and easy to get more of those in high grades by just buying more of those Franklin Mint sets on the cheap and breaking them up. It’s much harder to find one of those sets with a 1986 coin, it’s much harder to find 1986 examples in general on eBay and so if this one didn’t grade well it’d be much more challenging to go out and find more.
Also: This 1986 came out of a bag. It hadn’t been kept safe in a card for 30 years. So, I was much more worried about NGC dinging the grade for small marks or maybe giving it an AU58 for rubbing that I didn’t see or recognize but which they saw – again, I have a scarred cornea. I miss things sometimes. I cite that MS62 I’m getting back in this submission as my proof. Because of those worries, because this coin was important to both the birthyear set and the 500 Lire set, this was the coin that had me sweating and worried, and it got and MS65, and I’m pretty happy with that.
Getting that lot of 24 500 Lire coins was Shandy’s idea also, as you’ll recall. My impulse had been to just get some more Franklin Mint sets at the time and look to maybe getting better 1983 examples. She wanted to roll the dice on those lots, and we got rewarded with this 1986 example.
Again, these haven’t been the easiest thing for me to find in high grade. So, I’m glad I listened to her, and we got this one.
Another interesting point for the 1986 500L is that it also had a pre-NGC-graded example on eBay that I could have gotten instead of self-submitting... but it was an MS63... that they wanted ~$50. That's one of those times when, while I don't begrudge someone trying to turn a profit on something, when you get an MS63 back you need to admit that you made a grading boo-boo and you're not getting your money back out of that coin. I just knew that - unless I'd missed some light rubbing the 1986 I had would at least match and probably beat an MS63 for less money and it did by 2 point. I also knew at that price that it would still be there later, and it is, but even of it wasn't, not much FOMO there.
I did get the 2000 and 2001 500 Lire coins from German earlier in the week and they do look solid. I'm not sure how they'd grade out but I think they'd get MS grades and I like knowing I now have all the dates represented and I can fill my last remaining empty slots whenever I want and need - probably early to mid next year.
Sorry! the following images are far from great - I just don't have the chance to break out the better camera and better lights right now so the cell phone gets the job! The coins are pretty clean and shiny - the alloys these are made of is just miserable to photograph though IMO.
Shandy asked me last night if I could go ahead and add the coins now or if I had to wait until I got them. I told her that the system lets me add the coins to my inventory in the registry as soon as they ship and technically I could add them in now, but I'm not going to because don't think that's how NGC prefers that we play. With them coming back now I have plenty of time to pop them in and image them and in the mean time I can be working on writing up text in Word files if I need to.
Meanwhile she has started teasing me that the Rhodesian pennies are going to go back and she's going to buy some Italian coins instead... Looking at these sets and what's about to come in, I can't imagine what she thinks she'd buy and she doesn't usually like buying things like this unless I link her to it.