I decided to do some looking around on "the bay" and found something I didn't expect...
For one reason or another it just makes me chuckle to call eBay, "the bay." I come from a town with "Bay" in the name and we call it "Home of the Dirty Bay" (don't swim in it, don't drink from it, and don't eat anything you caught in it). But anyway...
I had decided to look around and see if there might be something in a nice price range that I might be able to add to my signature set. I still hadn't purchased several of the 2009 coins that I need and they remain relatively cheap so I thought that might be a nice way to go.
While looking at 2009 Pandas I noticed that some of them had this special "30th anniversary" label. At first I thought this was just another labeling scheme. I figured the coin was exactly the same, just the piece of paper was different. In the little thumbnail pictures I saw it looked like the designs were the same. A while later though something strange caught my eye and I decided to take a closer look. Only then did I see a ring of text along the rim of the "30th anniversary" coin. That realization left me a little dumbstruck for a minute. I hadn't realized that this special issue had been made. I don't know if it came up before or after I had to stop paying attention around July, but I hadn't heard anything about it.
I don't normally buy the special-issues of the Pandas. I don't have a full date set yet and they seem a little "frilly" when you don't even have the regular set. These issues can also tend to be a little pricey. These "30th anniversary" coins seem to be more common than most of the others though and they're cheap in a nice MS69 grade (which is usually what I'm aiming for since I don't like huge MS70 premiums). So, in what's kind of an unusual move for me, I decided to buy both the regular 2009 panda and the 2009 "30th anniversary coin" for my sig set.
Those out there that hate eBay with such ardor (I used a GRE word in a sentence, yay me!) may be pleased to know that I did not actually buy the coins from eBay. This is not because I bear the site the same animosity that others do, but, rather, because better offers were avaiable. A dealer that I've purchased coins from before had the coins at a better price and with more favorable shipping terms. Since his shipping charge does not increase until the cost of the order exceeds $100, I decided to toss in a 2009 Lunar Ox in addition to the 2 pandas. The net result was about a $15 savings for me over eBay. I would have liked to have gone ahead and picked up a 2009 kookaburra as well, but none were available.
Slots have been added to my signature set for the first time in about 2 months and I'll be adding the coins once they arrive and I have the cert #s.
"Where you find quality, you will find a craftsman, not a quality-control expert." ~Robert Brault