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Feast or Famine



Searching for coins rarely offered for sale can be like a feast or a famine.

In my previous journal, I wrote about obsessions. One of my obsessions having more to do with my personality than it does with the topic of coin collecting is football. As a proud owner of an NFL football team by virtue of owning one share of Green Bay Packers stock, I found myself on the edge of my seat as the Chicago Bears made the NFC championship game interesting. However, in the end, the Packers prevailed, and now it?s on to the Superbowl. Somehow, if the Packers beat the Steelers, I doubt the Packers will be sending me a ring. At any rate, go Pack!

Now on to the topic at hand, sometimes in looking for the right coins to add to our collections, we go through extended periods of famine. This not only applies to rare coins, but also to coins that are rarely sold. For instance, the 1893-S Morgan Dollar is rare because of a low mintage and high demand. However, I can pull an E-bay search almost any time and find certified low-grade examples for sale. On the other hand, I can search for certified Netherlands 10 Gulden gold coins and find nothing offered for sale even though they are not particularly rare and are worth little more than melt value. Combine low availability with a demand for high-grade examples and I am often waiting for years for the opportunity to purchase just one coin.

For about six months, I have been tracking a 1927 NGC MS-64 ?Buy It Now? 10 Gulden coin on E-Bay, but I refused to pay the price the seller was asking even though a suitable coin was available. Nevertheless, I kept the coin on my watch list and watched it as it cycled through its 30-day listings. Then last week one came up for sale as a true auction on E-Bay that I won for just a little more money than melt value and 30% less than the ?Buy It Now?. After a yearlong drought in purchasing coins for ?Gary?s Golden Wilhelmina Guldens?, I took great pleasure in removing the ?Buy It Now? from my watch list.

Often the clich? ?When it rains, it pours? denotes that something bad is happening, but this time, in my case, it definitely denotes something good. Last Friday I got a Teletrade ?Mr. Wantlist? e-mail notice for a 1913 NGC MS-65 10 Gulden in their Monday evening auction. What a feast, nothing suitable in a year, then suddenly two opportunities in a week! Add to the fact that MS-65 Wilhelminas meets my ultimate long-term goal for this set, and this coin is nothing less than ?icing on the cake?. I went on to win this auction even though I paid a little more for the coin than I would have liked. Fortunately, I have a lower-grade coin that will subsidize the higher-grade one.

When you are looking hard for something you have to be ready to seize the moment when it comes because you do not know when or if another will come. Financially, I went out on a limb to acquire these two coins, so for now I need a moratorium on buying. When it comes to moratoriums Jackson makes a good point, but I will add in addition to not browsing, temporarily stopping e-mail notices helps to enforce moratoriums. Until next time, enjoy this collage of my recent purchase and happy collecting!





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