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A Fly on the Wall



Have you ever wanted to be a ?fly on the wall? and listen in on a conversation? I had just that exact experience last Friday at the ANA?s ?World?s Fair of Money?.

Greetings all, I had a fabulous day at the ANA?s "World's Fair of Money? in Chicago. On my arrival at the convention, one of the items on my ?must see? list of things to do was to view ML Moser?s collection of pristine Morgan Dollars at NGC?s table. Walking towards the display, I noticed several people huddled around the display viewing Mr. Moser?s collection. Finding a place to stand and view one of two display cases containing Mr. Moser?s coins, I overheard a part of a conversation that made my ears perk up! In that conversation, I heard the ?ML Moser? being introduced to somebody else by a representative of Heritage Auctions. I could not believe it, what an opportunity to meet the owner of the finest collection of NGC graded Morgan Dollars that there is! Asking if anyone objected to me listening in, I continued as Mr. Moser described several of the coins in his collection to the Heritage representative. I listened with delight as Mr. Moser with a sense of pride described his 1881-S MS-68+ star date with a population of one, and none higher in the NGC population report. I also watched as the Heritage representative with a sense of glee personally inspected a few of the coins. Then, as I was getting ready to leave the display, the Heritage representative asked me if I collected Morgan Dollars, at which I excitedly answered, yes! At that, the Heritage representative asked Mr. Moser to sign one of his brochures for me! The NGC brochure describing Mr. Moser?s collection was signed ?Gary, happy hunting, ML Moser." Leaving the display, I had to pinch myself to see if what was happening to me was real.

Then there were the rare coins to view including a 1913 Liberty Nickel, 1804 Silver Dollar, and a gorgeous specimen of the AMERI. 1793 Chain Cent. Another highlight there for me was a collection of Gobrecht pattern dollars. At the APMEX table, I did wrist curls with a 354-ounce bar of solid gold! Of course, the gold bar was secured in a heavy plastic case with a hole in the side in which you placed your hand to lift the bar; and naturally, an armed guard was close by. Never before have I had something worth 654 thousand dollars right in the palm of my hand! Another table at which I spent considerable time was with a dealer demonstrating and selling coin microscopes. I was very impressed with this fascinating little instrument with which I could examine the finest details of my coins. If they say the difference between boys and men is the price of their toys, then this toy has me intrigued. While I was tempted, I need to take more time to consider buying this toy. If I eventually get it, I will be sure to do a post on it.

My wife is very gracious to me when it comes to my hobby and me. With her by my side at the show, she seemed graciously tolerant of every table I stopped at. Interestingly though, she also is a collector of sorts and loves collecting ?Cherished Teddy? figurines. When we walked by the PandaAmerica table she noticed a Chinese Silver Panda and asked me if I could purchase one. At that time, I had not purchased anything yet, so I told her if I had any money left at the end of the day I would return to buy it for her.

I went to the show with a list of four Morgan Dollars in MS-64 condition I was looking for valued in the low $100s. Of that list of four coins, I had hoped to purchase two. However, the same problem I had in the past while shopping for certified early coppers, I encountered with the Morgan?s. It seems that dealers when traveling to shows travel with the best coins in their inventories. I could probably have purchased each of the dates I was looking for, but only in MS-65 condition or higher. In a strange twist of irony though, I encountered a dealer who had affordable early coppers, and I managed to purchase an AU-50 1828 ? cent for my type set! Additionally, this coin has sentimental significance attached to it. When I was a boy, I purchased an 1828 ? cent at my very first coin show. I later sold it because it was deemed cleaned and unable to be certified at a full grade. Nevertheless, I regretted selling that ?-cent and this new one purchased at the ?king? of coin shows more than atones for that mistake. Curiously, the dealer I purchased the coin from was based in Chicago, meaning he could bring nearly his entire inventory had he wanted.

Having purchased the 1828 ?-cent my wife asked me if we could go back and buy the panda. Even though I do not collect pandas, how could I say no to her, so I purchased a 2011 MS-69 silver panda? Having seen most of what I wanted to see, it was about time to go home. On the way out, my wife noticed a colorized panda and asked if I could buy that one also. Feeling emboldened by buying one panda, I was not about to buy two. On our way to the car, my wife said in these exact words, ?I should have nagged you more for colored panda." She even mentioned it after we got home, and I finally said, ?Look, there are no colors on the panda except black and white?! Appropriately, I am going to put the properly colored panda into my ?Inspirational Ladies? set dedicated to her.

Finally, I do not know if ML Moser reads these journals, but I want to thank him personally for putting together such a fine collection and for being willing to share it. I also wanted to thank him for his signed brochure that will always be a fond memento of the show. Some people collect autographed photographs of sports figures, but I collect brochures autographed by famous coin collectors! I am also posting a picture of my wife?s panda with this journal post, so until next time, happy collecting!





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