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Bought a Pig In a Poke, $2.5 Gold Indians and the grades are just in..

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I bought a set of $2.5 Indians in a capital plastics holder where they have been in my bank until now...


I agreed to buy a set for 10K form a "friend" who had bought them from an estate. When it came time to do the deal, I looked at the coins and what the $%#&*! I said I remembered them in a black holder and in better shape. Now I find out that there were 2 sets and the first set, the one that got me worked up, he said had already sold. I was not happy. The second set was not at all like the first. Each coin in the first set had had rich luster, so I remember... The second looked about AU at first glance. I offered 7K and he came back with 7.5K. It was housed in a BLUE capital plastics holder and I had to try to grade the coins on the fly. All I really focused on was the 11D. It had the wire rim obverse that is diagnostic of the real deal, so I was okay there. The 11D looked to be an AU-58 or MS-61 or 62. Now almost 10 years later I finally decided to find out how I had done with my pig in a poke. I took all the coins to the Dallas ANA for NGC to grade but only PCGS was doing "on-site" grading, so I submitted the 11-D and 14 to PCGS and sent the rest to NGC. I guess it was not a bad deal after all. The set ranks all the way up at 150 in the NGC Registry, and I am just fine with that.


To see the entire set go to http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/registry/coins/SetListing.aspx?PeopleSetID=188559


I had a total of 5 out of 15 come back "improperly cleaned" and after careful review I actually agree with 4 of those 5. the 5th coin will go to PCGS or I will just sell it raw.


Here is the run downof the original 15 coins is submitted:

1908 AU "improperly cleaned"

1909 AU "improperly cleaned"

1910 MS--62

1911 MS--61

1911--D MS--61 (PCGS)

1912 AU "improperly cleaned"

1913 AU--58

1914 AU--58 (PCGS)

1914--D AU "improperly cleaned"

1915 MS--62

1925--D MS--62

1926 Unc "improperly cleaned"

1927 MS--63

1928 MS--64+ (of course the most common date)

1929 MS--62


What does the term "buying a pig in a poke" refer to? The word poke means bag and if I am not mistaken, the phrase is English and refers to the open markets were one could by a piglet in an unopened bag. The term came to connote buying something without knowing what you're getting because crooked farmers would substitute a cat or dog which had little or no value as consumable meat for the pig.



See more journals by JTO John

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The context is that the deal took place 10 years ago. So, if the 1911-D had come back Unc-"Improperly Cleaned" the deal would have been a bust. That is scary, for me. And on that note NGC seems to me to be getting "tougher" on coins calling more and more problem coins. Maybe it is just me. I had 10 years and I should have looked closer. But, I thought, "these are original coins pulled from circulation they wouldn't be problem coin's..." Wrong. Fortunately not the key date for the series.


Also I just noticed I crept in to the top 20 overall, I would have never thought that possible.



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Glad the 11-D was genuine. Many $2.50 sets were put together in the 60s and a lot had fake 11-Ds.

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The photo shows the wire rim on the obverse from 11 o'clock to 5 o'clock to look for.



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It does tend to be present on most examples though. Apparently they set the dies in such a way that the fin was produced and they didn't change the die settings for the whole mintage.

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