From the Feb. 27 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:
Do you start new coin collections before finishing older ones?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
I once had a very modest coin collection of stuff that I had picked up as a kid over 50 years ago. My ex-wife took it and paid her attorney with it. Best money I ever spent.
Indeed I have lost a few that I had hoped to acquire for my collection. Some were too expensive and I was outbid and some I just missed because I became aware of their availability too late. Either way, it is a bit of a sick feeling, but one must hang in there and persist. Perseverance is the key.
James E. Bridges
... and I’m still pulling my hair out. I have the receipts, know the person I purchased them from and recall driving home with them. Gone. Just up and no where to be found.
I am pretty careful with the coins I buy. After all, I don’t really own them, I just happen to be their caretaker for a while. The history in coins minted from countries all over the world are directly connected to the events of their time forever.
I lost or misplaced the coins about a year ago and it still bothers me. I have not replaced the missing. I guess I hope they will show up.
Twin Falls, Idaho
So far at least I don’t think so. I do have one that is listed in my inventory sheet, but is not in the safe deposit box. I think I have it listed twice as I have another one with mostly the same description of grade and strike quality. I probably entered it twice by mistake.
I’m sure I’ve done that several times, but there are two instances that come to mind.
I received a Danish coin in change as a penny. It was dated in the 1930s and the date was double struck (I don’t remember if the whole obverse was doubled). I had it at the coin club meeting that night and showed it to several people. It was probably laying on the club table where I was working the auction and got scooped up with somebody’s auction lots.
Another interesting coin was served up by a copy machine. It was a nickel with three minor clips and a cud. That coin got home but disappeared before I could get it stored with the rest of my collection.
Both these incidents were decades ago, so the chance of either appearing now would be almost as good as that of winning the lottery.
Yes I have lost a coin meant to be in my collection. It was a few years ago. I thought I had lost a 1909-S Indian Head cent, VF condition. I knew I should have it, but it was no where to be found.
I spent a good year or so looking everywhere I thought it should be. One day I decided to look again in my coin album and see if maybe it was put into the wrong hole. What I found was that the missing coin was sitting on top of the coin in the the hole it should have been in. I tipped the folder forward and the coin just fell out.
I cannot explain what a relief it was and what a frustrating year I had looking for the missing key date coin.
About 60 years ago in the 1950s, well before I became a true collector and decimal currency was introduced to this country, I heard from a workmate of a local bank usher who would buy 1930 Australian bronze pennies for 10 pounds ($20) each if they were “OK.”
I knew that I had one among a small hoard I had gathered – because I am a magpie at heart – but like thousands of other gatherers, I had no idea of value of any Australian coin at that time. Numismatics wasn’t in my vocabulary.
I “flogged it” via the mutual friend and got my “tenner,” which was about two weeks wages for me at that time.
In retrospect, that was the one extremely serious coin I lost for my collection.
I have tried to remedy the situation over the last 50 years but to no avail. I’ve been close, but no prize! I have been priced out of the market.
Serious collecting didn’t start for another decade or more, however one could say that 1930 penny incident was the call that woke the sleeping giant.
The realization that some money was worth more than face value was an enormous piece of knowledge.
I also traded some fine Australian .925 sterling silver coins when the silver price was high. I made money because I needed it, but I lost some great coins in the process.
We live and we learn. Sometimes it is a bitter lesson!
Graeme E. Petterwood
Editor’s note: Current Standard Catalog value of 1930 penny: $10,000.
Yes. I did lose a coin through my being naive. I had taken a few examples to a class in high school (40+ years ago) only to have one “missing.” A second, happened to have been “found.” I would have loved to have kept the missing one, only to eventually replace it with others. This was a learning experience to say the very least.
In closing, reflect where you currently are (mistakes and all), then figure out your current needs/wants. After all, each person is different, as is their circumstances. All I can ask (with insistence), is think of things in your own long run!
Berkel en Rodenrijs, Netherlands
I’ve had several packages lost in the mail over 40 years of collecting.
The largest group in recent years has been registered packages from Germany. No non-registered packages from Germany have been lost in the last five years, but several registered.
And the policy for German companies: If a tracking number is provided you don’t get any refund if the package doesn’t arrive.
I lost a Seated dollar worth $350 in the mail.