What's the longest period that you have waited buy a coin that you want?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by johnmilton, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    This topic was on the ancient coin forum. I decided the re-post the idea here since the coin I would list is not an ancient.

    I have been a U.S. type collector since I was a YN in the 1960s. I was open to collecting them all from day one, but of course my budget could not accommodate such a goal. When I landed my first job out of college, my finances improved considerably. I really got interested in all of the early U.S. type coins from 1792 to 1807. Over time I was able to get all of the copper and silver coins except for the 1796-7 Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half Dollar. With a mintage 3,918 coins spread over the two years, the coin is obviously very scarce. I tend to avoid the “rare” word when more than 10 coins are available.

    According to Dave Bowers, the number of survivors is 220 to 325 coins. That seems a little high to me, but he’s been buying, selling and auctioning coins for far longer than I have, and he’s seen far more pieces.

    At any rate, the first example of this coin that I saw, was at a major show in the mid 1970s. It was an Unc. and was said to have been part of the Col. Green collection. The price was $45,000. For me it may as well have been $45 million.

    The first piece that I could have afforded, was a terrible coin. It had the sharpness of a coin Fair condition, was holed and had been polished. That didn’t stop the dealer from putting a $9,000 price tag on it. This was circa 1988. I have a rule that if I can’t afford a decent example of a coin, I can learn to live without it. That was certainly the case here.

    Over the years, I saw some other pieces, almost exclusively in auctions, and all of them beyond my budget. Finally, in the 2000s I had enough money to buy the coins I needed to finish my set. I was really looking for an example of the 1796-7 half dollar in VF, but this piece that is graded Fine – 15 popped up at the 2010 Summer FUN show. It was the last coin I needed to finish the non-gold type set which covers everything from the half cent to the dollar coins. In a way you could say I waited 45 years. In another way you could say 22 years. At any rate, here it is, and no, I am not planning on upgrading it.

    1796 half dollar All.jpg
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  3. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    About 20 years and still counting.
  4. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    I’ve been wanting a 1793 cent for a while, but the right example at the right price when I have the funds hasn’t happened yet. That’s the only US coin that has kept me waiting for a while
    Chris B likes this.
  5. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    There are several 1793 cents.
    Which one do you want?
    Flowing Hair?
    -- Chain?
    -- Wreath?
    Liberty Cap?
  6. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    About 5 years for my 1923-D Saint purchased earlier this year. :D

    But going on a decade for a 1907 High Relief.:mad:
  7. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    All of the above, though the wreath cent is by far the most affordable
  8. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Ditto. Specifically, I want a chain cent. My only requirements are a legible date and not damaged. I think I will be waiting quite a while longer.
  9. kazuma78

    kazuma78 Supporter! Supporter

    This isn't something I've been "looking" for the longest, but its definitely the longest I've had to wait to acquire something I knew existed. I've known about these for about 15-18 years but they were held by someone who wasn't interested in selling them. Someone else inherited them this year and I was finally given the chance to buy them. My great grandfather signed these notes and its an uncut serial #1 pair.
  10. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    Here is the Slovakia 2001 500 Korun beetle cross coin. KM#56 .925 silver. The uncirculated version $70.00(low mintage 10,200) and the proof version. The proof version $225.00(very small mintage 1,800) took me 15 years to find on Ebay. Thee unc. coin got me interested in collecting "Coins with insects".

    coins5 007 copy.jpg
    coins5 006 copy.jpg

    and the very scarce proof version...
    proof a copy.jpg
    proof b copy 2.jpg

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  11. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    Here's what I've got for 1973 cents:



    My Liberty Cap is a 1794 so that doesn't count for this post.
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  12. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    I’ve been assembling my Jefferson Nickel collection for over a decade. I still haven’t found a 1963-D worth purchasing or submission.
  13. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The quality of the coins that the Denver Mint made in the early 1960s was pretty bad. I happened two bank sealed rolls of 1962-D Franklin Half Dollars several years ago. I don’t think the rolls had been opened since 1962. I thought that I would find a couple really nice coins, but I didn’t. Every coin was Mint State and original white in color, but the strikes were not sharp, there were bag marks and the luster was so-so. I found one coin in the 40 that I graded MS-63 and a couple 62s. All of the others were mostly MS-61 or 60. I got a lesson why the high grade coins, MS-65 and better, are so high priced on the Grey Sheet.
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  14. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Chain Cents are not that rare, but finding one with smooth, “hard” (not porous or corroded) is not easy. I have owned two over the years and a third piece turned out to be counterfeit. The one I have now has good color and surfaces, but has a planchet mark or scratch on the obverse . NGC graded it VF-20

    1793 Chain Cent All.jpg
  15. kazuma78

    kazuma78 Supporter! Supporter

    Thats a beauty!!
    johnmilton likes this.
  16. kazuma78

    kazuma78 Supporter! Supporter

    Nice chain cent!
  17. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The 1793 Liberty Cap has never been an my list. I have been quite satisfied with a very nice 1794 Head of '94 and a slightly better 1795 plain edge.

    I did see one I liked a couple of years ago. The prices had come down a bit. It was only $150,000. :greedy:
  18. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    This example is the best I could find in 10 years. It might grade MS63 and I really don't want it in my album collection much less my registry set. And I've never even seen a rainbow toned 63-D.

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  19. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    I'm really not sure. Many coins I have I probably dreamed about owning as a kid, but many of those I could have bought sooner than I did had I not been buying other stuff. There are a few "I'll know it when I see it" coins on my want list, and they have to coincide with available funds. A 1571 Scottish sword ryal, a 1607 sixpence, both nice and wholesome. I do want an 1893-S Morgan in VF, but could probably buy one within a week if I decided now is the time. I do want it to be an exceedingly wholesome VF30, though. So sincerely wholesome that if it were a pumpkin patch, the Great Pumpkin would appear.
  20. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    My Wreath Cent is also a Sheldon 11c. These coins were made on poor planchets. My piece has the makings of a lamination, but I think that it will hold together. NGC overgraded it as an AU-50. It is really something like a VF-35.

    1793 Wreath All.jpg

    I believe that this coin was struck around July and August 1793. The copper they had to use was not good. This 1793, C-4 half cent, which was plated in Roger Cohen's half cent book was probably made at about the same time.

    1793  Half Cent Defect flan.jpg
  21. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    Yep, there's two gradings systems when it comes to early ½¢ and 1¢ copper.
    I'm just beginning to learn the EAC system.
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