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What was your stupidest coin purchase?


JayAg47
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I was rearranging my collection and saw this West Point quarter (War in the Pacific) after years! I bought this from ebay back in 2019 when these coins first came out, and with shipping and taxes I paid more than $50 for it, and it's not even unc (probably a coin roll find), my reasoning were the low mintage and I was also putting together an American type set.

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Do I regret buying this coin, no! but I do feel silly now looking at the prices and makes me not to buy coins in a haste.

So what's your stupid/silly purchases? not just American coinage, but also ancient and any other modern ones.

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Three or four times I have managed to buy a coin type that I already have. This happend usually when I watch live online auctions.

e.g. this:

 

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C. POSTUMIUS
Denarius, 74 BC, Rome
Obv.: Bust of Diana right, bow and quiver over shoulder.
Rev.: Hound running right, spear below, C. POSTVMI/TA ligate
Ref.: Crawford 394/1a, Sydenham 785.

 

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My usually carefully-catalogued system of what I have v what I need ("need" ha, more like want) broke down recently when an uncommon Sicilian tet was  listed for auction. The auction listing was weeks before the sale and then another coin of the same type came up and I stupidly  bid on it too, having  forgotten I'd actually placed an early  bid on the first.  Both were  low-grade and of course I won both. 

So now I have twins of a  previously obscure and low grade coin that has  gone from  being  my heart's desire  to  making me feel an idiot. 

Oh and  of course another 2  have come up for sale since then.

Like London buses... 

And at lower prices  of course!

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m0089_cns_ae_bronze_hieron_ii_syracusae.png.7630c893e460b60aeb72e605dfae6609.png

My most self-inflicted stupid purchase was this Hieron II coin. The description correctly stated (modern) electrotype coin. I read the description too quickly as (ancient) electron coin. When the auction was over and I was sorting my winnings, I noticed the error. Bad luck. But one learns from mistakes. At least most of the time ... 🙂 

 

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I managed to avoid very bad purchases with one exception. 
For me a very bad purchase is a coin that I don't need (either outside my area, I already have it, extremely bad condition even for my indulgent tastes) - if it is also expensive, well, this is a full option very bad purchase. 
I bought some coins and I felt remorse after. This was because the coins were a little too worn to be liked. But usually they were cheap so not a disaster. But I still feel a little annoyed when I realize, without doubt, that instead of paying 30 euros for a low end common coin, I could have waited and pay 60 for a decent one. 

On 2 occasions I bought 2 coins from auctions, by mistake. Once because I hit Bid on my phone when trying to minimize the auction window. Second, because I was not paying attention and I saw a coin without bids so I happily pressed bid to get it at the starting price. I did. Starting price was 100 euros, not 10. But both coins were in my area and the prices were good in the end. 

The exception - about 7 years ago I was at a small numismatic show. More like an antiques show, most of the objects being junk. Just 4-5 sellers with coins, but also mainly cheap coins. I noticed a worn, corroded, bronze modern coin (condition - G). The luminosity was poor and after quickly checking the coin, I was under the impression it's a very rare coin from 1881. This type is extremely rare and even in G it's collectable. 

I paid the price the seller asked (bargain for 1881) and literally ran. Outside I noticed it's in fact 1882. 1882 is a very common year and clearly not collectable in G.
I was too ashamed to return to the seller. 

At least the story had a happy end. After 5 years I managed to grab the 1881 coin from a friend who sold it to me at a very low price. In a weak VF, but this is very satisfying for a rarity. 

Edited by ambr0zie
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This may be tricky because I do not have the coin today.  When I started to collect Greek coins prior to the advent of the internet I became enamored with the drachms of Istros. One that looked a bit like this 

Drachm of Istros 340/330 -313 BC Obv Two heads the right inverted RV Sea Eagle carrying off dolphin left HGC 1801 18 mm 5.8 grms THIS IS NO LONGER MY COIN133904817_Xistrus1.jpg.3abb17a987132ce64a070ac71eb8e1e0.jpg

For years I wanted one but everyone I saw had issues. One of the two heads were not struck up. Then one day I walked into a coin shop and saw one that looked a lot like the one pictured above. The trouble was that it was about the same price as one of these, 

Sabina Ar Denarius 128 AD. Obv Bust right draped wearing elaborate hair do Rv Vesta seated left holding Victory in outstretched hand, RIC 498 RIC II/3 2483 3,21 grms 20 mm Photo by W. Hansensabina7.jpg.bc2ddf43d470733f928756c0284836c1.jpg

THIS IS NOT THAT COIN. I BOUGHT THIS ONE LATER. I could only afford the one so I bought the Istros. I had hoped that I would be able to pick up the Sabina at some future date but that coin was immediately snapped up by another collector. Big error. This was done before the collapse of the Com Bloc and thus was before Istros drachms started flooding the market. The price for those coins tanked and when I eventually sold it I took a bath. Eventually I did buy this denarius of Sabina at a lot more than I would have paid for the other one. I have made plenty of dumb decisions over the years and I suspect that I am fated to do so in the future. However this is the one that still rankles. 

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This website doesn't have the capacity to post all the stupid coin purchases I've made 🤔, but I'll post one that's been posted before. I bought the coin pictured below almost 60 years ago when I was a teenager, from a local coin dealer for $15, ($15 was a lot of money 60 years ago 😏). About a decade later I learned the coin was a pressed lead fake of a Geta denarius 😠. In 2001 I saw the coin pictured in Wayne Sayles' book Classical Deception, & learned it was made by a well known forger in NYC, Peter Rosa, who was selling them for $3 each.

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I can't recall any 'stupid' purchases.  There were a handful I later modestly regretted, because they were ugly.  There were also some missed opportunities.

A missed opportunity came up in around 2010.  The downtown shop has a small selection of ancients and that particular day I had a hard choice.   I had to choose between two nice coins; a late republican denarius, the camel type of the 50s BC, and a Ptolemaic coin which I've never been able to quite duplicate.  The Ptolemaic one was perhaps in the low 30s mm. size range but what made it was different was its thickness (the thickest coin I've ever seen) and the beveled obverse.  I would have ended up regretting missing out on one or the other.

I did purchase a pretty close Ptolemaic coin from Forum.  Annoyingly, I can't find the listing.  Nothing turns up in the My Forum purchases, although I did come across a Cassius which I must have forgotten about. 

 

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7 minutes ago, maridvnvm said:

I bought a coin from Highrating_Lowprice at his asking price.

😱
That is quite funny, though. It's a story you can tell your grandchildren.

I've bought a few coins that were mis-attributed and I didn't check carefully until afterwards. Luckily, it seems everyone else had done their homework, because I didn't pay over the odds for them when correctly described, and I've been able to sell them at break even. Now I check more than once.

I bought a duplicate of a coin once, a few seconds after I bought the first. The coins looked very similar and I thought I was still bidding on the first, when I bid on the second. I won them both for the same price. Fortunately, it was a $50 coin. I don't get on with auctions in that format - where you have to click 'bid' multiple times. If there's a lag you suddenly find the current bid is much higher than you thought it was, but you've already pressed 'bid'.

I bought this coin by mistake. I was about to go to bed so I was bidding on my phone, and I just won the coin I wanted. I woke the next morning to find I'd somehow also bought this coin while turning off my phone. Luckily, it was a cheap coin, not an Eid Mar.


Victoria Sixpence, 1897
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London. Silver, 19mm, 2.82g. Head 5, veiled and draped; VICTORIA DEI GRA BRITT REGINA FID DEF IND IMP. SIX PENCE within wreath, crown (redesigned) above, date below (S 3941).

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