Well, when I made the last entry I was really leaning towards the MS66. By the time I went to bed on Saturday I had pretty much convinced myself that the MS66 was the way to go and that I should bid aggressively to make sure I got that coin.
So then why am I writing this, saying that I bid on and won the MS65 tonight and why am I so stinkin’ happy about it that my wife is snickering about it at my expense?
Well, my basis for thinking that the MS66 was the way to go was thinking it looked better in the pictures. But that’s in the pictures. The person that took photos of the MS66 seems to have known what they were doing. The lighting and everything else about the pictures of the MS65 is comparatively lousy, and I think the coin probably looks just fine in person. That undermined the rationale for going with the MS66 for me.
Sunday night I was running some back-ups of personal files and cleaning up some old things that I don’t want or need to keep anymore. In the course of this I found my last “family photo” of the 6 coins I had, including the three in the old fatty holders (the 1876, 1879, and 1887). This really got me thinking again about how that MS65 would fit with the rest of my existing set. This also got me thinking again about the fact that some of the serial numbers were the same out to three digits and it got me wondering just how similar they were, so I pulled them out and looked.
The serial numbers for the coins in the fatties are:
… And there you have it. That coin’s invoice number had 5 digits in common with my 1876 and 4 digits in common with my 1879. There’s only a difference of 4 between two of the invoice #s and a span of less than 30 for all three of them. There’s a very good chance to my mind that the 1876 and 1877 were at NGC together getting graded at the same time, and maybe the 1879 too, maybe 15 or 20 years ago (I don’t know exactly when that holder and those numbers were in use – maybe others would know better?).
I may never know what that story is, but I have to think there’s a story there and a shared history. That’s something I just can’t pass up. I just love the thought of that and the possibilities. I told my wife about this. She just laughed and said, “you are such a coin collector.” The MS66, in a current gen holder, was probably graded in the last 6-12 months, and it just isn't part of that same story. In the context of the set, that’s worth a lot.
Initially I’d been thinking that the MS65 should go for less than $300, but I could see chasing it up to $325. After I saw all of this and got thinking about it, I fell in love with the idea that I decided I was willing to pay up to $350 just to get to bring the three coins, bought at different times, I think from 3 different merchants, back together. It turns out my prior research and watching of the market was about right in the first place I won the coin at $290.