Revenant

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Why our spouses usually shouldn’t buy our collectables…

Entry posted by Revenant · - 329 views

Tomorrow is my 3rd Anniversary with my wife. We decided to exchange gifts yesterday because I wanted to give her an opportunity to use her gift.

She’d been secretive about my present. Lately she’s been getting me mostly practical gifts but we’re practical people. As I’ve transitioned into my 30s and fatherhood, I find I have less and less desire for random stuff in my life. My coin collection is one of the few things in my life these days that falls into a special category of “it’s mostly useless but it makes me happy.”

She’d decided that she didn’t want to get me another practical gift though. She wanted to get me something fun. She also wanted to surprise me and not repeat the arrangement of Christmas where I got the money and I spent it myself (applying it towards that 1877 10G, which we put under the tree).

So she goes hunting and spends I-have-no-idea-how-long looking for a link to an old wish list I had on a currency collecting site and ordered me a raw Zimbabwe 20 Trillion dollar note. She said she wanted to get me a coin, but she had no idea what to get.

She was very excited. I love her to death for the thought and the effort she put into this.

The problem? Well… I already have a graded Zimbabwe 20 Trillion note. A fact that came up when she mentioned maybe having to get it graded so it would go with the others and I was like… “I’m probably not going to grade this.” (and I showed her the one I already had to explain). She was confused because she thought she got something on my list… I had the 20 Billion note on my list, which I still need. It was also a PMG-graded one for about $25-30 depending on grade.

We shared a laugh about it after she was done feeling a bit stupid (but, who can blame her with all those zeros?). We hugged and kissed. We’ll laugh about this for years I’m sure.

The store she bought the note from has a return policy and so she’s going to hopefully return it to try to get most / all of the money back and then we’ll have a discussion about getting something else.

Normally, I would have kept it just for laughs. I truly love that she tried so hard to get me something that I would love for my collection. The problem I have with keeping it is the price she paid. She just got completely taken on this note IMO.

The store she bought it from is the store I bought most of my Zimbabwe note set from. Their prices have historically been quite reasonable, and you can still get many of the Zimbabwe notes from them for reasonable prices, even ones already graded by PMG for barely more than the grading fees. However, since I bought most of my set, someone there seems to have gone a little nuts - particularly on the 4 notes in the trillion set - the 10, 20, 50 and 100 Trillion notes. I’m guessing at some point someone there figured out that those are the four notes that most people want, most people don’t collect the lower denomination notes, and so they could probably get away with up-charging on those four where they couldn’t easily on the others.

Seeing them charge her $60 for a raw bank note that’s as common as these are has, in all honesty, really hurt my opinion / feelings towards the company.

After I showed her a PMG graded note on eBay for $42 she just said, “Oh. I just thought the price was the price.” Nope… This isn’t like buying something off the shelf at Wal-mart. If you don’t do your homework, you’re likely to get taken for all you’re worth and some people will be happy to do it to you.

This all comes after, about a week ago, she realized that I have a massive watch list on eBay with dozens of items that I think would be fun to get but I will never have a budget big enough to get all of them. She told me at the time, a couple of days after she’d already ordered this Zimbabwe note, that I needed to share that with her, so I just wrote my eBay user name and password on an index card and gave it to her. She’d have to buy the item with her own account to hide it from me, but it would point her in the right direction.

I feel like a horrible gift recipient, but she reads me too well and I can’t hide it from her when something’s not quite right. Honestly though it was a conversation that probably needed to happen. I wouldn’t want her to repeat this and keep over-paying for things like what happened here.

Not to brag but I totally hit it out of the park on her gift.

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I agree, it's probably best that your spouse (or any member of your family for that matter) not attempt to acquire a coin or note as a gift.  Even if they somehow manage to pick that perfect item, there's always the issue of eye appeal.  That said, books, supplies or tools of the trade can be pretty nice it you've specified your interests in something like an Amazon wish list.  My daughter got me a numismatic book one Christmas and a digital microscope the next year.  Those both worked out quite well.

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9 hours ago, coin928 said:

Even if they somehow manage to pick that perfect item, there's always the issue of eye appeal.

With more classic coins I agree with you. I collect a fair number of modern series that are pretty generic. You don't have to worry too much about eye-appeal with an MS70 or MS69 bullion issue and those do make up a solid chunk of my collection.

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Revenant I sympathise with your situation, my wife gave up buying coins decades ago and decided that coin books, as coin928 has suggested, was a safer bet (though from a provided list). Even these are getting expensive so a gift now tends to be a crate of world beers, with the surprise element being what oddities has she managed to find this time. As I still buy the book I can enjoy both at the same time!

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23 hours ago, coin928 said:

That said, books, supplies or tools of the trade can be pretty nice it you've specified your interests in something like an Amazon wish list.

 

9 hours ago, ColonialCoinsUK said:

decided that coin books, as coin928 has suggested, was a safer bet (though from a provided list). Even these are getting expensive so a gift now...

Yeah, I agree - coin books are fun. It's a shame that they are so expensive sometimes. I really need to get more of them as time goes on but it can be hard enough just to fund the hobby and I haven't gotten to do much collecting the last 10 years or so, so the coin book buying has really suffered. lol

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Zimbabwe notes were just a fad at one time, African Gold Coins have some pretty Low mintage and are big earners. 

I've taken the time to explain to my Loved ones what not to do..I enjoyed your post, you have a positive attitude and an understanding heart when it comes to your wife.... peace

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Hey Revenant......

I can see how this could be a problem for many of us.  However, it's not a problem in my house.....my fiancee is a collector too!  We collect different coins and notes (she focuses on British coins and currency where I collect Ottoman and early East German coins, coins with birds and other dinosaurs on them and currency from pretty much anywhere), but we know enough about what the other one collects to effectively buy gifts for one another.  In fact, my fiancee has given me the coins to start my favorite projects.  She bought my my very first Ottoman 20 Para and she also bought me several of the coins that started my Avians:The Dinosaurs Among US Custom Set (now that I think about it, she started me on the sets that gave me both of my big wins here.....she needs to start me on more projects!)  In looking at this thread, I realize that we have a pretty rare household in this regard.  But I'm sorry to hear that she was taken advantage of with the price of the note she bought you......you really have to watch some sellers.  But the advice of books and supplies for gifts from loved ones is good advice. 

 

Edited by Mohawk

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Not to brag but I totally hit it out of the park on her gift.

I wonder what her blog said about that? xD

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8 hours ago, Mohawk said:

Hey Revenant......

I can see how this could be a problem for many of us.  However, it's not a problem in my house.....my fiancee is a collector too!  

 

lol Oh, I know! A previous comment you'd made is one of the main reasons why I stuck the word "usually" into the title of this post. 

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7 hours ago, jgenn said:

I wonder what her blog said about that? xD

lol Well, she doesn't have a blog, and she doesn't blog. She has Facebook groups for expectant mothers, but no blog.

I showed her this entry before it was posted. She got a laugh out of it and told me to post it, but she's been wanting to know what all the comments on it have been. I told her about your comment and she said that she freely admits that I knocked it out of the park.

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43 minutes ago, CaptBrian said:

Very curious.  What grade is your 77 $10?  

I don't own an 1877 (US) $10 coin. The coin I referred to is my 1877 Netherlands Wilhelm III 10 Guilden (10G) coin, which is graded MS65. 

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1 hour ago, Revenant said:

I don't own an 1877 (US) $10 coin. The coin I referred to is my 1877 Netherlands Wilhelm III 10 Guilden (10G) coin, which is graded MS65. 

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That's a very nice coin Revenant, far, far nicer than any 1877 US $10 would be in my opinion (I despise Liberty Head gold of all denominations)  Thanks for sharing that!

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I have no problem with that my wife hates coins. She even brought home change which I always check. I see the sheets on a cent turn it over great shape showed my wife the Deluxe Red Hook and told her this will gradebhigh. The return might be worth it. They only made 866000  that's right a 1931 S in great condition. Someone had to break a set. She said so what. In said you won't be saying that when I go to that vault in the sky. Then she will love them thanks Mike.

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4 hours ago, MIKE BYRNE said:

I have no problem with that my wife hates coins. She even brought home change which I always check. I see the sheets on a cent turn it over great shape showed my wife the Deluxe Red Hook and told her this will gradebhigh. The return might be worth it. They only made 866000  that's right a 1931 S in great condition. Someone had to break a set. She said so what. In said you won't be saying that when I go to that vault in the sky. Then she will love them thanks Mike.

My wife also has no interest in my coins-but I still try to sneak in some show and tell.

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