We’ve had a fair bit of discussion in the boards lately on phantom sets, ghost sets, inactive sets, and sets with coins that a person no longer owns or never owned or what have you. It’s all a bit cloak and dagger for me. But the discussion did remind me of something that happened to me about 5 years ago.
I got a notification from NGC that someone else had tried to register a penny that I had registered in one of my sets.
I immediately started getting indignant and bent out shape because “how dare this person try to register my coin in their set because I clearly still own it and blah blah…”
Fortunately, for me, I had the idea to get the coin out of the box and look at it before saying or doing anything.
The coin(s) were bought from a dealer that had submitted a bunch of cents on one invoice. I think they’d even submitted a bunch of this date and mint mark – maybe even a full BU roll. When I bought my coin and registered it to my account, I got one digit of the certification number – part of the 3-digit section that is specific to the coin, not the 7-digit invoice number – wrong.
It happened that, in this case, the coin that had that certification number had the same date, mint mark and grade as the one I’d bought. So when I made that mistake the system accepted the cert#, the coin went into the slot in the set that I was trying to put it in, and I never noticed anything was wrong – until some other registry member tried to register that coin!
When I saw what I’d done I – rather sheepishly – released the certification number to the person asking for it and added in the coin that I actually had – double checking the certification number a little more closely this time.
Looking back on this 5 years later I’m happy to share it and less embarrassed by it because I fortunately took the time to check again and see what was going on before saying or doing anything stupid.
Ultimately, this is a pretty harmless example. I did own a coin of that type in that grade. I was never claiming anything that wasn’t true – I’d just entered the wrong number. But it’s still a funny story and something to think about, I think.