My new $20.95, TOP POP coin… Patience Pays Off?

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Revenant

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Well, I just ordered what will be a companion piece to my Zimbabwe note set / the first coin in a related project – I haven’t decided yet.

The coin is a 1980 Zimbabwe 10 Cent piece, graded MS65 by NGC. The coin happens to be TOP POP. I say “happens to be” because it also happens to be the only one of its kind graded by NGC – hard NOT to be top pop at that point. Anyway… MS65 is a decent, Gem BU, grade.

I saw this coin come up months ago on eBay and seriously considered buying it, but I just couldn’t convince myself to go for it for about $35. I was trying hard to focus on building out the note set instead, and I just wasn’t convinced that it was worth that. So, I didn’t go for it.

I saw it again Wednesday and saw that the seller had brought it down to $23.45 + $2.95 shipping. That was more interesting to me, but – more interesting still – they had a “Best Offer” option still. I added it to my watch list. It had 18 days left on the clock. I figured I’d wait a while longer and, if it was still there at the end of the month, offer the seller $20 + shipping and see if they’d take it.

I woke up Thursday morning and the seller had sent me a private offer for it for $20 + shipping. I seriously considered just taking it at that point, feeling rather amused. But, if they’re making an offer like that, I have to assume at that point that they really just want it gone, and if they’re willing to take that, they may go lower. So, I offered $18 + shipping and they accepted it less than an hour later.

I had a problem with the idea of paying $35 for it, but I’m happy with $20.95.

I’ve been thinking for a while that it might be fun to expand the Zimbabwe set to include some of the coins. This will be a first step on that path. I’m not sure if I’m really willing / interested in pursuing that right now, but for $21 I’ll make an impulse buy and lay a foundation.

All that said, I can’t help but laugh about it being TOP POP – for now. I always see merchants trying to hype up when a coin is the highest of the only one graded, trying to make the things sound rare, when really they just usually don’t get graded, while the seller is asking a silly-high price for it.

Sometimes TOP POP means a lot less than you might think.

I had a similar situation go down a while ago with a P-1c note for this set. The seller had been asking $40 for it after shipping for months and it hadn’t sold. They sent me an offer to come down to about $32-35. I offered them $29.50 for it, shipped, and they took it.

The prices on the Zimbabwe notes have come down considerably in the last 5 years and I don’t necessarily expect them to recover any time soon. A big part of building this set / collection has involved waiting until I could get the pieces for prices that were low enough that I don’t have to feel too bad if I can’t sell them for much or if I lose most / all of the money I put into the set when and if I ever sell.

I’ve been working hard to build up this set this year in part because I don’t see the prices going much lower from here – I’ve been getting plenty of these notes, already graded, for $8 - 15. I could always be wrong – they can always go lower if it isn’t $0.00, but at least at these prices I feel like I don’t have to care and it can be a spending of “fun money” and wasteful spending on a hobby without regard for future value.

 

I'd had a completely empty "place holder" set on my registry, just to let me look at what the competitive category for these looked like, and I've deleted that. I'll make it / re-make it when this coin arrives and try to build it into something more than an empty place holder. Now that this set / project is going to have coins and notes in it, I unfortunately don't know that I'll be able to show all of it in one place - it's going to have to be split between both sides of CCG's house, unless I can get some extra certification numbers for notes and use those "dummy" certs to show the coins with the notes in the notes signature set. I guess we'll see there.

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Congrats Revenant!  A top pop is a top pop no matter what kind of coin.  I don't think I've read a journal about it, what got you into collecting the Zimbabwe coins and currency?

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10 cents! This must have been long before hyperinflation! It will make for an interesting narrative when you get around to writing it up. Otherwise at the price you got it, you just cant go wrong. You drive a hard bargain!

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30 minutes ago, Naked Angel said:

Congrats Revenant!  A top pop is a top pop no matter what kind of coin.  I don't think I've read a journal about it, what got you into collecting the Zimbabwe coins and currency?

Well, I was coming back to coin collecting around 2006 / 2007 during the run-up to the worst part of the hyperinflation (2008). That (collecting silver coins) lead me to sites about Austrian economic theory and lots of articles about the Zimbabwean hyperinflation, and that really captured my imagination and attention at the time. 10 years later it still fascinates me.

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17 minutes ago, gherrmann44 said:

10 cents! This must have been long before hyperinflation! It will make for an interesting narrative when you get around to writing it up. Otherwise at the price you got it, you just cant go wrong. You drive a hard bargain!

The zimbabwean dollar experienced double digit annual inflation almost from the time it was created. The top just blew off 10 years ago. But, when this coin was made, it was about on par with an American dime.

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