The difficult task of searching for the highest grades
When NGC awarded my "Gold Colon Coinage, 1897-1928, Circulation Issue" set as one of the Best World Sets for 2015, the judge's comments were that "The grades of this collection are outstanding". By the time of the award, 12 of my 15-coin set were either the highest solitary grade or tied to the highest grade. The difficult task was to work hard to be able to find those 3 missing coins to have a perfect set. One of those coins was an "20 colones 1899" MS 65 in which the NGC census only had one. By coincidence, I saw a friend with 2 spectacular specimens and convince him of sending them to NGC, one came back with the "MS 65" and he sold it to me.
Last week, during the Heritage auction in Chicago, I was able to find the elusive "20 colones 1900" that has been the only coin ever graded as MS 64. I knew of its existence, since I had been an under bidder in a prior auction, but luck had it that 6 years later I would find this coin again in a public auction that would complete my 15-coin set as having all 15 coins as highest grade for each denomination and each year, including 4 different coins as MS 67. This set spans the years 1897-1928.
This is a continuing endeavor, since more collectors are sending their coins to be graded and higher grades will keep coming out. Old collections are expected to be sold in the next years that have magnificent specimens that have never been graded. So, there are challenges ahead, that is the beauty of collecting. I do not know if a higher graded coin will come out next week, next month or 3 months from now, but it is just a matter of time. For the time being, I was able to accomplish the higher grades in all the coins of this set and will keep working to improve it.
I am enclosing a picture of the last coin to be included in this set, the "20 Colones 1900 MS 64".
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