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Baltimore show report


syzygy
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This Saturday I went to the Baltimore show. With about three-four hours to spend, I was focused on one primary goal – that of acquiring a US, 1981-S Type II SBA dollar. For those of you who do not know, two different mint marks were used on proof versions in 1981. The type II 1981-S is the most expensive coin in the entire series and it is the last one I need. I have been checking these out for a while now and actively scouting for the last four months or so. In general, I was looking for a lower grade, respectable-TPG slabbed coin and one under $200. You will see PF 67-68 go on the Bay for $175-$225. Local dealers, if they have them, want more (in my experience) and the PCGS price guide is out of whack (in my opinion). A typical magazine list price is PF65 for $230.

 

I am not crazy about buying proofs from a picture, even if they are slabbed. Without being able to tilt the coin and really see the surface, it is more difficult than usual to evaluate what you are getting. You would be surprised how many dealers did not have any at the show. Eventually, I found a dealer with two PCGS PF68s for $220 each. One coin was nicer than the other, but even that one was not as good-looking as I hoped. I would have offered $180 (and probably been told to move on) but I kept looking. I ran into a couple of “smart-ass” dealers…one, in response to my query, pulled out his pocket change and looked – then said, nope, “not this time” (all those out-of-work comedians and this Bubba is trying to tell jokes) :ninja:. A second one said (rather unconvincingly) that he *just* sold his last one. So I engaged him and said, “may I ask what it went for?” He responded that it was a PCGS DC PF 67 and it went for $300. I, playing along, said “WOW, I didn’t think they were that expensive”, to which he responds "they’re Bid/Ask blah blah blah!" (reference to the Grey sheet and also coin dealer-speak for – “boy I wish I were a stock broker”). I reply, “Really? I was just looking at two PCGS DC PF 68s for $220”. He says “what??”, “PCGS??” [me] “yeah”, “Deep Cameo??”, [me] “yeah”, “$220??” [me] “yeah”. At this point I was baiting him to offer to buy them for $240 but instead he says “you better pick up on that before the dealer realizes what he is doing” [me] “ok, see ya”.

 

OK, I usually don’t bother with that sort of thing, but I was getting frustrated and a little annoyed at being told what I knew (from doing my homework) was not really an accurate representation of the issue.

 

So finally, I find a dealer that has *five* of them! Three NGC PF69, UC, one PCGS PF67 DC and one ANACS PF66 (can’t remember the cameo designation if it had one). His prices were $180 for the PF66 or PF67 and $195 for the PF69s. The ANACS, frankly, looked awful as it was very cloudy. The PCGS PF67 looked ok and very similar to the PF68s I mentioned earlier. I would have purchased one, but the NGC PF69s clearly looked better than the rest. So, that’s what I got – a coin I wanted at the right price! It’s posted here LINK. The pic was shot through a pin hole and it really does not do the coin justice.

 

Having spent nearly two hours hunting down the SBA, I had some time left, so I went to fill some holes in my Lincoln album. Picked up a well-traveled 1912-S and *eight* modern proofs – posted here LINK. I also picked up a really nice looking proof 1966 Lincoln posted here LINK [edited - it's unc not proof - had proofs on my mind]. I don’t really need the coin, but at 50 cents, I *had* to buy it (sometimes junk boxes are great)!

 

I still had some time, so I engaged in my favorite “loose” collecting themes: large hunks of silver, coins from Italy that strike my fancy, and late Roman Empire bronzes.

 

So, I picked up a 25 peso Mexican KM479.1 shown here LINK and a 1966 Bahamian dollar with a simply outstanding sea shell that you can see here LINK.

 

I picked up three coins from Italy posted here LINK. One of which I already had, but the price was so low ($2.00) and I like the design so much that I got another. The two others are outstanding examples, in my opinion, and very reasonably priced.

 

I did not get an ancient during this show. I didn’t see some of the dealers that I am used to seeing there and I was running out of steam and time. I did see an interesting tray of counterfeits (and marked as such). The denari were all casts and I could easily tell that they were fakes. There was a bronze follis with lettering that looked like an odd “font”, for lack of a better description, but otherwise, I am not sure I would have been able to tell it was fake (somewhat disturbing). I asked about it and the dealer said he could tell by weight – I’m not sure I buy that explanation but maybe the weight was way off.

 

So, all-in-all, this show was pretty well-focused for me and very productive.

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Awesome job there! I had a very similar time on Friday. It was the shortest I've ever stayed at the show. I was in and out in less than 45 minutes. I knew exactly what I wanted and it broke my budget. But at least I got it! It was the first time I didn't scope every table for better deals because I knew I wouldn't find another note like her.

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Great report!

 

That is one awesome SBA you got there. Good thing you waited. :ninja:

 

To that dealer who pulled out his pocket change, I would have said "hang on, I think I can counter your offer with my pocket change"......as you give him the ol' one finger salute.

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Great Report!! I haven't been to a show in a while, and now I have a craving to find one...I agree with Burks, what a jerk. I don't know why some dealers act so unprofessionally. It seems very counterproductive on their part and his joke really wasn't that funny. Dealers like that turn people away from this hobby, and I find that disturbing.

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Great Report!! I haven't been to a show in a while, and now I have a craving to find one...I agree with Burks, what a jerk. I don't know why some dealers act so unprofessionally. It seems very counterproductive on their part and his joke really wasn't that funny. Dealers like that turn people away from this hobby, and I find that disturbing.

 

I hope you get back to checking out the shows - I think you can sometimes find the best deals that way. Even if you don't, you get to see sooooooo many nice coins!

 

As for that dealer - he was just busting chops :ninja:

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I ran into a couple of “smart-ass” dealers…one, in response to my query, pulled out his pocket change and looked – then said, nope, “not this time” (all those out-of-work comedians and this Bubba is trying to tell jokes) ;).

 

Care to name names? :ninja: I want to put him on my sneer list.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm going to try and make it to the next Baltimore show at the end of June. My wife and i are going to a conference in DC around that time and Ii'm going to make a side trip when she is in the conference :ninja:

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I'm going to try and make it to the next Baltimore show at the end of June. My wife and i are going to a conference in DC around that time and Ii'm going to make a side trip when she is in the conference :ninja:

 

Darn you, Brett! I was trying to find a weekend to come home during internship this summer. If the Baltimore show is happening then I think I've found my weekend! Why is that bad?? less time with the family as weell as less $$!

 

I made a special trip home during fall semester just to go to the Fall show! I am addicted!

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Grrr... that's the perfect weekend to go home for other reasons too! My parents won't like having to spend money for a plane ticket home when I'll be losing more money 3 hours away!

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