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Lot 499, Hess-Divo 306


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About one month ago I went down to their place of business to look at this lot of 50 kopeek coins -- since I am working on a set of Nicholas II poltinas by date and MM (well, maybe except for 1903 I will someday make it ;) ), I was particularly interested in this lot.


There was a mistake in the catalog; there were actually 9 coins and not 8. There were three coins from before Nicholas II: 1855, an 1876 and an 1877. According to the catalog, there was red ink grafitti on the 1876: well, it was actually on the 1877, which is a much more common coin. However, the 1876 only grades VF-30 or so. This was not mentioned during the auction, although I pointed it out to them when I looked at the coins. It is possible that the bidding would have gone even higher if this had been publicly announced.


The 1877 coin would grade about XF-45 were it not for the red ink. All of the other coins (except for 1876 in VF-30) were AU or better. The prize of the lot, the 1902 coin, in my opinion, was actually an impaired proof. I am still not convinced that it didn't have a thin coating of lacquer, although Mr. Künker from Hess-Divo assured me that it was just patina after examining it under a microscope. He also agreed that it was probably a proof, but since it was too far gone, couldn't be advertised as such (?!? :ninja: ).


As to the rest:


1855 - quite a little gem, prooflike IMHO

1909 - heavy patina, some rim dings

1910 - noticeable rim dings

1912 - some small scratches

1913 (B.C) - rim dings

1914 - probably the 1st obverse variety (narrow rim)


It was difficult trying to decide what a fair price for these would be, especially given the tenuous "proof or not" status of the 1902. I was actually only interested in the 1902 and the 1909, since I don't really collect the pre-Nicholas II coins, and I have nice examples of all but those two. I am actually rather angry that they didn't decide to split the lot up, or at least auction the 1902 separately. ;) Might have saved me from having to sit through the entire auction!


If anyone reading this forum has seen this lot in person, I would be very interested to have your opinion! ;)

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