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What is the most expensive coin or note you've ever held in your own hands?


thedeadpoint
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I was inspired to make this thread by bill, who in another thread said he's held some of the biggest American rarities in his own hands.

 

What is the most expensive coin or banknote you've ever had the chance to hold?

 

You may have been at an auction lot viewing or in the backrooms of a museum or maybe at a friends house. Slabbed coins and notes count, too!

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Probably a collection of Anglo Saxon owned by a metal detectorist that I know, he hasn't sold anything that he has found over the 20-25 years he has done it.

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The most expensive, or the rarest?

 

The most expensive was a Russian 1902 gold 37-1/2 rouble donative coin viewing the auction lots of a UBS auction two or three years ago. (NO, I didn't buy it! :ninja: )

 

Only about 220 of these things were struck -- weighing exactly 1 oz. of gold, Tsar Nicholas II gave them to visiting dignitaries as souvenirs. There is speculation that they might have been originally intended as bullion for foreign payments (which might be why there are two denominations on the coin -- 37-1/2 roubles and 100 Francs). Today, they show up surprisingly often at auctions but usually sell for around $80,000 and up.

 

Here's one from the upcoming Chaponnière/Hess-Divo auction:

image00964.jpg

 

The rarest might be a 1903 Russian 50 kopeck piece viewing the lots for the NY Sale of 2005 or 2006, I forget which. It was in a NGC slab. Only 19 pieces were struck, if the references are to be believed, but there must be more around than that number because these also turn up regularly at auctions. Prices usually aren't as high as for the gold donative coins, though -- they usually sell for something on the order of $10,000 - $15,000.

 

Used to be that Dmitry Markov would have his lots sent to Europe for photography work to make the catalog, and presumably to give European buyers a chance to view the lots in person. Dr. Hans Voegtli in Basel would organize the coins' trips to and from Europe. Living in Zurich, it was easy to hop on the train and spend an hour or so looking at the coins in his office (especially since Dr. Voegtli is one of the nicest, most accommodating people I have ever met). Unfortunately, he stopped doing that last year. ;) I wonder if the cost of insurance got too high?

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For me it would be when I did some volunteer work in a museum some years ago and I got to look through the Roman gold collection. There were about 6 trays of gold from Republican aurei through most emperors into the time of the solidus issued in the Eastern Empire centuries after the fall of the Western Empire. From memory each tray held about 40 coins. The most striking thing about the whole collection was not that some of the coins were rare in their own right but the fact that almost every one was in grades approaching UNC with mint lustre. I guess if you were to add up the value of all of them you could hit about $1m.

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A 1737 Higly copper three pence, three hammer Connecticvt about in fine. One of the dealers I used to go to had it. (He's retired now, still see him at coin shows. I think he still pocket sells, trades.)

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The most expensive, or the rarest?

 

We already have a few threads about the rarest coins we own. Most of us seem to have a unique or very rare coin in our collection. "Expensive" is a much more objective descriptor.

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no idea. i tent to not pick up anything thats out of my price range, so probably the few scarcer pieces i own myself.

well actually doing the research, one of my latest buys BLOWS my other stuff away

980004.jpg

bought for 10p

500,738 mintage

http://www.numishop.com/boutique1.php?bout...d=&tri=prix

of all the coins i own or handled NOTHING is anywhere near 145-170 euros

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A few years back at the big Houston TX coin show I got to hold a 1795 flowing hair dollar.

My wife was holding an AU early 1800's Draped Bust dollar and she was raving about much prettier it was than the flowing hair dollar.

All I could do was stammer back, "But, but, it's...you just don't understand."

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Mainly stuff at work both before and since I have worked there.

 

Several years ago the boss had three 1856 Flying Eagle Cents and a few high grade 55ddo Lincolns.

 

Ihave a friend that has an AU55 93-S Morgan that's not too cheap.

 

In the past year or so I guess the best was a Proof65 1881 Trade Dollar and a complete set of Standing Liberty Quarters.

 

Saturday I had a VF35 ddo 55 Lincoln in my mitts.

 

Nothing outrageously expensive but coins I don't see everyday.

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As noted at the beginning of this thread, mine was the Garrett collection. A friend and I made the trip to Bowers and Ruddy and examined every lot over the course of the day. The rarest pieces were in lucite holders, but you still got to hold them in your hand and examine the pieces closely. I never pass up an opportunity to examine a rare coin and I encourage the younger members here to take the opportunity when it presents itself. It is a real thrill and don't be shy about getting into line to look. Your excitement contributes to the allure of the coin and therefore its price when you do so. Both you and the dealer profit from your interaction. I have never had a dealer tell me I couldn't look at a coin that I asked to see up close, even when they knew I couldn't afford to buy. I also pay attention and don't take up their time when they do have a paying customer with a bigger checkbook than mine, although those collectors (with the fat wallets) are generally equally generous with their time and enjoy a good conversation with a fellow collector regardless of the disparity in budgets.

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My father was a policeman for about 10 years before my mom asked him to decide between the badge and gun or her and the kids.

 

Happily he chose us.

 

He went to college at NYU at night, earned a degree in business and became a banker. One day the bank was robbed and using his old cop skills he tackled the robber and pretty much said, "Go ahead, make my day..."

 

The bank gave him a $5000 bonus which was a fortune back in the 1960's if you were middle class.

 

He put the $5000 into our house. One night he came home and said to me "Come and look at this." And showed me two $1000 bills.

 

My eyes were as big as saucers. ;)

 

Also before the internet and eBay I used to attend all sorts of coin and currency auctions and shows in the New York City area. As I was single, footloose and fancy free I had the spare time to attend and see and touch all kinds of rare banknotes (#1 Nationals, Educationals, etc...) and rare coins. Some of them sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

 

Those were the days... :ninja:

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Held in my own hands....oi. I would say it is likely a F-Vf 1795 flowing hair dollar when I was a little kid.

 

My local dealer had 3 coins he only showed to the regulars...a 1795 flowing hair dollar, 1796 draped bust small eagle dollar, and an 1802/1 draped bust heraldic eagle dollar. When I was in 10th grade or so I purchased the 1802/1, sadly I hadn't actively been purchasing for quite some time during those years and lost out on the other two.

 

Otherwise it may have been a Pf-66 seated liberty half dime...I forget the year, not too uncommon, but pricey.

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