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A hypothetical question


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I'm sure we've all thought about this:


You pop open a roll of nickels from the bank from a very lucrative box, and out falls the sixth genuine 1913 V nickel, recently liberated from the hoard of an old collector by an ignorant grandson.


You are at your favorite coin shop, and in the $1 junk bin you find an 1870S half dime, placed there presumably by some act of god.


You are testing out your new metal detector and stumble across an old chest containing a small hoard of 1895 Morgan Dollar business strikes.


Deciding to break the bad news to yourself, you cough up a small fee to send the coin in to be confirmed as a phony--but it comes back certified genuine. You are now the proud owner of a coin worth more than your entire salary over the span of two to ten years. Now what?


Do you hold on to it and pass it down as a family heirloom? Do you put down a little extra money to obtain the only *complete* collection in existence? Or do you just sell that puppy for every cent you can squeeze out of it?



And, don't say this isn't possible. After all, the '44-S steel cent, '42-S small S nickel, and presumably one of the 1913 V nickels were all found in circulation.

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Or do you just quietly put the coin away in a safe deposit box and say nothing? There is an infinite dilemma in reporting finds - undo attention to yourself, and also the creation of competition in roll searching. In the past three months of roll searching I have churned up three Indian cents, one Liberty nickel, 15 Buffaloes including a '38-D, fifteen silver war nickels. These are finds that previously I would have thought impossible - for one thing I didn't go through so many coins before. Yesterday I went through 4000 nickels, two boxes, from my credit union. Got skunked for Buffaloes and silver, but did find enough 30s and 40s dated Jeffersons to make it worth the effort. With the Jeffersons I have found a couple of 1950 Philly minted coins - a semi key date and mintmark - not quite as glorious as the 1950-D but still worth the effort.


But back to the hypothetical question - I have on occasion made finds that I did in fact keep under the kippers. :shock:

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Since I have no other coin collectors in my family to pass this treasure to. I would sell it. Cash makes a better pass-down for my family members. College expenses, starting a household, doing some travelling, remaining debt free are all goals that I believe would be worthy uses of such a windfall.

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What if it is something you have no real interest in collecting?


In that case I'd certainly flip it (and get pounded by the IRS) and spend some of the proceeds on stuff I _do_ want to collect.


(There is an urban legend of someone who found a dozen 12 ruble platinum pieces at a pawn shop, for fifty bucks apiece... the proprietor evidently thought they were silver medals or something. Admittedly platinum doesn't show up in such forms so the mistake is understandable but the buyer must have laughed for hours afterwards.)

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