They say that patience is a virtue. As a coin collector, it is required, but many of us struggle with it. Searching for the perfect coin (that may or may not exist), looking for the right “value”, or waiting for a coin to come back from grading or CAC - all of these things require patience. As the hobby continues to expand, waiting takes on a new meaning.
Patience can certainly mean different things to people. Discovering new varieties, chasing coins in auction, waiting for rare coins to come to market, or finding a modern coin that has yet to be graded, these all require patience in one form or another. Frankly, I credit this hobby to my growth when it comes to patience. This doesn’t mean that I’m more patient at home when the kids aren’t ready for school or when I am waiting to hear back on a deal we offered on, but it does mean that I will say no to a coin because it’s not a right fit for the collection or collector. Maybe it's just easier to be patient when I am helping someone else in making a decision rather than my own.
In our hunt for the remaining coins in the Hansen Collection, we’ve often had to exhibit remarkable patience in waiting for a coin to come to market. Sometimes we look at a hole in the set and we have NO idea when the perfect match is going to come available. Sometimes we buy a hole-filler just for the "right" coin to come to market the next week. Then we have two of the same coin and one is a duplicate that doesn’t quite fit the ultimate set. Maybe it shows a lack of patience, but I prefer to look at it as enthusiasm for collecting. Sometimes the upgrade in the collection comes out of nowhere and the coin it replaces was truly special. Just because something nicer comes along doesn’t mean you HAVE to buy it, but sometimes we do and we end up with a really incredible duplicate.
One of these incredible opportunities came up 2 weeks ago when an 1875 $10 came to auction. It took us 3 years to acquire the AU50 that resides in the collection now! There are only 2 finer examples of this issue, and one of the coins (a PCGS AU53) is the one that came to auction. We saw this as an excellent opportunity for a minor upgrade. We paid $360k for the AU50 (That was a record then for a PCGS coin), so our thought process was that the AU53 might jump to $450k, and if for some reason, it jumped to $550k that would be insane. Well, somehow we pushed the coin over 7 figures, and we lost. I hope that the winner truly understands what a special coin that was. Unfortunately, we don’t get the opportunity to see what the AU50 is worth now, but I’ll always prefer that coin in the set just because of the story of how long it took us to acquire one. And it occurred at the last major auction at a show before the pandemic left us at home.
Whatever the case, patience is important in coin collecting and dealing. But it’s not easily acquired. Next time you have grading or CAC submissions that you’re waiting on results, keep in mind that we’re in a hobby that requires patience. And while it’s a virtue, it’s one that I suppose I’ll struggle with until the end of my days.
Don’t forget, we’ll be at the SCNA Show and the Whitman Baltimore Expo next week. If you see any coins on our website that you’d like to see in hand, let us know with a quick reply here. We’re excited to hit the road again and hope to get the opportunity to visit with you somewhere on the east coast next week
P.S. For those of you that asked…I still haven’t come down from the cloud after Saturday’s Tennessee-Alabama game. I had patience for 15 years and the wait was worth it. Go Vols!
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