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It's a good idea to be specific when having someone bid for you - good old story from PCGS CoinFacts

WinLoseWinWinLoseWin Posts: 1,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 10, 2022 6:07PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Does anyone have any other good or horrifying stories?

Found this on PCGS CoinFacts under the 1845-D Half Eagle down below the census. It was down in the section written by Doug Winter.



"...PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: The Bass/Norweb 1845-D half eagle is the finest known and it set a record price for a Dahlonega gold coin in the 1987 Norweb sale when it brought $66,000. It has an interesting story behind it. Jack Hancock badly wanted to buy the coin for a client but was scheduled to be in Hawaii on vacation during the Norweb sale. So he instructed a well-known New York dealer who was attending the auction to buy the coin.

Mike Brownlee was basically given the same instruction by Harry Bass and a fierce bidding war broke out. The New York dealer finally quit when it occurred to him that, perhaps, he was stretching a bit more than Jack would have liked. When Jack phoned him after the sale and asked what the 1845-D half eagle brought, he went silent for a number of minutes. He hadn’t wanted to bid more than $30,000 and readily expected to own the coin at that level. Thus, the record price was the result of two stubborn bidders; one of whom, as it turned out, would have dropped out much earlier if he had actually been at the auction. ..."

Imagine the look on that guys face during the silence. Always wondered why it brought so much at the time. Auctioned in 1999 and 2004 for a lower price. It wasn't until 2006 that it topped its 1987 auction price.

"To Be Esteemed Be Useful" - 1792 Birch Cent --- "I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain." - Lily Tomlin


  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have seen bidding wars in real life.... Not on coins, but specialty items as well. It is amazing to watch when the testosterone takes over..... Reason leaves the brain and ego rules. Cheers, RickO

  • seanqseanq Posts: 8,531 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 11, 2022 7:05AM

    The owner of the company I worked for long ago was a big time collector of early American furniture and folk art. He told us about a Sotheby's auction for weather vanes where most examples sold in the $5K to $50K range, but one in particular was hotly contested by two bidders with bottomless pockets and ended up hammering for $5.8 million.

    Found a link to an article about it

    Sean Reynolds

    Incomplete planchets wanted, especially Lincoln Cents & type coins.

    "Keep in mind that most of what passes as numismatic information is no more than tested opinion at best, and marketing blather at worst. However, I try to choose my words carefully, since I know that you guys are always watching." - Joe O'Connor
  • WinLoseWinWinLoseWin Posts: 1,440 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Found that I already had that weather vane story marked. Wonder what they are worth now. A lot of things on Antiques Roadshow had gone down in the past 10 to 20 years when they did update shows. Maybe some has started to go up like coins in the past couple of years. Have not watched for awhile.
    As far as bidding errors, I once put an extra zero on a lot just bordering on the 4 figure level making my potential bid at the 5 figure level. It was a timed online auction with under an hour to go. When I put the bid in, it immediately went to more than $100 higher than I intended to bid. I realized then what I must have done.

    I called to see if they could change the bid and they said they would try and call me back. It was my fault as there was even a screen to verify before submitting the bid. But I was bidding on a number of items and in too much of a hurry and not paying enough attention.

    The software started to really bog down more than I had seen before with everyone trying to bid at the last minute. Guessing the staff was overwhelmed with calls and I did not hear back and the max bid was not changed.

    Luckily for me no further bids were bids were placed on that item, but I was sweating it a little until it was over. They also stopped doing timed auctions soon after that.

    "To Be Esteemed Be Useful" - 1792 Birch Cent --- "I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain." - Lily Tomlin

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