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