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Best and Worst Currency Purchases

Since there are similar threads in the coin forum I thought I would start the same here.

I have a few stories but I will start with a bad buying/selling experience.

I bought each of these notes individually. I was at the time trying to collect the two sets (Educational and Black Eagle set) of large size notes I wanted for my collection. I have since changed my collecting focus a lot (thus why I later resold them). I decided to collect the educational set in mid grade since higher grade was way to expensive for me. I bought the $1 note first and I believe I paid about $450 for it. The $2 note I paid $525 and that one was raw but graded a Choice Fine 15 in my opinion. The $5 was the challenge. I knew they were tougher to find and I wanted a problem free mid grade note, probably a VF 20 since the VF 25 seemed a lot more expensive. I was at a fairly large show and was in the mindset to buy the 1896 $5 Educational note. A dealer had probably 5-6 of them, all raw, and all with issues. Just out of curiosity I asked what they wanted for each and all of them were over $2500 which was over my budget. I was sad thinking I would never find a mid grade $5 Educational for $2500 or under since I couldn’t even find a low grade raw one for less than that. As I was walking around I saw in a coin dealer’s case their only piece of currency. It was a $5 Educational note graded VF 20. I asked them how much they wanted for it and they said $2700. I was surprised it wasn’t way more but still it was more than I wanted to spend. I told the dealer I was interested in it but that I only had $2500 to spend. He thought about it and tried to get me to spend $2600 but I was going to walk away so he reluctantly said I could have it for $2500. He counted my money and double checked then said it was a beautiful note and that I would enjoy it since he enjoyed having it. He said he didn’t collect currency but since that note was so beautiful he wanted that one piece in his collection. He was selling it now since he either upgraded or decided he didn’t want any currency in his collection, I can’t remember which.

A year or two later I decided to change my collecting focus to world currency and ancient coins so I decided to sell most of my US currency so I could buy world currency and coins (ancients).

I believe I took a $25 loss on the $1 educational note and made $75 on the $2 educational note. However when I sold the $5 educational note I had a very hard time finding someone to even buy it. The lower grade turned away the high end dealers but the high cost turned away the low end dealers so it was a tough sell. I then asked the show runner who would be the right person for the note. He knew just the guy. I showed him this note and some other notes I also had. I believe I got $2000 in the end for this note, taking a $500 loss.

Comments

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is kind of both, a good and bad deal, and a currency and coin deal.

    I bought a 1934 $1000 note for $2200 and the ride to and from the show cost me nearly $100 so I always credit that as costing me $2300 since I went to the show solely to buy that note.

    I enjoyed having this note in my collection but several years ago when gold was like $1300 an ounce I decided to sell/trade it. I was downsizing my collection at this time. I was originally going to just sell the note to this dealer for $1700 cash but saw he had some gold Buffalo one ounce bullion coins so I figured maybe I should do a trade and perhaps recoup some of my money by reselling the gold when it goes up. He traded me a one ounce gold Buffalo and $325 cash for my $1000 note. I held onto the gold Buffalo until fall 2020 when I sold it for $1880. In the end I got $2205 which was way better than having taken the $1700 cash offer. Glad I went with the gold.

    Later on last year I missed owning a gold coin so I decided to buy one. This time I went for an old gold coin. I bought a 1908 MS 64 Saint-Gaudens for $2175. So basically I took the money from the gold Buffalo I sold and some of the cash I got from the $1000 note and got this gold coin for it with $30 left over. So I think of it as trading my $1000 note for my 1908 gold coin. Considering I paid $2300 for the $1000 note I think of it as paying $2300 for the 1908 gold coin. Probably going to go down in value in years to come (looking at past trends) so maybe I should sell now, then buy it again when gold is down? 🤔 I do enjoy having this coin though so I don’t want to sell it.

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,671 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No really bad stories, but this 50C Abe note was purchased for $1614 with free shipping and I feel that’s a pretty sweet deal. B)

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I always thought that note was cool because Lincoln was alive when they printed it.

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,671 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JMS1223 said:
    This is kind of both, a good and bad deal, and a currency and coin deal.

    I bought a 1934 $1000 note for $2200 and the ride to and from the show cost me nearly $100 so I always credit that as costing me $2300 since I went to the show solely to buy that note.

    I enjoyed having this note in my collection but several years ago when gold was like $1300 an ounce I decided to sell/trade it. I was downsizing my collection at this time. I was originally going to just sell the note to this dealer for $1700 cash but saw he had some gold Buffalo one ounce bullion coins so I figured maybe I should do a trade and perhaps recoup some of my money by reselling the gold when it goes up. He traded me a one ounce gold Buffalo and $325 cash for my $1000 note. I held onto the gold Buffalo until fall 2020 when I sold it for $1880. In the end I got $2205 which was way better than having taken the $1700 cash offer. Glad I went with the gold.

    Later on last year I missed owning a gold coin so I decided to buy one. This time I went for an old gold coin. I bought a 1908 MS 64 Saint-Gaudens for $2175. So basically I took the money from the gold Buffalo I sold and some of the cash I got from the $1000 note and got this gold coin for it with $30 left over. So I think of it as trading my $1000 note for my 1908 gold coin. Considering I paid $2300 for the $1000 note I think of it as paying $2300 for the 1908 gold coin. Probably going to go down in value in years to come (looking at past trends) so maybe I should sell now, then buy it again when gold is down? 🤔 I do enjoy having this coin though so I don’t want to sell it.

    That's a nice looking Saint.

  • silverpopsilverpop Posts: 6,597 ✭✭✭✭✭

    well bought a No date Iraq 25 dinar for $7.50 only worth $5.00 now not the best buy i made

    the best buy was a group of notes for $25 the value of all the notes are over $30

  • logger7logger7 Posts: 8,069 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I stretched for an Fr 1176 at a coin show, an 1880 $20 gold brown seal that the late Rick Moraci had, paid a little under $4000. I sent it off for grading at PMG, came back as a VF25 noting previously framed and pinholes. I ran it on ebay with the auction ending around Friday at noon, not smart. Someone the night before it ended said they would pay a lot more and I had no idea what the rare not would sell at. A NY area dealer bought it for a little over $4K, wanted me to cancel out the ebay sale so we could do a cash deal, I said no to that. A year or two later he said that he had had someone conserve the note and it ended up in a PCGS holder as VF35, I think they only noted the pinholes. He said he sold it for $18.5K.

  • Serial_no_8Serial_no_8 Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    I was originally going to just sell the note to this dealer for $1700 cash but saw he had some gold Buffalo one ounce bullion coins so I figured maybe I should do a trade and perhaps recoup some of my money by reselling the gold when it goes up. He traded me a one ounce gold Buffalo and $325 cash for my $1000 note. I held onto the gold Buffalo until fall 2020 when I sold it for $1880. In the end I got $2205 which was way better than having taken the $1700 cash offer.

    I have found that trades are typically "win-win" (both parties are likely happy & a profit can be had for both) whereas selling is expensive (especially factoring in seller's fees). The only exception to this rule is when you can sell person to person without a 3rd party (online or selling platform fees).

    My best purchases ** are nearly everything I have bought in **AU to UNC ('EPQ' or 'Original')
    My worst purchases are nearly everything I have bought that has been circulated (unless exceptionally rare- which I don't have). The BV plateaus & seldom goes up on VF or lower & if the note is processed (cleaned or pressed) then that's a very bad purchase.

  • SonnyDSonnyD Posts: 190 ✭✭✭

    Haven't had any real bad beats yet. But this is one of my best along the way so far, bought for $1400 .

    Ounce by ounce the stack grows .

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had one just like that but a 40 and paid the same, $1400. I later sold it as I changed the focus of my collection.

  • Serial_no_8Serial_no_8 Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    @SonnyD & @JMS1223 the "$5 Chief" is a very popular note in EPQ so it will sell down the road without issue. I do believe that most collectors would consider them a "safe buy." In other words: you'll get your money back (or more).

    What's a shame is that few collectors will read threads like these & perpetuate the trend to buy what they perceive as a "bargain" or only what they deem as "collectible." This is most unfortunate when what they perceive as "collectible" is completely off-the-mark. These (& low grade notes) are what I'd consider "worse currency purchases," though I have seen a few hurting rags which are rare enough to be highly sought after. I know I have been wrong before & will probably err more often than not when it comes to the "hit & the misses" in this hobby.

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