That's not a Capped Bust Half ...
What the heck happened!!
I think I found an Easter Egg!!
If you want to guess the grade, tell me you know the DM, or provide comments, skip ahead ... otherwise humor me on a Saturday evening while I'm enjoying a smooth Boilermaker ...
So ... as I often do, I look at more coins on-line than I ever consider buying, mostly Capped Bust halves, but also Draped Busts and Flowing Hairs ("Pre Turbans"), along with a few other morsels.
This particular one showed up on my radar either last Thursday or Friday night, and I immediately looked closer. The images were not the greatest, but suggested a quality example. On to the watch list it went.
Sometime before the auction closed, I ran the certification number, and started down the rabbit hole.
First, I found the last sale in the AMBPR (Steve Herrman's venerable semi-annual publication - "Auction & Mail Bid prices for Bust Half Dollars". Next was comparing to others at or around her grade I could find on line, and any previous images. Which, as often happens for early Bust Halves, leads to previous auction appearances of the coin in question, but in a different holder.
Then I realized I actually knew the coin. I had looked at it briefly, in hand, a couple years before ... and know who the owner was at that time. I also found where 15 years ago it was indeed in a different holder, from a different service, at a different grade.
Then I started playing a numbers game. I have had the very good fortune this year of having the opportunity to have first pick of some really nice CBH's from my good friend Lance, and this has totally wrecked my budget for coin purchases. Those purchases were too good to pass up, and I don't regret them, but it did leave my wallet wanting a little in case something else came around.
But I put together a number anyway, somewhat lower than what I thought it should go for, but what I would gladly pay. And then I added what I thought it should go for, if I remembered her right.
Maybe Easter wasn't the right day, or maybe so many auctions, week after week after week makes us all miss some things, or maybe, she still is only worth what she sold for when I last saw her ... but as the timer ticked down I knew I had to bid. At least as much as last time. $55. more, just in case.
Holy shi*! I won!!
I placed the snipe at the last second. I won for $49. less than my max, exactly $6. more than what she hammered for 20 months ago.
Have you ever been here? That feeling of, even though you are 99.8% sure you're right ... maybe you missed something?
So what do we do ... I phone (send a text in this case) a friend! One of the most serious Draped Bust guys of our time (this is not an exaggeration).
"Yeah Buddy, remember Coin X from Auction Y?"
As I sit thinking after hitting send, I think, Oh please God, tell me he doesn't say something like, Oh yeah I remember that POS, I passed. Total dog. Tell me he responds tonight.
14 minutes later, and I quote part of the reply (omitting part of the response as those portions are private) ...
"I LOVE that coin and it was a steal at XXXX (last price it hammered at). I had spent so much on my XXXXXXXXXXX, I wasn't considering upgrading my lovely XXXX (same Die Marriage, lower grade) at that time. Why, is it back on the market?"
... and so, for the first time in the last 15 minutes, I can breathe again!!
She arrived today ... and although I have multiple images from her last 15 years, I'll share mine. She's a lovely example, and I am happy she came to stay with me.
Happy Friday night!
“We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”
Todd - BHNC #242