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Adventures of my Panama Pacific set with a tale of ambush and counter ambush!

This is a cross-post from MyCollect: https://www.mycollect.com/posts/6036

I have a very fun but long story to tell about my Panama Pacific set. I bet some of you will get a kick out of it. This is the set in the PCGS set registry: https://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/commemoratives/commemoratives-specialty-sets/panama-pacific-set-circulation-strikes-1915/227

And this is my set at MyCollect: https://www.mycollect.com/sets/f6f5f16a-1ae2-11ee-b75b-060e37a4c43f

In June of 2022, I acquired this Pan Pac $50 Round MS 66: https://www.mycollect.com/inventory/coin/8c618df2-1ae0-11ee-b75b-060e37a4c43f
This helped my set become the #1 set all time and it won the 2022 Best of Registry award. If I remembered correctly, it was almost a full point higher than the #2 set, so I wasn't worried that anyone would catch up anytime soon.

Fast forward to April of this year. A new set came out of nowhere and was right behind me. This is the state of things in April.

My set had a set rating of 66.333, and boiler78 had a set rating of 66.146. I was still one or two upgrades ahead of him, so I shouldn't be too worried as high grade pan-pacs are not easy to come by. But I did some digging and figured out that boiler78 bought all the coins from the previous #2 set, so he's trying to catch up. Also, there was a G$1 MS 67+ that sold at Stack's in March. (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-118P7Z/1915-s-panama-pacific-exposition-gold-dollar-ms-67-pcgs) I had an MS 67 CAC and didn't bid on the 67+ non-CAC because I was at the time only focused on an all-CAC set and I wasn't worried that anyone was going to catch up.

I did some more digging around PCGS's set registry and was able to uncover something interesting. Boiler78 actually has this Stack's G$1 67+ in his inventory but hasn't added it to his pan-pac set yet! I figured that out because PCGS's privacy controls are quirky. You couldn't mark a coin in your inventory as public or private. Instead, if you have the coin in a public set, then everyone can see you own the coin. But if the coin is not in a public set, then it's private. That's true except for one catch... you must not have this option checked in your preferences: "Include all Inventory images in My Album on public site, regardless if item is registered in a set". It turns out boiler78 has that checked and I was able to see 2 pan-pac coins that were in his image gallery but not yet added to his set. If he adds those 2 coins, his set rating would become 66.375, which is slightly higher than my set! I knew right then that he planned to ambush me late June and get #1. I couldn't let that happen, so I messaged my 2 favorite dealers, @ianrussell and @SethChandler and explained the situation. They just needed to find me a single half point upgrade for any of my coins and it would push me over the top again. I'm competitive and can't let the guy beat me, especially because I figured out his ambush!

Unfortunately, over the next 2 months, neither Ian nor Seth were able to find an upgrade for me. And without much success, I kind of forgot about this until on June 29, I got notification that my set became #2.

I was right! I knew all along but unfortunately couldn't do anything about it. I wrote to Ian and Seth jokingly: "You have a day to find me an upgrade. 😂" I didn't really expect anything, but Ian wrote back and said that he actually has a client with a G$1 in 67+. He thought I only wanted CAC! He was helping this client try to upgrade to a 68 and maybe auction the coin later whether or not it upgraded. So I told Ian he MUST get me this coin before the next day by 5pm PT, which is the PCGS cut off for the 2023 set registry awards.

I'm sure by now, you can see that Ian did pull through for me and got me the coin and at a fairly reasonable price. With a few hours to spare, I added the coin to my set and pulled in to the finish line with a set rating of 66.396, 0.021 ahead of boiler78. I bet he was shocked to see me counter ambush him. Lol

The moral of the story is: if you want to ambush someone, do it at the last minute and don't give the other guy time to react. I hope you guys enjoyed my long story. And if you are boiler78 reading this, feel free to share your side of the story. Next year, let's do it again! :D


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