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Greatest/Rarest Finds In The Wild?

I saw a post a bit ago (was the one about how not all good coins are slabbed, etc), and started wondering. What stories/finds do you have "in the wild" (i.e either someone brought it to you, or you found it in someones collection when they didn't know what they had)?

I've heard a lot of great stories from you old hands (and I don't mean that in a "old" as in age way, I mean people who have been in the coin trade for a while, though most of them are old, no offense, I'm 19, so everyone here basically is old to me :D ), and would love to hear more.

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Comments

  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,476 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Floridafacelifter has a couple good ones

  • GaCoinGuyGaCoinGuy Posts: 2,688 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 11, 2023 10:40AM

    My favorite find, and the one that got me into collecting was an 1859 IHC that was so beat up and silvery colored, it got passed as a dime. Found a 1914 dime in change once. Not a huge find monetarily, but cool to me.

    imageimage

  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    @GaCoinGuy said:
    My favorite find, and the one that got me into collecting was an 1859 IHC that was so beat up and silvery colored, it got passed as a dime. Found a 1914D dime in change once. Not a huge find monetarily, but cool to me.

    COOL!

    What got me into collecting was getting a 1939 (think D) wheatie in circulation as change. I also got a 1949 and a few others when I was younger, and it got me interested.

  • OwnerofawheatiehordeOwnerofawheatiehorde Posts: 1,461 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I remember a story of Us gold 2.5 in a box of world coins. There was an auction, and you were allowed to sift through the coins before bidding. My friend and one other guy had saw it, and started having a bidding war. Unfortunately, he lost but imagine the auctioneer’s face when it sold! :D

    Type collector, mainly into Seated. Young Numismatist. Good BST transactions with: mirabela, OKCC, MICHAELDIXON

  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    @Ownerofawheatiehorde said:
    I remember a story of Us gold 2.5 in a box of world coins. There was an auction, and you were allowed to sift through the coins before bidding. My friend and one other guy had saw it, and started having a bidding war. Unfortunately, he lost but imagine the auctioneer’s face when it sold! :D

    "Why did it sell for so much??"

    pulls out shiny gold coin, bites it infront of auctioneer, watches his jaw drop

  • OPAOPA Posts: 17,104 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Ownerofawheatiehorde said:
    I remember a story of Us gold 2.5 in a box of world coins. There was an auction, and you were allowed to sift through the coins before bidding. My friend and one other guy had saw it, and started having a bidding war. Unfortunately, he lost but imagine the auctioneer’s face when it sold! :D

    Most likely a Chinese counterfeit. >:)

    "Bongo drive 1984 Lincoln that looks like old coin dug from ground."
  • seanqseanq Posts: 8,566 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I distinctly remember a roll hunter back in the days of rec.collecting.coins posting about finding a classic gold $5 in a roll of halves sourced from a bank. While in high school in the late 1980s I rescued almost a full roll of semi-key Jefferson nickels (1938-D and -S, 1939-D and -S) from the till at the parts store where I worked.

    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
  • About 20 years ago a friend invited me to go through a couple of coin jars he inherited from his dad. It was mostly silver from the 1950s and 1960s, but among them was a 1913-S Type 2 Buffalo Nickel. I paid a fair price, sent it to PCGS and made F-15. I still have it today.

  • OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,493 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 11, 2023 1:46PM

    Back in 2019 and 2020, I was finding boatloads of W quarters roll hunting from boxes. Not sure if you would consider that in the wild. But they were the greatest and rarest finds for me. They paid for all my key dates and completed several albums. It was an absolute windfall. Like winning the lottery.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

  • ConshyboyConshyboy Posts: 350 ✭✭✭✭

    Had gotten these two coins in change at 2 different convenience stores


  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,338 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A silver center cent walked into the LCS about 18 years ago. It had been in the family for 200+ years.

  • LakesammmanLakesammman Posts: 17,265 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A silver center cent walked into the LCS about 18 years ago. It had been in the family for 200+ years.

    Can we assume the customer was educated about the value and treated fairly??

    No major discoveries here - love the story about the J300!

    "My friends who see my collection sometimes ask what something costs. I tell them and they are in awe at my stupidity." (Baccaruda, 12/03).I find it hard to believe that he (Trump) rushed to some hotel to meet girls of loose morals, although ours are undoubtedly the best in the world. (Putin 1/17) Gone but not forgotten. IGWT, Speedy, Bear, BigE, HokieFore, John Burns, Russ, TahoeDale, Dahlonega, Astrorat, Stewart Blay, Oldhoopster, Broadstruck, Ricko.
  • jfriedm56jfriedm56 Posts: 744 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf said:
    A silver center cent walked into the LCS about 18 years ago. It had been in the family for 200+ years.

    Heard this story about 15 years ago when talking to a local coin dealer. He said the family was local-Rochester, New York.

  • TomthemailcarrierTomthemailcarrier Posts: 631 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Back in the 1960’s when I was about 10 years old I found a tin box in my grandmother’s attic that contained an 1814 & 1834 half dollar, two 3 cent pieces from the 1860’s and a 1907 Indian head cent.

  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,476 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 11, 2023 5:36PM
  • ConshyboyConshyboy Posts: 350 ✭✭✭✭

    Had a friend one time on an excavating underground parking lot in center city Killadelphia and found what looked like a flowing hair large cent it was still caked in dirt but I could see part of the hair which appeared to be in pretty good shape told me he found it 17 ft. Below street level offered to toothpick it for him but he was afraid to touch I should see if he still has it

  • rheddenrhedden Posts: 6,556 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A friend I had in the late 1990s brought me a little Sucrets box filled with inherited coins. Inside it were 1852 and 1857 quarter eagles in really nice AU58 and an 1874-P Seated 25c is wholesome, original AU58/MS62. They were mixed in with the usual heavily circulated 19th century pocket change. I stapled up his three finds in 2x2 holders so they'd cease banging around with the other stuff in the box.

    Another friend in my undergraduate college days brought his aunt's coins for me to look over. There were lots of cheap coins, no better than circ. Morgan and Peace dollars in the silver melt category. When we got to the very last coin, he said, "what's this piece of junk worth?" He literally tossed it across the table at me, and I had to catch a heavily tarnished but Unc. 1918-D Walker. I had good reflexes back then.

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,338 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jfriedm56 said:

    @jmlanzaf said:
    A silver center cent walked into the LCS about 18 years ago. It had been in the family for 200+ years.

    Heard this story about 15 years ago when talking to a local coin dealer. He said the family was local-Rochester, New York.

    Yes. Correct.

    I believe it was the Wolcott family. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence who settled just east of Rochester.

    The dealer guided them to the ANA which I think was in Pittsburgh that year (about 5 hour drive). They sold it with the year at auction. The dealer still had the auction catalog that was gifted to them by the family.

  • jfriedm56jfriedm56 Posts: 744 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf said:

    @jfriedm56 said:

    @jmlanzaf said:
    A silver center cent walked into the LCS about 18 years ago. It had been in the family for 200+ years.

    Heard this story about 15 years ago when talking to a local coin dealer. He said the family was local-Rochester, New York.

    Yes. Correct.

    I believe it was the Wolcott family. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence who settled just east of Rochester.

    The dealer guided them to the ANA which I think was in Pittsburgh that year (about 5 hour drive). They sold it with the year at auction. The dealer still had the auction catalog that was gifted to them by the family.

    Thanks for the additional information. I believe there was an article in Coin World magazine written about this story too.

  • AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,490 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 12, 2023 6:44AM

    My best was a group of 3 Morgan dollars I got off ebay for under $800. Early in 2014. One of the three was a 1888-o Scarface that I had PCGS grade: MS63. Sold on Great Collections shortly thereafter for $10,005. It was from a seller in Portland, OR, that appeared to have a brick and mortar "collectibles" store.
    bob :)
    vegas baby!
    https://www.greatcollections.com/Coin/184550/1888-O-Morgan-Silver-Dollar-Scar-Face-PCGS-MS-63-CAC

    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), [email protected]
  • jfriedm56jfriedm56 Posts: 744 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AUandAG said:
    My best was a group of 3 Morgan dollars I got off ebay for under $800. Early in 2014. One of the three was a 1888-o Scarface that I had PCGS grade: MS63. Sold on Great Collections shortly thereafter for $10,005. It was from a seller in Portland, OR, that appeared to have a brick and mortar "collectibles" store.
    bob :)
    vegas baby!
    https://www.greatcollections.com/Coin/184550/1888-O-Morgan-Silver-Dollar-Scar-Face-PCGS-MS-63-CAC

    AuandAg, great story. Looks like your 1888-O Scarface is a late die state H8, 2 stages from the terminal die state- H10.

  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    @Elcontador said:
    When I was little, silver coins were still circulating. I found a 1932 S quarter in VG 10 in change. Still have it. When I was even smaller, I would find an odd IHC, Liberty Nickel, Barber Dime and Quarter in change as well. Also found a 24 S Nickel in VF 20 in change.
    I found most 09-40 Lincoln Cents, most Buffalo Nickels and Mercury Dimes, and a few SLqs in change.

    Flash forward, 15 years ago I got a 53 S Cent that would grade MS 65 RD in change. A year ago, I found a beat up 1907 D Dime in a coin star.

    Interesting!! You must be really old (no offense). Such an exciting time!

  • VeepVeep Posts: 1,399 ✭✭✭✭

    There have been many finds but here are a few:

    Proof Hawaii quarter out of a lady’s attic auctioned for $10k

    1916 SLQ that became slabbed as an MS65 and sold at auction for almost $30k

    A bag of junk silver quarters that had five 1932-D that later slabbed as 61’s and 62’s

    "Let me tell ya Bud, you can buy junk anytime!"
  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    @redraider said:
    I found this Judd-300 Pattern cent raw at a shop and marked as a regular proof! It has a reeded edge. This was last year. It graded PF65.

    Woah

  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf said:
    A silver center cent walked into the LCS about 18 years ago. It had been in the family for 200+ years.

    Do you have a picture of it? What condition was it in?

  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    @Tomthemailcarrier said:
    Back in the 1960’s when I was about 10 years old I found a tin box in my grandmother’s attic that contained an 1814 & 1834 half dollar, two 3 cent pieces from the 1860’s and a 1907 Indian head cent.

    OHH!! What a dream come true!

  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    @erwindoc said:
    I live in a relatively coinshop poor area in the Appalachian region. I do get to one that is about 45 minutes away a couple of times a year. At one of my visits recently, the dealer/owner was slow and I asked him if he had any cool coins come in recently. He smiled and pulled out a box. Story goes that an old collector in the region died. His heirs had brought in several coins for sale. In the collection were several early proof coins. He told me that most were spotted and hairlined but this one was absolutely the best! He sent it in for grading and planned to pass it down in his own family after he acquired it from the former collectors family.

    WOW! What a stunner. What's it's value? Wanna sell (contingent on price, I don't have 5k lying around lol)?

  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    @jfriedm56 said:
    So far, my best find ever. When Morgan and Peace dollars were so common I bought them at less than $10. a piece in uncirculated, in a dealer’s bulk silver dollar box.

    Nice find!

  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    @Veep said:
    There have been many finds but here are a few:

    Proof Hawaii quarter out of a lady’s attic auctioned for $10k

    1916 SLQ that became slabbed as an MS65 and sold at auction for almost $30k

    A bag of junk silver quarters that had five 1932-D that later slabbed as 61’s and 62’s

    Nice!!!!

  • IkesTIkesT Posts: 2,374 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jobessi said:
    Found this beauty (I zoomed in on the pic) amongst a bulk lots of SLQ's and Silver halves. I know it's hard to tell from the seller pic, but ended up being what I thought it was. A 1916 SLQ! The coin has since been sold, but I'll try and fins the one I took of it.


    That is very clearly a 1917. The honest thing to do would be to give the buyer their money back.

  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,773 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CalifornianKing said:

    @erwindoc said:
    I live in a relatively coinshop poor area in the Appalachian region. I do get to one that is about 45 minutes away a couple of times a year. At one of my visits recently, the dealer/owner was slow and I asked him if he had any cool coins come in recently. He smiled and pulled out a box. Story goes that an old collector in the region died. His heirs had brought in several coins for sale. In the collection were several early proof coins. He told me that most were spotted and hairlined but this one was absolutely the best! He sent it in for grading and planned to pass it down in his own family after he acquired it from the former collectors family.

    WOW! What a stunner. What's it's value? Wanna sell (contingent on price, I don't have 5k lying around lol)?

    Lol, $5k? You're missing a digit.

  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    @lermish said:

    @CalifornianKing said:

    @erwindoc said:
    I live in a relatively coinshop poor area in the Appalachian region. I do get to one that is about 45 minutes away a couple of times a year. At one of my visits recently, the dealer/owner was slow and I asked him if he had any cool coins come in recently. He smiled and pulled out a box. Story goes that an old collector in the region died. His heirs had brought in several coins for sale. In the collection were several early proof coins. He told me that most were spotted and hairlined but this one was absolutely the best! He sent it in for grading and planned to pass it down in his own family after he acquired it from the former collectors family.

    WOW! What a stunner. What's it's value? Wanna sell (contingent on price, I don't have 5k lying around lol)?

    Lol, $5k? You're missing a digit.

    Oof. IDK the grade, or if that particular one is a key, but its still pretty.

  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    @humanssuck said:
    I had a distant relative who had a collection that had been passed down to them that had been collected in the 1950's. It had a lot of nice circulated barber coinage as well as nice AU later year buffalo nickels and walkers pulled from circulation. The nicest coin was this:

    nice!

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