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What's the worst, money losing, I'm the dumbest person in the world purchase you ever made in coins?

I was 13, saved all my money and got in on that statue of liberty stuff in the mid 80's. In my defense, I was 13. What did you think might be a winner but turned out to be a stinker purchase?

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    RobertScotLoverRobertScotLover Posts: 614 ✭✭✭✭

    Curious about how many reply to this thread

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    bennybravobennybravo Posts: 1,868 ✭✭✭

    @RobertScotLover said:
    Curious about how many reply to this thread

    Fess up man. What's in your coin purchase hall of shame? ;)

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    bennybravobennybravo Posts: 1,868 ✭✭✭

    Dangit, now all I can think about is MrEureka's likely winning post. Keep em coming!!

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    BarberianBarberian Posts: 3,053 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2, 2024 11:29AM

    I made a transaction with a friend in my pre-teen years so devastatingly stupid that I now hate an entire series of coins. ;)

    I traded an almost complete set of Franklin halves for a group of low grade and dateless Buffalo nickels. Why? Some of the dateless Buffalos had mint marks. One was a 14-D after Nick-o-date treatment!

    Stupid.

    3 rim nicks away from Good
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    bennybravobennybravo Posts: 1,868 ✭✭✭

    @Barberian said:
    I made a transaction with a friend in my pre-teen years so devastatingly stupid that I now hate an entire series of coins. ;)

    I traded an almost complete set of Franklin halves for a group of low grade and dateless Buffalo nickels. Why? Some of the dateless Buffalos had mint marks. One was a 14-D after Nick-o-date treatment!

    Stupid.

    Great story and thanks for sharing. I think we probably all got took at some point.

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    SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 7,481 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Paying twice as much as the coin was worth for a proof SL dollar. After I realised I got shafted on the deal I really wanted to take it and throw it in the river. It has sat in an SDB for 17-18 years and I have never looked at it again.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016 and Shadow 3.4.2015 - 16.4.21
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    bennybravobennybravo Posts: 1,868 ✭✭✭

    @SaorAlba said:
    Paying twice as much as the coin was worth for a proof SL dollar. After I realised I got shafted on the deal I really wanted to take it and throw it in the river. It has sat in an SDB for 17-18 years and I have never looked at it again.

    Thank you for sharing!

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    BarberianBarberian Posts: 3,053 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2, 2024 11:54AM

    I didn't get taken. We remained friends. It just was a really dumb deal considering the year (probably 1967), and I was amazed at the potential for Nick-o-date to aid in finding tough coins and expanding my Buffalo nickel collection. Around that time, silver began rising in price.

    3 rim nicks away from Good
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    bennybravobennybravo Posts: 1,868 ✭✭✭

    @Barberian said:
    I didn't get taken. We remained friends. It just was a really dumb deal considering the year (probably 1967), and I was amazed at the potential for Nick-o-date to aid in finding tough coins and expanding my Buffalo nickel collection. Around that time, silver began rising in price.

    Wow, please elaborate. I had no idea about the origins of the acid treatment buffalo nickels.

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    JeffersonFrogJeffersonFrog Posts: 832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Back 15 years ago when I played the Registry game, I paid over $200 for an MS66 Jeff with a low population (less than 20 as I recall). Now the population is over 300 and it's a $30 (retail) coin. Pretty cheap tuition in the grand scheme of things.

    If we were all the same, the world would be an incredibly boring place.

    Tommy

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    bennybravobennybravo Posts: 1,868 ✭✭✭

    @JeffersonFrog said:
    Back 15 years ago when I played the Registry game, I paid over $200 for an MS66 Jeff with a low population (less than 20 as I recall). Now the population is over 300 and it's a $30 (retail) coin. Pretty cheap tuition in the grand scheme of things.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    bennybravobennybravo Posts: 1,868 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2, 2024 12:20PM
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    BuffaloIronTailBuffaloIronTail Posts: 7,413 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A 1913-S Type 2 Uncirculated Buffalo Nickel with an added S.

    The seller was also unaware, and I got my money back.

    Pete

    "I tell them there's no problems.....only solutions" - John Lennon
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    SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 11,725 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I got back into the hobby as an adult in 1998 I started looking for proof Franklins with frosted devices and mirrored fields.

    I found at a local B&M shop a slabbed Proof 1956 Type2 Franklin in an older PCGS slab (a slab made prior to the time that PCGS started awarding Cameo designations). The coin graded PF68 and it looks like a lock Cameo with thick, even frost on the devices on both sides of the coin and black mirrored fields. I was entranced with the coin and bought it for $300.00 (the then retail of a PF68CAM).

    I like the coin, but I seriously over paid.

    Last year I submitted the coin for reconsideration (hoping for a Cameo designation). Nope. The coin remains a PF68.

    In hindsight this learning experience for me was very inexpensive, as what I learned has served me well in the years that followed.

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    oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,637 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ve been collecting for about 70 years. Too many mistakes list list them all, but I remember my first. Bought a shiny 2c from a local dealer as a proof using my newspaper route money. Age 11 or so. Years later found out it was worthless - polished. Learned a valuable lesson or two.

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    Dave99BDave99B Posts: 8,363 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Probably proof sets, and mint sets, many years ago. Complete waste of hard earned paper route money.

    Dave

    Always looking for original, better date VF20-VF35 Barber quarters and halves, and a quality beer.
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    braddickbraddick Posts: 23,124 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Anyone purchase the 1989 "No P" quarter back in the day? At like $100.00 each? And buy multiples with the stars-in-your-eyes thinking they would double or triple in value over the short term?
    And having done so because of the success you had purchasing a roll of red 1970-S small date Lincolns in 1971 so you thought you could repeat that success with these 'rare' 1989 quarters?
    No?

    Oh... Okay. . .

    :neutral:

    peacockcoins

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bought a proof trade dollar with toning... turned out to be damaged. Finally got rid of it but at a significant loss. Just happy it went to a type collector who liked it for what it was!

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    mirabelamirabela Posts: 4,970 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I did the Statue of Liberty stuff like the OP and lost money selling it (among other treasures) after college to raise some get-my-life-started funds. I've overpaid by a lot for a few coins since, too. But I think I've blown it more often by selling something there would have been a strong profit in holding a little longer, and I've blown it the worst when I didn't buy a few things. For instance in ~2006 (I think??) I paid $2,000 for an 1890-CC $20 in NGC AU58, mind you this was before PL designations for those, and it had full black mirrors on both sides. It was quite arresting to look at. But those great mirrors also highlighted every fine little hairline (wipe marks? whatever you want to call them) so I sent it back because that was basically two years' coin budget and I wanted a coin I'd 110% love if I was going to spend it all in one place. I have to think that would be about an $8,000 coin now.

    mirabela
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    seatedlib3991seatedlib3991 Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    I can't point to single coin but did learn a hard lesson. I bought the Bowers Redbook on Indian Cents first. I put together a matched set of PCGS MS-64 Red/Brown coins. 1880 to 1909.
    I sold them on Great collections and lost money on every single coin. Sometimes you can buy the book first. Think you are putting together a great set of popular coins. and still get your butt handed to you. I do not collect coins to make money, but usually I have a few winners, a few losers, and mainly break even on most. James

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    GotTheBugGotTheBug Posts: 1,546 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I once swapped a partial set of Barber dimes in a blue Whitman folder for an "uncirculated" common date Liberty nickel at the very first coin show I ever attended in New Jersey, when I was in my early twenties. There were quite a few semi-keys in that folder and the V nickel was only an AU. I was such a novice in those days that I cringe every time that I think of that trade. I hope that the dealer is roasting in eternal heckfire because he knew an easy mark when he saw it and took full advantage.

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    GotTheBugGotTheBug Posts: 1,546 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @privatecoin said:

    Lots of truth in this post....

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    EvanCrook1EvanCrook1 Posts: 66 ✭✭

    When I first got into coin collecting, I bought a "roll" of white pennies in a clear tube at a flea market. The dude charged me 50 bucks for it and convinced me I got a steal. Took it home and only the top penny was a wheat one. The rest were moderns.
    :'(

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    SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Proof and mint sets.

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    LiquidatedLiquidated Posts: 128 ✭✭✭

    Fake Trade Dollar. First one owned. $100 around 25 years ago. Correct weight. Wear was what would expect of AU. That $100 loss potentially saved me thousands going forward and never happened again. Wasn't about the money but nature of being taken

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    BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,166 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Brown box ikes. It took 52 years and a run-up in silver spot price to finally exceed the issue price.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
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    BarberianBarberian Posts: 3,053 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bennybravo said:

    @Barberian said:
    I didn't get taken. We remained friends. It just was a really dumb deal considering the year (probably 1967), and I was amazed at the potential for Nick-o-date to aid in finding tough coins and expanding my Buffalo nickel collection. Around that time, silver began rising in price.

    Wow, please elaborate. I had no idea about the origins of the acid treatment buffalo nickels.

    There's not much to tell. I had a collection of buffalo nickels in low grades from circulation that was about 30-40% complete, as well as other undated nickels I'd found, including some with mint marks. I bought some Nick-o-date to try it out and unfortunately, it worked. So, I traded my Franklins for all of my friend's Buffalos, including a lot of no-date nickels.

    Today, I spend the dateless Buffalos in vending machines.

    3 rim nicks away from Good
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    EvanCrook1EvanCrook1 Posts: 66 ✭✭

    @Smudge said:
    Proof and mint sets.

    fell into that trap too. Thought it was the coolest thing and that they were worth a lot of money.

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    humanssuckhumanssuck Posts: 320 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Unfortunately the first series I started collecting when i moved on from filling whitman folders with coins i found crh to 'real' coins was Morgan Dollars. I bought a cleaned 1892 CC raw that was AU details, but paid full AU price for it because I didnt know any better.

    I lost a lot of $ selling it when I graduated to slabbed coins, but the lessons I learned during the process of shopping it around and trying to sell it to various dealers were extremely helpful in the long term.

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    braddickbraddick Posts: 23,124 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Smudge said:
    Proof and mint sets.

    I once had a box of these- all mint packaged- that I wanted to wholesale out. Rick Tomaska lives only a town away and after contacting him, he invited me over. Of course all the sets sold for about 20% of issue price (as I expected and didn't care- I just wanted them out), yet it was nice having a conversation with him and that made the trip worth it.

    On a side note and a comment that will always stick with me regarding clad proof sets and such: "They should be bought and sold by the pound, they are that common and undesirable. Like book collectors don't want Readers Digest versions of classic books, the mint junk is hard to buy and sale". That was over twenty years ago!

    peacockcoins

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    TennesseeDaveTennesseeDave Posts: 4,742 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bought 2 sets of 2004 Wisconsin error quarters at near the top of the market. I don't remember the exact amount paid, but they were graded 66 by NGC. I waited for several years for the price to rebound and eventually sold them for about a $1000 loss. Since then, I have made that up many multiples of times, so it's all good.

    Trade $'s
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    knovak1976knovak1976 Posts: 222 ✭✭✭

    Paid $11K for an ASE signed by Joel Iskowitz. Was told it was the only one and would be worth a lot….until I found out there were a few more several months later….and the PCGS price guide showed it at $6K….(on a good day if I was lucky). Also got into the DCAM IKE’s when they first came out and way overpaid for several of them……$350 for a 69 DCAM which is worth around $3 or $4 now…… Will take a shellacking on a few the DCAM 70’s if I ever sell them too as more and more keep showing up…… ugh……😩

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    rnkmyer1rnkmyer1 Posts: 525 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bought a 32-D Washington 25C in MS64 at what had to be at the absolute top of the market cycle. When I sold it I lost over 1/2 of what I paid!

    “The thrill of the hunt never gets old”

    PCGS Registry: Screaming Eagles
    Copperindian

    Retired sets: Soaring Eagles
    Copperindian

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    RLSnapperRLSnapper Posts: 523 ✭✭✭✭✭

    After making a nice profit on my off center Indian Cent date set I was torn on my next project....I can remember sitting on the crapper with my Coin World back in 2002 and deciding between a date set of Liberty Eagles in XF or a date set of capped bust quarters. Big mistake choosing the quarters. Got the last one graded last year.,VF30.

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    lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,831 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had books of silver commemorative series that were bought in the 80s and 90s when silver $4-5/oz. JFK Commemorative series was one... theres were others for Washington and Jefferson... about 50 half dollar sized coins in each. In 2003 I landed a new job and had to move out of state. I had lugged these books around for decades without silver moving, so I sold everything for $500... We all know what's happened to silver since.

    Didn't pull the trigger... Baltimore show Spring 2019. I was holding an MS63 $20 Saint and the dealer wanted just under $1300... about $50 over Spot at the time, and I passed...

    Specific coin... nothing really springs to mind... other than recent sales in general!

    Collecting: Dansco 7070; Middle Date Large Cents (VF-AU); Box of 20;

    Successful BST transactions with: SilverEagles92; Ahrensdad; Smitty; GregHansen; Lablade; Mercury10c; copperflopper; whatsup; KISHU1; scrapman1077, crispy, canadanz, smallchange, robkool, Mission16, ranshdow, ibzman350, Fallguy, Collectorcoins, SurfinxHI, jwitten, Walkerguy21D, dsessom.
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    Coin FinderCoin Finder Posts: 6,954 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Old dealer in my town sold me a proof 1909 Lincoln cent! I think it $400 bucks at the time. Well as I got better at looking at coins and reading about them , I discovered several years later I had bought a 1909 cent!! Lesson learned!

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    BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 8,046 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Proof,mint sets.

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
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    johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The whole thing at times,, fwiw

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    alaura22alaura22 Posts: 2,664 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I remember going to the coin exchange with my wife at the time and buying a roll of $50 gold eagles for around $258 each, my wife liked gold. Life was good and we did this every few months as money permitted.
    The marriage ended and we sold all the rolls of gold, back in 2002
    OUCH

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