December 12th, 2012

Patience pays when hunting for elusive coins

By MintState

I finally got it.

There was a time when I never thought I’d say those words. But after much suffering and searching, I finally stumbled upon the chance to add the long-desired Wisconsin Territorial Centennial Half Dollar to my collection. Though the coin is available in ample supply – well, at least 25,015 pieces, assuming each coin minted survived the last seven decades – procuring the piece was a matter of means more than availability. After a previous opportunity to acquire the coin for a meager $15 fell through (probably shouldn’t have put my hopes in the whacky people who populate Craigslist), the quest to find a Wisconsin Centennial – a piece paying homage to my home state – that fell within my price range was tricky. I scoured online classified sites to no avail. I set up email notifications to alert me every time the coin become available on internet auction sites, only to receive results that were far beyond what I could afford.

Then it happened. It must have been karma from the coin universe. I encountered a piece, slabbed by a reputable third-party grader that fell right in my wheelhouse. It was as if the connection was meant to be, as this particular coin just so happened to be offered by another collector in my area. I put in a few offers, and even after some scourge tried to best my bids late in the game, I stayed diligent and scooped up the coin for what I felt was a very fair price.

The lesson in all of this? When it comes to coin collecting, patience pays. While some of the coins at the head of your wish list may seem out of reach, don’t despair. With patience, persistence and a little bit of luck, you never know if you’ll find that three-cent piece you’ve spent years searching for, or that hard-to-find Morgan dollar missing from your set. Give it enough time and you’re sure to come across at least a handful of opportunities to add a long-desired piece to your collection (barring those who are shooting for the moon and pine for something truly scarce, such as a 1943 copper-plated penny or an 1849 Double Eagle gold coin). As long as finding that special coin is within reason, a little patience will go a long way to making your dreams of tracking it down a reality!

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