The Exchange : Cherrypickin' at its best!

Cherrypickin' at its best!

As a Indian Cent variety expert, I usually am usually shown great varieties that some other collector found or cherrypicked. I usually don't find them myself. There are very few instances where a rare coin lays waiting for anyone to come by and buy it well below its true value. 


In early October, 2012, I had a spare moment and dropped in on eBay and search for auctions that were just listed. The first auction I spotted was just put up by a dealer of "junk" coins. Here is his image:

Rare 1888/7 Snow-1 Indian cent among junk


Do you see the rare coin? It is the 1888 Indian cent. Due to the die break at 9:00 on the edge, I can tell that it is the very rare 1888/7 Snow-1 in VF condition. It is a $10,000 coin! 


So, I am all giddy that I discovered this coin. I place a small bid of $20 on the auction and then go to a "snipe" site and register an automatic bid for well over $5,000 set to go off 5 seconds prior to the close of the auction. I then spent the next few days in anxiety waiting for the auction to finish. Would someone else see it? Quite probably, yes. It might cost me a few thousand to acquire the coin. What if the owner removed the coin from sale - perhaps at the instgation of some side-offer? The chance of getting the coin was 50-50. 


On the Sunday afternoon when the auction ended, I was off with the family out of internet range. When I finally got back to a town, I looked up the auction - and held my breath. 




A few bidders tried to grab it at the end, but the high bid other than my "snipe" bid was only $46. I got it! After paying instantly, I waited for days for my prize! On the Monday before leaving for the Dallas ANA show, it came - first class with signature confirmation. Clearly a low value package! 


The coin was submitted to PCGS at the show and they graded it VF-35. It sold instantly to another dealer for close to $10,000. It is the biggest percentage gain I have ever had on a cherrypick. 

Written by Rick Snow at 04:00


3158041 said...
Wow but I would send the seller a decent tip!
November 13, 2012 02:26
Love it!justification for all us "pickers".
April 29, 2013 03:33
nice story but dont you feel a little guilty?
August 1, 2013 11:36


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