Welcome to Steve's blog, sharing stories of his professional coin career, 1963 to date. Enjoy stories of Steve's numismatic journey.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Missed A GEM Opportunity

As detailed in the previous post, Dan Brown was a fine gentleman and numismatist.  I truly appreciated the time and thoughtfulness he regularly shared, increasing my numismatic education and experience.

On another trip to Denver, Dan could hardly wait to “show and tell” some truly special items. I was definitely interested to see what he had and learn why he thought these were special.

The coins he lay before me comprised a date set of 1919 Walkers, one each from the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco mints.  These coins were beautiful:  lustrous, well struck and simply unbelievable.

Many of you know 1919 Walkers are not well struck, especially the D.  The S can be terrible, and the P is nothing to write home about.  These issues are generally considered among the worst struck coins in the series.  With their common strike problems, one rarely sees 1919s in gem condition. 

What a treat it was to see ultimate examples of these issues.  We examined and discussed each coin and its merits. Finally Dan quoted me $3,000 for the trio.  They were worth all that, and more.  Boy, did I ever want to buy these coins!

In those days I travelled to Denver with a specific list of needs and adequate funds to get the job done, but not much more.  With available funds earmarked for other critical purchases, I felt paralyzed.

Dan gave me one more chance to look at the wonder coins and offered a gentle nudging. “Steve, this is an unusual opportunity -- you should really buy these coins.  You can’t be certain if or when you will have this opportunity in the future.”

I knew he was right, but I couldn’t see how I could stretch to make the purchase.  If I knew then what I know now, I would never have let these coins get away without exploring every avenue and option available to procure them.

I have never forgotten the trio of 1919 Walking Liberty Half Dollars Dan Brown tucked aside to show me; they were the gem of gems.

 A lovely 1919-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar, PCGS MS-66
Heritage Auction #1124, 2009, Lot 2504

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