Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Forget the Coins, Maybe We Should Collect the Packaging: eBay Laugh of the Day!

For years I have come across eBay auctions where people are selling things like shipwreck certificates of authenticity without the coins.

The auctions may even include a nice display box for the coin that is not included.

It's those types of auctions that have to make you wonder about the authenticity of the auctions that actually include the coins.

But today it was another auction on eBay that made me pause and take a closer look.

It's an auction for the box of an "2008 Unc. 1 oz. Gold Buffalo Box w/COA." (link to auction)

No coin, just the box. But it was the asking price that caught my attention: $475.00!

Is that really the going rate for an empty box?

Now there's no deception here on the part of the seller, he clearly states that the box comes without the coin.

So I checked to see if there were other eBay auctions for similar boxes and here's one I found:

"2008 W $5 Gold Buffalo Proof 1/10oz MINT Box & COA NR!": $338.33 (Link)

Apparently the size of the missing coin affects the price of the box.

Oh, wait . . .

This last auction actually includes the coin!

All fun aside, the seller of the empty box just might have the last laugh. He's got over 4 days left on his listing.

By the way, if anyone wants to buy a bunch of S.S. Republic Shipwreck wooden display boxes, let me know.

There's no coin in each box, but there is a DVD that shows coins being recovered.

Friday, April 02, 2010


It’s time to concentrate on collecting something a little easier – like truly rare coins!


When the Presidential dollars first came out in 2007, I was excited. While I’ve heard and read a lot of criticism about the coins, I actually like them and throughout 2007 I dutifully went to my local bank each time a new President was released and bought a couple of rolls. Everything went smoothly that first year.

It was the first coin in 2008 where my problems first began. I went to my local bank right on schedule to get a couple of James Monroe dollar rolls. However, when I got there, the teller explained to me that they no longer were getting the coins in rolls. They only had single coins to sell. I’d have to go to another bank to get the rolls.

For the next few days, I called banks around my area to see if they had Presidential dollar rolls. None of them did, and most said they didn't have the single coins as well.

I finally got a break one day when I was at my local bank. I thought what the heck, I’d give it another try while I was in there for some other business. The teller gave me the usual story that they didn’t have any, but then she gave me the information I was waiting to hear. She thought that a larger branch about 5 miles away had the rolls. I immediately headed over there and, low and behold, they had rolls of James Monroe. I was so happy I bought 4 instead of my usual 2.

For the next 2 years I went to that bank to buy 3 to 4 rolls of each new Presidential dollars, and I’d call ahead to make sure that I could get them. I’d sell the extra rolls at face value to friends and family that were also having trouble locating them. Things were once again going smoothly . . . that is until Zachary Taylor.

Zachary Taylor was my first inkling that things were about to start going wrong once again. As I asked a teller for 3 rolls of Zachary Taylor dollars, an assistant manager overheard my request. She went on to explain to me that the bank had a policy of only one roll per customer. I asked when they started this policy and she told me, “the bank has always had this policy.” For 2 years I had no problems at that bank, suddenly it was a problem.

But the assistant manager was willing to make an exception and sell me 3 rolls. When I got the rolls I was met with another surprise. For the first time, the paper wrapper did not have the President’s name on the roll. One of the 3 rolls only had the reverse showing at each end, so I had no idea if it was a Zachary Taylor roll. The other 2 rolls at least had the President Taylor obverse showing at one of the ends, so I knew there was at least one of the coins in each roll.

Presidential_dollar_rollsA few month later and it was time to go to the bank for Millard Fillmore. This time I went expecting the bank to only sell me 1 roll. But it turns out, I wasn’t really prepared for what was about to happen.

I was told that the bank no longer has Presidential dollars. Not just the rolls, but single dollars as well. I’d have to start going somewhere else to get them. But they did sell me 2 well circulated rolls of 1979, 1980, and 1999 Susan B. Anthony dollars – go figure.

I called around and checked other banks in my area, and they too no longer get the latest Presidential dollars. Apparently nobody is asking for them.

So I no longer have to decide whether or not I'm going to collect Presidential dollars, the banks have already decided for me. I don't blame them, afterall there really is nothing in it for them if their customers aren't asking for them.

As for my current collection of Presidential dollars, they’ll probably all get used in the self-checkout lane at the grocery store.

I guess it's time to concentrate on collecting something a little easier - like truly rare coins.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Coin Collector’s 2011 Red Book is Now Available!

A Guide Book of United States Coins 2011 Released April 1st!

If there is one book that every coin collector needs on their bookshelf, it would be A Guide Book of United States Coins 2011: The Official Red Book.

There are plenty of other coin collecting guide books out there (read my negative review of the 2010 Blackbook Guide to United States Coins), but none come close to the Red Book for both content or color images.

As of April 1st, the 2011 Red Book is now on sale.  Collectors have a choice between the hardcover or spiral editions.  But whichever edition you choose, the Red Book is definitely one of the single best collecting investments you can make. 

When you hear “buy the book before the coin,” the Red Book is usually the “book” they are talking about.