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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 17, April 23, 2006, Article 8

BARRY JABLON'S SNOWSTORM 1895 DOLLAR COIN BUY

Continuing with his reminiscences of his time in the coin business,
Barry Jablon writes: "Sometime in 1958, we had a big snow storm in
Philly, and Mr. Kraus couldn't get in to work, so I ran the Gimbel's
coin department for the day. There wasn't much business, but Mr.
Kraus called several times to remind me what to do if someone came
in to sell coins. "Don't look at the coin books for prices." "They'll
think you don't know your stuff and they'll think their stuff is
valuable."

Right before closing a poorly dressed man came to the counter with
two pieces of aluminum foil. "You guys buy coins don't you?" I opened
the foil slowly trying to imagine what could be inside the foil. The
first coin was a common date silver dollar. The second coin was a
magnificent, beautifully toned, 1895 proof dollar. What do I do? If
I call Mr. Kraus at home, the guy might walk. I had no idea of what
to do so I threw at price at him out of the clear blue sky. "$75.00"
I said, "I'll give you $75.00 for both coins."

He took the money and as he was signing the seller's paperwork, I
checked the stolen coin list we used to get each week.  There was no
listing for an 1895 dollar. When I called Mr. Kraus at home, he was
certain that the coin had been altered - the mint mark removed. I
rushed home from work that night, borrowed my dad's car, and went to
Mr. Kraus's apartment with the coin. He went crazy. It was one of the
best he had ever seen.

We sent the coin to the offices in New York as we always did with
purchases and that was the last I heard of it. That purchase established
my reputation with Mr. Kraus and from then on he allowed me to make
purchases on my own, and eventually, to run the Baltimore department."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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