Speaking of Large Cents, Mark Horowitz wrote recently in the Early American Coppers Region 8 email newsletter about his eBay "learning experience" where he nearly got taken in by a fake coin. Below is an excerpt from tonight's issue. Neat story! For illustration I added an image of a 1799 cent from the first Dan Holmes sale (Ira and Larry Goldberg, Sale 54, September 2009, lot 352). It realized $850,000.
I have to share the highlight of my learning experience with you: I was eating dinner with my wife, daughter and her boyfriend, when the phone rang and my wife answered and took a message. "It was Dan Holmes calling about a 1799 penny," she said. "OK", I said and went back to talking to my daughter who we hadn't seen for awhile.
About six bites later the light bulb went off, and I erupted with "Did you say Dan Holmes?!!!" I couldn't believe it. It was like Tom Brady calling me and saying, "I was walking by your pick-up football game and thought I'd call to give you some tips on your passing."
I proceeded to tell everyone why I was so excited, since even as a novice, I had heard of Dan Holmes and had the catalogue for Part 1 of his sale. I told them about his long accumulation process and the beauty of his collection, the first million dollar large cent, and the total sales figure for Part 1.
They sat there wide-eyed. I had never seen my family so excited about my coin collecting! And when I called Dan back, I couldn't believe that he had taken the time to track down my phone number and call me. One of the first things he said was, "Don't be too hard on yourself, anyone who has collected large cents for any length of time will probably have bought a fake 1799 or at least come across one." And then he offered to send me the catalog of Part 3 of his auction because it contained 11 examples of fakes with descriptions that I might learn from.
For me, Dan's call and all of your responses here in Region 8 are part of what makes this hobby so exciting for me. It also represents the best of the American spirit of clubs where members help each other out and educate those who are new to the hobby. Thanks to you all!
Years ago, shortly after I'd started what became The E-Sylum, I got an email out of the blue from Harry Bass. I immediately emailed my friend Bob Metzger (who, like Bass, was living in Texas at the time). "Is this THE Harry Bass??" I asked. Yup - one and the same. I'd never had a billionaire pen-pal before. After I calmed down I wrote a reply, and we ended up corresponding quite a bit.
I never had the opportunity to meet Harry in person, but it's another example of how a hobby like ours breaks down barriers - lawyers, students, cab drivers, pipefitters and gazillionaires alike all share a common bond, babbling like excited schoolgirls over their hobby. Viva numismatics!
To view the complete lot description, see:
Lot 352. 1799 S-189 R2+ Normal Date.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS
the Q. David Bowers Research Library Sale Part IV on February 12, 2011, including:
Frossard and Hays United States Cents of 1794 original bound 1893 edition with plates
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