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THE USPI BOOK: Revisited

(this piece was written last March 2019)


Ever since I got into coin collecting almost 8 months ago, I’ve had the distinct reputation of paying absurd prices for coins from FB auctions, dealers and sellers who obviously knew I didn’t know better. All of a sudden my number of friends on FB increased geometrically. I was the delight of every seller, wanting to get in for “some action.” I made sure though that I paid for every single coin as quickly as I can even though I realized afterwards the true prices of these coins that I had just bought. This is just to maintain that crazy “reputation” of a “good buyer” not to mention in order to maintain those “relationships” with all the sellers. Here are some of the stuff I paid for with crazy prices in recent months: 1. 1905 Peso straight serif with chopmarks: P14,000 — submitted for grading 2. 1897 Une Peso Filipinas: 8K — that recently got an AU50 grade from NGC 3. Dos Mundos 1770: P18k — that I recently got a “Cleaned-VF details” grade from NGC 4. Dos Mundos 1752: P18K — submitted for grading and slabbing 4. 1928 20centavo Mule (in an auction): P4k — that recently got an environmentally damaged grade from NGC. 5. Bronze Wilson Dollar (salvaged): P8,000 — still in the closet not going anywhere I guess my coin portfolio’s value, if converted to stocks and “marked to current market values” of the coins would register a big “unrealized loss” on its spreadsheet. Obviously can’t show this to the wife... That’s why it comes, with no surprise that the new Yap-Bantugan book collaboration is a “game changer” for me. As I said in my previous post last week that it has opened my eyes on the “minors” and the “varieties” and all I can say is that I am hooked! It also helps that I have met some reputable sellers, who are veterans in the hobby, and have looked kindly on me to the point that they have sold me a number of coins whose costs I couldn’t believe. Not to mention the vast amount of coins they sold me at very reasonable prices that has allowed me to hunt for these so-called varieties (as of today, i’ve accumulated more than 500 pieces of combined minors of different dates, mostly considered AU-UNC and even some BUs by these sellers). The result, a lowering of my overall coin portfolio cost and the increase in my current coin portfolio market value, both of which have a direct effect on my getting back some of those initial “setbacks” I experienced in the beginning of my numismatic quest and, at the same time, allowing me to enjoy the fun of discovery and finding or coming across a variety that ranks up there in terms of market value. Here are some of my recent discoveries: No. 1. Bar “9” on a 1945 50c (listed) No. 2. Double Date 1945 10c (listed) No. 3. Broken “S” on a 1945 50c (listed) No.4. Lava Flow on a couple of 1944 50c (no pics yet) (listed) No. 5. A couple of extra metals or “cud’s” on top of “F” and “I” and a dot on the forehead of an “A” from the same 1945 50c (not listed) No. 6. Missing “M” on a 1941 10c, not listed but currently have one sample, and another one I intend to win in an auction this weekend. (not listed) No. 7. S/S on an AU 1908 One Peso sold by a senior collector for 1/2 the price of what I paid for for my other 1908 Peso coins. (listed) No. 8. A weird “S” with an extra metal or “cud” on its forehead on a 1912 peso coin. (not listed) No. 9. and, a “lamination error” that goes deep on to the planchet on a 1941 10c


Whatever it is, this USPI book has added a new dimension to the term “the thrill of the hunt” for a numismatic newcomer like me. Not only has it opened my eyes to appreciate the weird and small things I see under a 14x-21x loupe with USPI coins, but also I am made more aware of the small things on the other coins like this die break on this Peruvian 8 reales countermark coin with a 5•2•2 crown pattern type and a Y37b.2 variant code, that I recently purchased (No. 10). Something I wouldn’t have paid attention to, until the book came along. At the end of the day, these small nuances transforms the hobby into something more than that, and it adds to that orgasmic feeling one gets in beating the odds by discovering these varieties amidst a sea coins....making these discoveries definitely much better than sex.

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