By CoinWeek Staff Reports …..
A winning bid on eBay for a collection of coins gave an Indiana coin dealer far more than he bargained for.
After processing and sorting the collection, Sam Shafer discovered an 1848 Seated Liberty dime that seemed far better struck than what one would expect for the period.
The coin, which was shipped in a bubble mailer, had a distinct cameo contrast and, while slightly worn, was very sharply struck.
“I was looking at Greysheet bid. I saw it as a coin that was AU with some degree of cleaning and I thought there was meat left with a $100 bid and so that’s what I offered,” he said. Shafer concluded the sale on June 22.
Shafer, who regularly buys coins on eBay and sees the platform as a great source of fresh material, had no reason to expect that this 1848 dime would turn into one of his greatest picks.
The coin has an original mintage of 10 and only eight are know, including this one. The record price paid at auction for an 1848 Seated Liberty dime in Proof is $28,750, the price realized for an NGC PF66* with beautiful toning in a 2012 Heritage Auction.
Shafer’s coin is a far cry from the finest known of the issue, but it is remarkable nonetheless, both because of its rarity and because it has escaped detection as a Proof for decades (if not longer).
“To tell you the truth, the ’48 was not even the first package I opened that day. That same seller had listed a Confederate obverse 1861-O, which I actually paid good money for despite the fact that I knew the coin had been harshly cleaned. The ’61-O was actually the coin I wanted to look at first out of that deal.
“My first impression,” Shafer told CoinWeek, “was that this was a really well-made dime for the 1840s and the coin looked much better in hand than I expected from the listing.
“The one in the date was repunched… checking off die markers. Then I went to Gerry Fortin’s website to look at all of the die markers for three dies they used that year, and I saw nothing that indicated that my coin was anything but a Proof.
“It’s tempting to keep it, but as a dealer, it’s part of what we do to buy things and move them down the road. This is the way we make money and I’m happy to move to provide the dealer community and opportunity to participate and take a shot at it.”
An auction for the coin is expected to take place next week on the Coin Dealers Helping Coin Dealers’ Virtual Coin Show Facebook group.
The Facebook group is open to professional numismatists, but if a collector is interested in placing a bid on the rare Proof Seated Liberty dime, they can contact the CDHCD group by sending an email to email@example.com, or they can contact Shafer directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shafer estimates that the coin will bring between $8,000 and $10,000.
CAC-Certified Seated Liberty Dimes Currently Available on eBay