Liberty Walking Half's Blog

06 Jun 2018

The Bargain Bin Tales; Deals and Steals

Coins | Liberty Walking Half

At most coin shows, or at least the ones I have been to, a majority of the dealers have a bin full of coins at a cheap price, sometimes even not in the basic protection of flips. This is the bargain bin. Generally the affordable prices lead to, well, deserving values and grades. However, sometimes a true, amazing deal comes forward, or a coin of much more extensive interest than originally anticipated from this type of purchase. This is the topic of this blog and future ones in this particular blog series.

For today's first bargain bin tale, I will start with one of those deals of greater value than expected. It was about 4-5 years ago, at one of my first coin shows. At that point, my budget pretty much forced me to have a heavy dose of bargain buys. While rummaging through another bin, I found a chinese coin, which greatly interested me. But it was what I bought with it from that bin that would prove to be the real deal. It was a liberty head nickel, dated 1894, and in G-4 condition. Doesn't sound off the bat to be a good bargain, but it turned out to be worth around $20. Compare that to the cost of fifty cents, and you got an amazing deal.

Though this next buy technically wasn't from a bargain bin, I will make an exception for it today, as this coin was a great deal, and is the next best one I have currently to write about. Approximately 2-4 years ago, I had been hunting the majority of that particular show looking for an affordable three-cent piece. I finally found one that wasn't too overpriced, and then the "haggling' began, though at the time I wasn't exactly the greatest haggler. Thankfully, I had my youth on my side, so I got a good deal regardless on the 1852, around G-4 condition, three-cent piece at $9. The coin is now worth around $25.

I found some great coins in bargain bin hunting, and I will continue to try to find more. Bargain bin finds can be found by anyone willing to take a small risk of cash and a decent amount of their time and patience. But the reward will be great once the coin is uncovered, whether it be of value or intrigue. So keep your eye out for new great finds, and for the next blog in this series, the Bargain Bin Tales.



Level 6

I love to look through "junk" boxes, you never know what you might run across!

Some stuff in junk bins are there because (a) they're junk, or (b) the seller doesn't know what it is. I like to look to, but try to observe etiquette as well. If i purchase something from the dealer, only then will I stop and look thru the junk box. If I just go straight for it before looking at anything else, I just don't feel right.

Jonas's Coins

Level 5

I once got a VG 1836 capped bust quarter worth $100 for 4.20 from a junk silver bin. I was also able to get a liberty head nickel error coin worth $25 for 80 cents.


Level 6

Love these stories.. It's always a great feeling to get a deal.. Thanks!


Level 5

Great post! I remember going to my first Denver Coin Expo a little over five years ago. I was looking through a junk bin of mostly "4-for-$1" world coins and tokens when I found something that just looked like an old piece of copper from what I thought was Ireland due to the big harp I saw on one side, but there was this huge blob of differently colored metal that I thought was probably some old solder that got on there; maybe it was a jewelry piece or something I thought - well did I ever think wrong! When I got home to look at the spoils of my searches, I discovered that I had just picked up an amazing colonial piece without even realizing it - a St. Patrick Farthing, aka, NJ Mark Newby coinage - and it only cost me 25 cents!! This isn't the only reason, but it is probably the best reason that explains why I teach a class at our Summer Seminar event called, "What's In Your Junk?" So many collectors (and dealers too!) throw their difficult to identify coins into a junk bin and forget about them (in much the same way many of us tend to just 'skip over' words when reading if we don't understand them, and then forget to look up their definitions later!) There are still some openings for my two-night class during Week 1 of this year's annual event, but you need to hurry! E-mail seminars@money.org for more info!) -Sam Gelberd, ANA Numismatic Educator.


Level 7

Very true. I have bought coins I liked not expensive and they turned out value wise to be great. Wrote a blog called you never know what your buying and your blog says the same. It's a great feeling to get a good deal once in a while. Good for you keep it up I enjoyed the blog. Mike.


Level 6

I enjoy these stories. Many treasures lurk in bins, or are they "junk boxes"?


Level 6

I enjoy bargain bins also, Once in a while you find something interesting.

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