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.