The Gift

Here’s another great story from a friend over at the forums on Richard has graciously allowed me to share his story and I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank him for this privilege. Many of you may recall the story of Tim Mayberry’s purchase of a lincoln cent set I reprinted from the forums back in October of ’09. One of my purposes for starting this site was the fact that I wanted to show the emotional side of coin collecting rather than the investment aspects of the hobby. Richard, Tim, and myself have a passion for numismatics and here is a perfect example:

“About 40 years ago as a young boy I found out that I really like collecting coins. I had some cent albums I would try to fill. When we would visit my Uncle’s house about once a month a cousin and I would walk about 2 miles up the road to the corner of Scottsdale Rd and Shea Blvd in Scottsdale, AZ and visit a little coin shop. Sure that area is in the middle of town now but back then I can assure you it wasn’t. The dealer was a kind enough old guy who always let us look through the junk box and “give us a deal”.

I even somehow was able to secure a 1912-s V Nickel as a part of a year set that I got out of his junk box. I had put them in a Jefferson Nickel album and had written $8 / 23 coins in the book. I only found out it was a “s” mint about 5 or 6 years ago.

Sorry, I got sidetracked as this story is not about that nickel.

Anyway as a couple of years of random visits to that shop went on I’d always drool over the gold Saints in the guys case. I set my sights on obtaining one of these beautiful coins. At the time he said one would cost me $160. That was a lot of money for a kid but I knew that I’d have to somehow raise the cash.

I set out mowing lawns in the hot Arizona summer raising a few bucks at a time. I saved it all. I didn’t buy ice cream off the truck that came by, I didn’t go to the movies… nothing. I mowed lawns…. lots of lawns all summer. I told everyone that would listen that I was working to save money to buy a gold coin. During my summer visits to the coin shop I’d give the guy updates on my progress towards owning a Saint. He would take the time to show me one and that just fired me up more.

The day came that I had raised my $160 and my folks took me out to my uncle’s place. In hindsight I have no idea why they didn’t drive me to the coin shop but they didn’t. My cousin and I walked up there and I announced that I was ready to buy my gold coin.

After all that I need to tell you that this story is not about a gold Saint Gaudens.

Here’s what I remember…

The dealer asked me if I truly had the money so I showed him I did. He asked me to think seriously why I wanted a Saint and I said that I wanted a gold coin.

He said that IF it was gold I was after that for the same money I could purchase a Mexican 50P piece which had about 1.2 oz of gold whereas a saint had less than an oz.

He showed me a 50P coin and I immediately fell in love with it. When he went to ring up the coin we all realized that I didn’t have enough money to cover the tax. The dealer thought for a moment and said for me not to worry about it. He even put it in a nice acrylic holder.

Fast forward to maybe 1981 or so and I found myself a young married father of one who was really strapped for cash. Gold had shot up in value to a shocking level. I called another dealer and he offered $1000 sight unseen for my 50P. Even though I really didn’t want to sell the coin I saw no alternative. I wasn’t about to borrow money from my folks. During a lunch together just prior to selling the coin I told my Dad what I was planning on doing and he reminded me of how hard I worked to get it. I told him I just didn’t see any alternative. That is when he announced that instead of selling the coin to the dealer he’d like to buy it for the same price, so we shook hands and made the deal.

Now you need to fast forward to about 25 years later. The “coin” never once came up between my Dad and I during that time. Anyway one Christmas maybe 2005 or 2006 we were at my folks house in Phoenix and my parents gave me a small gift from under the tree. It felt hefty…. hmmmm. Upon opening up that gift you cannot imagine my shock as there was my 50 Peso gold coin from my childhood. I think I damn near cried. Not wanting to take it as a gift I tried to pay my parents for it but they wanted nothing to do with that. All I could do was to thank them from the bottom of my heart. It was truly a moment I will never forget.

Let’s fast forward to today. You see I sent that same coin into PCGS recently as a part of my 8 coin “freebie” submission for the Collectors Club thing. I don’t submit many coins and in fact put the 50P in there as a filler. The old acrylic holder was all scratched up and in my mind the coin was probably only an AU58 or something. Honestly I didn’t look at it that close as I didn’t really care what the grade came back as because I just wanted it in a nicer holder. I have no intention of ever selling it anyway.

Well… when the grade posted on the computer I was SHOCKED. In fact I figured there must have been some mistake so I waited until the package came today to see it with my own eyes.

No… this is not a “you suck” kind of thing as the grade likely doesn’t change the value all that much I don’t think and it doesn’t matter as I’ll not sell it. It does make it a “special coin” though in that as far as I can tell… at least to this point in time it is the only PCGS Graded Mexican 50 Peso with a “+” sign after the grade.

Anyway… just wanted to tell you the whole story behind this coin. I hope I didn’t put you all to sleep or make you miss out on any “ebay threads”….”


  1. Great life . Hard work, setting goals and great parents equals the people I want to be associated with and that is being lucky with skills. Let the tears flow life is good. Thanks

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.