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I Want to Hear 'Sold'
April 17, 2008

My bags are packed. I'm ready to go. But I'm not leavin' on a jet plane. I am able to drive by Chicago O'Hare Airport on my way to the Central States Numismatic Society Convention in Rosemont.

I am looking forward to it.

History might be in the making at the Heritage auction tonight. An 1804 silver dollar will go on the block. Will it sell? What will the sale price be? I am curious.

I am also a tad superstitious about this. I had an 1804 silver dollar in my hand at the Central States convention in 1980. That's the famous Lincoln, Neb., event where everyone realized the coin market had died.

Bullion had peaked a few months before in January 1980. The coin market was operating on fumes for a time afterwards, but in Lincoln everyone realized the good times, then called "the party," were over.

I have always considered this a one-time event, but ever since I heard that an 1804 dollar was going to be offered today at Central States, I have had that little nagging fear in the back of my mind that history could repeat itself. I hope to report tomorrow that that is not the case at all.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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