6 December 2021
So now I have seen 6 numismatic holdings get dealt with after the passing of the owner.
The first one left specific instructions, though not in the will, to contact me for the disposition of the collection. It’s been 4 years. Nothing has happened.
The second was a dealer, we were on the same wavelength, though we were not close. I ran into another dealer at a show said he was going to be handling the inventory after the first dealer passed, I mentioned as how I’d be interested in buying all of his non-core stuff. Duly noted, but I never heard back. Been three years. I hear that most of it was sold retail. Good job, other dealer.
Next up was a local friend. I was friends with the executor too. The family just got together and went “I want this, I want that.” Might have been seven figures of coins. Gold coins lying around. None of them knew anything about numismatics. Executor was going to call me when they got to the collections. Been three years. I’m figuring that they don’t need the money, just go ahead and keep it all. It’s pretty.
Who was next? His wife told me that his verbal instructions were “Trust the dealers.” She said she’d contact me when it was time. The “stuff” is always the least important of the chores when there is an estate to handle. It’s the money and the real estate they have to spend the most time on.
Then another one, we’d typically talk every couple of weeks over 40 years. There is a substantial collection. Wife knows it’s there but knows nothing about it. He just up and died unexpectedly. I did not ask if there was a will.
Latest was a dealer friend. Having received the prognosis of “a few months,” that one shoveled stock on to Ebay at whatever prices and managed to liquidate just about everything except a few $k of leftovers, of which I was specifically by name assigned some dregs that I paid about $2k for. This one saw what needed to be done and did it. If the family had hired a professional like me I would have taken a 20% commission. Someone else might have offered a blowout single payment, like the neighbor who comes up after the funeral and offers $175k cash for the house which is a bargain at $900k.
Most of you, your family doesn’t care about your collection. It’ll be a burden. Take care of it for them. Time is short.
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