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1986 Italian Circulation Strike Set

Category:  World Coins
Owner:  Revenant
Last Modified:  9/27/2022
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Slot: 5 Lire
Origin/Country: ITALY
Design Description:
Item Description: 5L 1986R
Grade: NGC MS 66
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
I got this coin out of an old Franklin Mint, "Coin Sets of all Nations" set that I bought while trying to find high grade examples of the 500 Lire coins in various dates / years. I'd bought and broken up a set that included a 1987 500 Lire coin, but most of the other coins in that set were from 1986. So, when I decided I wanted to go ahead and submit some coins from 1986 to finish building out a 1986 birthyear set, I sent in these coins as they looked like solid examples that would grade pretty well.

Unlike with the 50, 100, and 200 Lire, there were no 1986-dated 5 Lire or 10 Lire coins for sale that had already been graded by NGC. So, for these 2 coins, grading myself was about the only way I was going to get to finish this set other than waiting and hoping someone else would do it and sell me the coins for a reasonable price and I'm not much of a fan of "wait and hope." Not when I have or can get good examples I can grade myself.

The choice worked out well in this case as the coin came back with an MS66, which is solid.
Slot: 10 Lire
Origin/Country: ITALY
Design Description:
Item Description: 10L 1986R
Grade: NGC MS 65
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
I got this coin out of an old Franklin Mint, "Coin Sets of all Nations" set that I bought while trying to find high grade examples of the 500 Lire coins in various dates / years. I'd bought and broken up a set that included a 1987 500 Lire coin, but most of the other coins in that set were from 1986. So, when I decided I wanted to go ahead and submit some coins from 1986 to finish building out a 1986 birthyear set, I sent in these coins as they looked like solid examples that would grade pretty well.

Unlike with the 50, 100, and 200 Lire, there were no 1986-dated 5 Lire or 10 Lire coins for sale that had already been graded by NGC. So, for these 2 coins, grading myself was about the only way I was going to get to finish this set other than waiting and hoping someone else would do it and sell me the coins for a reasonable price and I'm not much of a fan of "wait and hope." Not when I have or can get good examples I can grade myself.

The choice worked out... okay, with this coin. I got an MS65, which is a solid gem-uncirc grade but I don't suppose it will "Wow" most people.
Slot: 50 Lire
Origin/Country: ITALY
Design Description:
Item Description: 50L 1986R
Grade: NGC MS 68
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
I found myself looking at NGC-graded and raw Italian coins on eBay in early Nov 2021. I'd been trying to spark more interest in the hobby with her and find ways to share it with her. We’d been looking at groups of RAW Zimbabwean coins together and enjoying that and I wanted a way to continue that momentum.

My wife lived in Italy for about 3 years as a child from about 1991 to 1993. She always talks fondly about Italy and wanting to go back there. So getting some Italian coins and making some Italian registry sets - maybe of the same coins she would have seen as a child - seemed like a good way to do that.

I found a seller offering some higher grade 50 Lire, 100 Lire, 200 Lire and 500 Lire coins - mostly from our birth year or years close to it - coins of the same types they brought back home with them in a bag as mementos - for sale at reasonable-ish prices. The starting bid prices were kind of high but tolerable given the grades.

I decided the prices were worth it to snap these up, start these sets, and turn them into a love letter to my wife. I managed to win this 1986 50 Lire and a 1982 500 L - both MS68s - for $33-41 each, after shipping - no one bid against me lol. That started 2 new registry sets in two categories that I think may have been new to 2021.

And so this set was born!
Slot: 100 Lire
Origin/Country: ITALY
Design Description:
Item Description: 100L 1986R
Grade: NGC MS 68
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
I look at this coin as one of those examples of "patience pays off" (and I can actually say I was patient and didn't fear any minor buyer's remorse for my impatience after the fact). I saw the same seller that I bought a MS68 1982 500L and MS68 1986 50L from in Nov 2021 offering some of these 100L coins in MS66-68, and they were selling them at that time in late 2021. But I didn't get them at that time.

The seller was asking higher prices for these 100L coins at the time. The seller was asking $50-60 for these 100L at the time if you wanted an MS68 (which I did), if I remember right and those prices / values felt like more of stretch to me than the $35-40 they were asking for the MS68 50L and 500L coins. I also wanted to keep my budget / spending on this a little more modest at the time, pace myself a little, and not go TOO crazy out the gate. so I decided to focus on the 50L and the 500L and let the 100L go or to let it wait.

In late May 2022 I saw they'd finally listed one of these in MS68 at sub-$40. It was $36.50, so, after the $3.50 shipping fee, it would be $40. That price was consistent with the price I'd been pulling the trigger on other coins for these Italian sets on, so I finally decided to snap it up. It was a coin I wanted, in the grade I wanted, finally at the price I was happy enough to pay.

A little bit of patience (when I have some) sometimes pays off. ;)
Slot: 200 Lire
Origin/Country: ITALY
Design Description:
Item Description: 200L 1986R
Grade: NGC MS 67
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
I got this coin out of an old Franklin Mint, "Coin Sets of all Nations" set that I bought while trying to find high grade examples of the 500 Lire coins in various dates / years. I'd bought and broken up a set that included a 1987 500 Lire coin, but most of the other coins in that set were from 1986. So, when I decided I wanted to go ahead and submit some coins from 1986 to finish building out a 1986 birthyear set for the year my wife and I share, I sent these in as they looked like solid examples that would grade pretty well.

This coin was a bit more of a calculated risk than the 5 Lire and 10 Lire coins I submitted myself as I could have just purchased an already graded MS65 from a dealer for ~$45. I'd have known what I was getting and not had to worry about it. But I had this coin, I thought it would grade well, and I decided it was worth a ~$20 grading fee to see how I did.

The choice worked out very nicely for me in this case - I got this back as an MS67, making it the solo-finest graded by NGC at the time I'm writing this. We'll see if that stays the case, but submitting this coin netted me a very solid coin for this set either way.
Slot: 500 Lire
Origin/Country: ITALY
Design Description:
Item Description: 500L 1986R
Grade: NGC MS 65
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
I feel like getting this this coin, despite it being one of the lower grades in the set for now, is one of the bigger wins for the set just because I had a much harder time finding 1986-dated examples that were in nice-looking uncirculated condition.

The 1982 is common as dirt in high grade and it is one of the few years that has a lot of high-grade NGC-graded examples I think because it was the first year of the history-making coin and so they were saved heavily.

The 1983, 1985 and 1987 can be acquired easily through buying inexpensive Franklin mint sets – an option I availed myself of happily, as I discuss on some of the other coins in this set.

I managed to get lucky early on with picking up lots of 500 Lire coins that contained nice 1984, and 1985 coins early on, and got lucky by finding some reasonably priced 1988 and 1989 dated examples early on in my search for these…

But, in all of this, the 1986 was one that was eluding me, and I was starting to worry that finding a good one was going to turn into a major problem for this set.

In truth, the 1986 is one of the most common years, having the 2nd highest mintage, behind only the 1987. And it has a high frequency of 28% per Numista, but I just was not finding any that still looked even remotely good or worth grading for this set.

I’d just about given up on it and accepted that this slot might be sitting empty for a while, and I was just going to focus on getting more 1983 and 1987 dated coins and trying to make the rest of the set as strong as I could.

The fact that this was our birthyear coin just made this so much more frustrating for me.

I went to my wife at one point along the way and asked her if she thought I should buy more of the Franklin mint sets hoping to target better ’83 and ’87 examples or buy more 12-coin lots from a seller I’d bought from previously and see what we got (they were mixed lots of random date XF, AU, and MS coins from the 1980s and early 1990s – no coins from the late 1990s and 2000s, which were their own challenge – and so it was a real gamble). She favored getting the lots of random mixed dates and conditions to see what we got.

It turns out one of the things we got was this coin. We got two 1986-dated examples in that group of 24 coins (I ordered two 12-coin lots together), but this was far and above the nicer of the two.

I was extremely happy to find this coin when going through that batch and very glad I’d gone with Shandy’s gut on it. I was also very happy to see this thing hit a gem-uncirc grade and not come back as another MS64 (or lower). Because it just has not been easy for me to find these.

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