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Legal Question About Coin Ownership

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 Posted 09/17/2022  9:31 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add philoponus6 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
If I purchase a coin for, say, $10, not knowing the value, and later on the coin turns out to be worth $10,000, does the seller have any legal claims on the coin?
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 Posted 09/17/2022  9:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Unless there were conditions attached to the original sale, I would think not.
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 Posted 09/17/2022  10:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumismaticsFTW to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Of course it's not illegal, that's how countless dealers have become rich
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 Posted 09/17/2022  10:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoffeeTime to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Isn't this the ultimate cherry pick?
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 Posted 09/17/2022  11:50 pm  Show Profile   Check Collects82's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Collects82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Why would the seller have claim on something they had not researched and learned the value of? Is that due diligence not their responsibility, and if they don't, why does the new owner have to pay them back?

There are no ethics concerns if both buyer and seller were on the same page regarding knowledge (or lack there of) on the coin. Things get grey when one knows more and uses that to take advantage of the other. In one sense its capitalism, but transparency and honesty mean a lot too.
My hoard of '82s is up to 241! 218 BC x 1, 118 BC x 3, 18 BC x 1, 82 x 1, 182 x 1, 282 x 2, 382 x 1, 582 x 2, 682 x 1, 782 x 2, 882 x 1, 982 x 4, 1082 x 1 1182 x 8, 1282 x 2, 1382 x 1, 1482 x 6, 1582 x 13, 1682 x 17, 1782 x 60, 1882 x 68, 1982 x 45
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 Posted 09/18/2022  12:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add silviosi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Legally, the previous owner has no more rights of what sell if do not prouve that was force to do the transaction. So do not worry, you buy from a dealer at the price agreed by the both parts, is no legal come back.
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 Posted 09/18/2022  04:14 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The dealer would have a claim if, and only if, there was some fraud involved on your part in arriving at that $10 price.

Example: suppose you are a recognized expert in Early American cents. A coin dealer friend asks you to help him identify and value an early US cent. You recognize at once that it is a scarce variety, but you decide to "pull a swifty" - you tell the dealer it's cheap and common, or even a fake, an offer $10 for it. The dealer accepts the offer, and you turn around and on-sell it for $10000. You've lied, and committed fraud, for personal gain. And that's a crime.

Even here, it's a legal dice roll, because it's really, really hard to prove "intent" in a court of law. It's entirely possible that you, the EAC expert, honestly thought it was "just a $10 coin" when you made the offer, then only later discovered its true worth once you had the chance to study it closely at leisure. If it came to a lawsuit, I'm sure the defence would be making that exact argument. In that case, you weren't lying or trying to be fraudulent, but from the point of view of the dealer, that second scenario looks exactly the same as the first scenario.

Which is why most coin experts, when placed in such situations, will almost universally decide to voluntarily share their windfall profits with the dealer who made it possible. There may not be a "legal claim", but there certainly might be a perception of a moral and social claim. Keeping the friendship is worth a few thousands bucks.

And even in this scenario, I only see the dealer "losing" if and when it comes time to sell. If you're a collector, and you're going to keep the coin in your collection forever, whether it becomes a $10000 jewel or stays a $10 piece of gravel, then there's no actual net financial gain taking place.

I shall relate my own, slightly less extreme example of this exact same scenario. I bought this coin off a local coin dealer here in Brisbane, Australia for $2 back in 1999. It's not listed in the world coin catalogue, but I figured it was just a catalogue error. I finally got around to asking about it in that thread on the forums in 2006. Turns out it's actually rather rare; the mint that struck them burned down while the coins were in storage, so only a handful were scraped out of the ashes. Probably worth about $1000 these days.

The coin dealer I bought it from had gone out of the coin business and left town in 2004. But even if I had been able to track him down, I wouldn't have felt compelled to give him any extra money, because in a very real sense, I didn't actually have the money to give him, since I hadn't sold the coin. Still haven't. The $1000 "profit" is only virtual, theoretical profit. I paid $2 for it, and as far as any rational person is concerned, it's still only worth $2, until and unless I actually try to sell it. It's entirely possible that by the time I get around to selling it, someone discovers a vatful of them in the ruins of the old mint and they become $2 coins again.
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 Posted 09/18/2022  06:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PlumCrazy814 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Any legal claim the seller might have would have to be worked out in a court, not in a coin forum, in my opinion
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 Posted 09/18/2022  07:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SpeedDemonND to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can't imagine the seller would have any legal claim unless there was fraud on your end, like Sap said. However, if this is a real scenario, it's best to consult an actual lawyer on the matter if need be.
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 Posted 09/18/2022  07:46 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add philoponus6 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Right now it is mostly a hypothetical question. But I am purchasing a large collection over a long period of time from an individual whose father collected, or I should say hoarded. Most of the purchases are sight unseen, using the sellers description, mostly based on the father's descriptions on holders that were told to me via e-mail.

Right now everything is on the up and up, and there is complete transparency. Our rough agreement is that I get a great deal in exchange for honesty, and buying and moving everything, including a lot of small stuff. Because of the sheer volume of the deal, we use rough pricing, and there have been mistakes made that go both ways. This is a real mind-bending experience!

In a hurry I went from a small collector to a serious buyer, so it is good to know the law. And, you never know how siblings will react.

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 Posted 09/18/2022  08:20 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fplagge to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
And, you never know how siblings will react.

Uh-oh! Now you have thrown a very large log into the fire.

If you are talking about purchasing a family member's claim into the mix, I can see where there can/will be stumbling blocks down the road.

Methinks a written agreement, signed by all parties, needs to be in place.

'Nuff said.
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 Posted 09/18/2022  09:28 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PlumCrazy814 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Relatives, I see. That's a different story. A suggestion is to go with the sibling to a coin shop and let the business owner make an offer for the lot. You can then decide if you want to match that price. Then you can set the payment terms. Having 3 siblings and having gone through a similar situation (4 times), I have an inkling what you may be facing.

I would not agree to consignment selling because, usually, the person who owns the coins will not appreciate the sheer volume of time you will have to put forth and may expect full benefit of your research, time, and brokering. Also, they will not appreciate the risk you are taking that the purchase may or may not gain value over time.

Fortunately for me, I have a great relationship with my siblings so that helped. I explained my position and the reality of this hobby (note I did not say business) in advance to set expectations. Obscure, mediocre coins have some value, but you have to find interested buyers which are, for the most part, very limited.
Edited by PlumCrazy814
09/18/2022 09:30 am
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 Posted 09/18/2022  09:29 am  Show Profile   Check Pacificoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Pacificoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Once more than one family member is involved then
potential for situations like this to go south ...immense .
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 Posted 09/18/2022  09:43 am  Show Profile   Check Collects82's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Collects82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yeah, this family situation is a biggie detail. Might even be bigger than if you got lucky stumbling into a high value rarity by chance. I would venture to say the odds of sibling drama are greater than finding the jackpot. This forum isn't a family / probate lawyer, but something that holds in that world may be in order. Regardless, a written something is highly recommended, hopefully the father is still with us to approve the agreement. Best of luck, family drama on this level can be the worst!
My hoard of '82s is up to 241! 218 BC x 1, 118 BC x 3, 18 BC x 1, 82 x 1, 182 x 1, 282 x 2, 382 x 1, 582 x 2, 682 x 1, 782 x 2, 882 x 1, 982 x 4, 1082 x 1 1182 x 8, 1282 x 2, 1382 x 1, 1482 x 6, 1582 x 13, 1682 x 17, 1782 x 60, 1882 x 68, 1982 x 45
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 Posted 09/18/2022  3:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add coin rejector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
"If I purchase a coin for, say, $10, not knowing the value, and later on the coin turns out to be worth $10,000, does the seller (your sibling) have any legal claims on the coin?"....

I once saw a true-crime documentary kinda similar to what you're describing, someone ended up in the morgue & the other in prison. Good luck w/ the purchase of the large collection!
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 Posted 09/18/2022  7:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add philoponus6 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
"I once saw a true-crime documentary kinda similar to what you're describing, someone ended up in the morgue & the other in prison. Good luck w/ the purchase of the large collection!"

Ha! You might see me on NCIS!

So far things are good.

Recently I bought a huge load of common proof sets at a price such that I can move them in lots, cover my costs, and make a few bucks. I said to be on the lookout for a 1967 gold coin - and surprise, one was found! - and got a sweet (but fair) deal on that one.
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