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1878 Wyoming Battle & Massacre Centennial HK-120

HK-120 has always interested me due to the obverse design. That design is pretty intricate and commemorates the battle and massacre of wyoming of july 3, 1778 during the revolutionary war. According to the Columbia County historic & genealogical society of bloomsburg, pa ( "On July 3, 1778 a contingent of about 300 American militia met a much larger invading army of British regulars, Tories and Indians in the Wyoming Valley near modern Exeter south of Scranton." The american militia was were overwhelmed and retreated in panic. The web site has more information on this historic event. The reverse, at least to me, is not very interesting with a monument which is inside fenced grounds. I was high bidder in a heritage auction back in 2007 and won an HK-120 NGC-64 brown. There were only 3 graded at that level at that time and it is a R-7. The medal overall is very nice. I probably paid way too much for the medal but loved the color on the obverse and the history. Wyoming Battle & Massacre Centennial 1878. I tend to collect medals that have stronger historic links for me and tie into either major events, things learned in grammer school and high school american history class or related to areas where I have lived or visited. As I mentioned I paid a big premium for it resulting from getting caught up in the "auction fever"! It happens at one point or another to most of us! In tracking this medal when it comes up I have found though it is rare - I seldom find it showing up and noticed in 2007 ebay had one up and went for $600. So now I saw the 2-NGC-64 medals of a population of 3. Also wondered if it was the underbidder (by $25) from the heritage one who did better by loosing out! Then nothing for several years. Then I noticed that Stacks-Bowers this month (jue 2011) had a NGC-64 although I believe mine was superior in grade to this one and it went for $403. In 2009 stacks had an NGC-67bn that went for $2,070. For me that is way to much to pay for a so-called-dollar! But to each their own collecting interest or was it auction fever! So did I account for all 3 NGC-64 coins of 2007 . NGC use to allow free access to their census reports but now you have to join as a paid member so I am not sure what the report says now - but anyone that has access I would appreciate posting an update. I see Jeff has two HK-120's up for sale this month (what sparked me to post this) and one is in a NGC-64BN holder. So is this the 3rd census coin or is it another (by now may be more). Prices seem to be in the general range of $600-800 though for the medals if you can find them. I know a more economical way to add this medal is to go after a HK-121 in white metal with R-5. Although stacks had one in NGC-62 in 2010 that sold for $575, I was able to get mine at retail in NGC-61 for $260 in 2008 which is just as nice (in my opinion) as the stacks medal. The Ostimier auction in 2010 had an HK-121 in NGC-63 which went for $380. So there is no ryme or reason as to what prices on this piece may go for. Guess it depends who wants it at the time. I started in 2006 to become interested in so-called dollars since at that time federal coinage was going crazy and I was looking for an inexpensive segment of the hobby and started looking at medals. Of course with the grading services putting numbers on so-called-dallars I think that so-called-dollars also began increasing in value. I do find though that the non-ceritified or "raw" pieces offer a nice inexpensive way to go. You do need to feel comfortable with grading them but if you just buy a piece that you find attractive and at what you believe is a fair price you can't go too wrong. For grade census come and go and a piece with only 3 at that level can change in a couple of years if others with raw pieces see that they may get prices at that level for their piece if slabbed and more are submitted! I did that with a Susan b. Anthony near date 1979 $1. They are a mint variety that were discovered in late 1980's and I found a couple of rolls of them at a local bank. I had been hard press to sell them to dealers at $5/coin (they retailed them at $25/each back then) and to local club members for $8/coin (sold 1 or 2). For club members I was picking the best of the best of the roll I had! Then I saw a 1979 near date SBA in a PCGS-66 holder go at auction for $3,000 back in mid 2000s! Yes $3,000, and I started to wonder how many I had in my roll and how many I sold for $5-8. Anyway I teamed up with a dealer friend and he had a bunch graded at PCGS. None came back as MS-66 but we got several at the MS-65 level and sold them easily to collects for $250 each - my point on this story is: population reports do change on non-rare coins and medals when price levels go up. I know I am off track some on medals and so-called-dollars but this experience has always stuck with me (although for me it was a very pleasant experience). I know I had picked plenty of MS-65 coins to try and sell to folks to no avail and it was when the coin made it into the holder they became valuable to collectors! I hope you enjoyed the post. My first one.

Just wanted to add an update to my post. I should have doubled checked my population report information. At the time of the heritage auction in 2007 there were only 3 NGC graded medals 1 in MS-63 & 2 in MS-64 (so the 2nd MS-64 could have been the ebay one or after the heritage auction and price recieved did someone rush to get one get their raw piece grade and try and capitalize on high prices!). So we know now there are more than 3 NGC graded HK-120 and one is an MS-67.

This HK-120C went on heritage recently. Pretty toning in my opinion and a subtype of HK-120 in gilt. This SCD commemorates a Battle between American Patriots and British loyalists (Torries) & Iroquois forces on July 3, 1778. The massacre involved more than 300 Americans. Please see this link for more details:

The next time I am Wilkes-Barre, PA, I will have to stop and look at this monument. It was apparently restored a few years ago.

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