CRYSTAL PALACE 1862-A Small Medal from the 1862 London World’s Fair #920
While this medal has seen much better days, it is still very scarce and worth collecting.
We were fortunate that in the nearly 6 months of preparing for this sale (as we hunted literally all over the country plus France and England) that we found so many great Crystal Palace pieces from both 1851 and 1862.
I've been at this long enough that I can't believe collectors and sellers lived on Xeroxed price lists and coin shows to find what is so accessible because of the Internet and good old Ebay, as well.
I suspect that many rarity grades remain substantially off the mark as they carry forward rarity designations from years ago and the internet adn Ebay changed how we understand this business. An overhaul of our rarity designations on medals and tokens (look at Civil War tokens!) is long overdue.
What we thought might have been a universe of 1 or 2 or even 5 examples has changed--today we KNOW that 3 or 30 might exist and it works in the opposite as well.
But this medal: It is indeed very scarce (and before the aforementioned Ebay and internet US collectors and dealers may never have even seen it) and I don't think the condition should turn anyone off. I have priced it very modestly due to the condition but it actually has some Prooflike surfaces but the pewter-like white metal was clearly too soft for the rough treatment it apparently endured. I absolutely do not consider this to be in negative condition. We all would prefer to see it as a prooflike BU but this is, I believe, a steal at only $32 if you are a fan of the Crystal Palace.
I always recommend what I was taught as a kid collecting: Buy the highest grade of something whenever feasible; don't automatically buy a rarity in crappy condition just so you can own it. Consider that balance between rarity and price AND condition and you may find in many cases that the AU price for example is a much bigger bargain than just buying a cheap low grade. Sorry to pontificate, but writing about all of these items is what a writer does.
It would make my life simpler if I could just copy a few thousand listings from recent years and massage it into a book; my forthcoming 3rd book about the WCE is all about such topics but alas, it hs to be written from the ground up.