on Wednesday, 10 January 2018 15:55. Posted in News

Dave and I left for Tampa on January 2nd, 2018.  The temperature in New Hampshire was a balmy 13 degrees below zero without the wind-chill factored in!  We were definitely looking forward to the warm environment.  Even at a little less than 50 degrees and vicious winds, it was very nice to be going to Florida.

 

We landed at 9:30am on Tuesday and the show didn’t start until 2:00pm Wednesday.  So, we hit the ground running and immediately started to see dealers that were offering coins prior to the show.  The mood was upbeat!  I was able to buy a choice piece here and there and Dave was showing the coins we brought to the show.  Surprisingly, there was a fair amount of decent coins to see.  Everyone looks forward to FUN, so I was anxious to see more coins from a large contingent of dealers that never go to any of the other coin shows.  As I tell everyone, FUN is a must attend show in the coin business.

 

Later on, we both attended the PNG luncheon and there was a lot of discussion regarding counterfeit coins and precious metals.  As I’ve said in our e-letters, this problem could explode, and the erosion of confidence in our industry could impact us detrimentally for a long time.

 

The show opened on Wednesday January, 3rd and there was a nice flow of activity throughout the show.  We met some new customers and dealers that made the show a lot of fun.  Gold coins appeared to be the strongest area of interest, which may be attributed to the recent bullion upswing.  Circ Type was abundant with only 1 of 10 being old time, original, standard coins.  Unfortunately, the cleaning and over grading of coins will hurt this market.

 

I had a once in a lifetime numismatic highlight.  I got to see the one and only 93-CC GSA Dollar in the hard plastic holder.  It’ll be a shock when the press release comes out on it.  I don’t want to steal my friend’s thunder, but a really good guy is working with this coin.  Also, the pieces with it were cool too!  The two 79-CC GSA Dollars in 64+ and 65+ were very nice and I saw the most beautifully toned Morgan Dollar I’ve ever seen. It was a gorgeous MS-68 example.  If the show is a barometer for 2018, it may be a very good year.

 

Thanks,

 

Warren

on Tuesday, 09 January 2018 16:42. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  January 2018 Issue

Copper Spots

By Warren Mills

I recently received an urgent call from a good customer about his 102 US Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins that are .9999 fine gold.  He was concerned because a couple of the pieces had small copper spots on them.  With the amount of counterfeit bullion in the marketplace, he was concerned about them possibly being fake.  He could not understand how with so much purity of gold that there could be enough copper to show through.  He thought for sure that the coins were fake. 
 
I explained to him that even though they are so pure, that other metals are still mined with the gold.  The US has used copper as a hardening metal with US gold since the inception of minting US gold coins.  Many dealers even look at copper spots as an assurance of the coin being genuine!  Many coins from other countries have the same copper spotting that can result during the annealing process.  I’ve seen many Canadian Gold Maple Leafs and a huge amount of Chinese Panda Gold Coins with annealing spots.  So please rest easy, the coins are genuine.

By the way, I would like to mention that in next month's newsletter, I should be posting the Maurice Rosen, Crystal Ball Survey.  I am one of a few dealers that were invited to answer questions for Maurice Rosen's yearly article.


Partner and owner of Rare Coins of New Hampshire, Inc. since June, 1990 and a full time coin dealer since 1979.  Warren is a full member of the Professional Numismatists Guild and a life member of the American Numismatic Association.  He was selected by the Rosen Numismatic Advisory as one of the ten leading numismatists in the country for twelve consecutive years.  He was selected by PCGS and written up in their newsletter as handling and submitting some of the nicest coins they have ever seen.


2018, Let’s Get it Started!
By Dave Carleton

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season and I’d like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year.

As you read this, Warren and I are probably at the Florida United Numismatist (F.U.N.) Show in Tampa, Florida.  We’ll be there from Tuesday, January 2nd through Saturday, January 6th.  Warren has a Want-List as long as his arm and he’ll be diligently trying to find the right coins to fill those orders.  I’ll be stationed at our table and look forward to seeing some of my collectors and meeting new ones.

A short while ago, one of our employees, Donald Dee, told Warren and I about a conversation that he just had with one of his clients. The way I heard it, the man gave his son a couple of one ounce Gold American Eagles as a gift.  His son took them to a classy jewelry store in New York City and they said that they’d be happy to purchase them from him at face value ($50 per coin).  I’ll give the store’s buyer credit for being so bold, but that’s it.  Apparently, the young man didn’t know the value of the Gold Eagles at the time, but he knew enough to realize that he was being taken for a fool, so he left.  He called his dad to get the details and tell him of his experience and his dad straightened him out and told him that he should be offered approximately $1,300 for each one ounce Gold American Eagle.  The man was horrified about his son’s experience and called Don to tell him the story.  He could not believe that a fine jewelry store would pull such a stunt.

The minute Warren heard the story he turned to me and said that I should mention it in one our monthly missives, so that’s what I’ve done.  Even though I don’t believe anything was done illegally, it’s just hard to believe that there are people out there in fine establishments that are comfortable taking advantage of customers who happen to be naïve about hard assets.  I know that store will never get a referral from that kid, but I wonder how many times they’ve pulled that play and got away with it.

That story kind of dovetails into something that I wanted to mention.  Today I got an email from the Numismatic Crime Information Center (NCIC), They are a nonprofit organization that keeps dealers like us abreast of various crimes in the numismatic community.  We’ve been interacting with them for several years and in their latest donation drive they mentioned how much activity they have been involved in over the last year.  I’ll paste their message below. 


In 2017 the Numismatic Crime Information Center fielded over 1000 phone calls and emails from dealers, collectors and law enforcement.  Over 115 cases were reported to NCIC with numismatic losses exceeding 2.1 million dollars.  NCIC participated in 52 cases and provided investigative strategies to law enforcement on the remaining investigations.  These efforts resulted in the recovery of over $300,000.

We will continue our educational initiatives in 2018 by providing free training to law enforcement across the country on "Investigating Numismatic Crimes".  These classes provide officers with the basic tools and resources to effectively investigate a numismatic crime.

NCIC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and all resources are free to dealers, collectors and law enforcement.


An anonymous dealer will match up to $2500 in a matching grant campaign until January 1, 2018.  If you would like to donate go to www.numismaticcrimes.org or send to P.O. Box 14080 Arlington, Texas 76094

Have a safe and Happy New Year!!


I think these folks are doing a real service for our marketplace and I’m a bit surprised at the amount of activity this little organization gets involved in on an annual basis.  We support them and appreciate that they make us aware of stolen items and what to be on the lookout for if they are brought into our establishment.

Thanks and have a Happy New Year!  Warren will probably write a summary of his impression of the F.U.N. show in his professional and technical manner and I’ll write mine in my untechnical laid back manner.

Thanks again,
Dave


David Carleton, a New Hampshire native was introduced to coin collecting by his father and Grandfather in the 50’s. Gold bullion speculation dominated the 70’s culminating in 1980 when focus on Numismatics returned. He became a life member of the ANA , met Warren Mills  (his coin Guru) and they cofounded RCNH in 1990.


It Has Happened Again!

By Joe Presti

The other day, a customer who has sold us some things in the past came in and asked about selling some “African silver.”  That phrase got the hair on the back of my neck to stand up because no legitimate coin dealer would use a term like that.  Only someone trying to make something sound more than it is would say that.  He told me he had Rwandan Meerkat and Water Buffalo 1 oz silver coins and Congo Gorilla silver coins.

So, I proceeded to treat him as I would treat anyone else who walked into our office.  I called our normal bullion wholesaler and asked what he would buy these coins for.  His reply was 5¢ behind spot silver, just what I expected.  Since I had the dealer on speaker phone, the customer heard and immediately became defensive.  From experience, I knew where he probably bought them and didn’t want him to think I was making a lot of money at his expense.  So I told him I would call the dealer he bought the coins from.

On speaker again, I told the dealer that I had approximately 50 of each coin available and asked the dealer what he would pay for the coins and his reply was a little more palatable.  He quoted $5 over spot for the Meerkat, $8 over for the Water Buffalo, but did not want to purchase the Gorillas even though he had sold them.  The customer would be losing money because silver had gone down since he purchased these coins, but it was much more than he was quoted when he called this same dealer on his own.  He wanted to sell.  When he told me the quantity he had was between 300-500 of each, I told him to come back the next day with the coins and we would consummate the deal.  I suspected the dealer would not honor his quotes for the quantities the client had.

Bright and early the next day he showed up at our office, silver in tow and I called the dealer.  Sure enough, the dealer who sold him the coins and quoted the higher prices the day before, would not honor the prices for that quantity of coins. Needless to say the customer was extremely disappointed with the transaction that never occurred, but we went above and beyond to attempt to help him the best and most ethical way we could. 

I tried to explain to this gentleman that although he had purchased his coins from a major bullion dealer, what he bought were coins that had limited distribution and only a few dealers in the country dealt with them.  In hindsight, he would have been much better buying silver Eagles because there is a much wider distribution of these coins.  Even if the dealer you bought from goes out of business, most other coin dealers in the country buy and sell silver Eagles.  Not many dealers buy and sell “African silver.” 


Questions From Our Mail Bag

By Warren Mills
 
I’d like to buy some silver, but I’m not sure what I should acquire.  I am leaning toward silver bars, what do you think?  -B.D.
 
Thanks B.D.!
 
I really like 90% circulated silver coins, also known in the industry as junk silver.  Right now, I like it for a few reasons.  It is denominated US coinage, accepted and well recognized.  What entity or country would bother trying to counterfeit circ silver coins?  It just doesn’t pay, so this offers a layer of protection.  On top of that, it is also trading incredibly close to melt value.  The premium above melt right now is only 2 to 3%.  The premium above melt for Eagles is about 15% over melt for nice, unspotted pieces.  The amount of silver bars and rounds in the marketplace gives me great pause.
 
As I said in earlier e-letters, the tidal wave of counterfeit bullion is just beginning.  It is going to get worse!  Try to acquire items that are less likely to be impacted negatively and compromise your liquidity.  I also feel that this will cause the future premiums for junk silver to escalate dramatically.  Get it now while the getting is good!
 
I also want to alert our customers to the fact that spotted and imperfect Silver Eagles trade for a discount in the marketplace now.  Don’t be fooled by a bargain price.  Also, watch out for esoteric private medals and world issues, they can impact your liquidity.  Premiums are a concern too!

on Thursday, 07 December 2017 17:14. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  December 2017 Issue

 

The 2017 Baltimore Show

By Warren Mills

Welcome to the December issue of The Rare Coin Enthusiast.  November was a whirlwind of activity for us.  We are seeing a huge amount of people coming in with coins to sell!  It got to the point that we were overwhelmed.  Alas, most are the usual instances of boxes of proof & mint sets, along with quantities of junk silver.  Very few people are coming in with any scarcer coins and when they do, we recommend that they consider certifying, CACing or holding on to them if they can.  We put a price on everything, but at some point, we feel that really choice material will enter a favorable up cycle again and that now is not the time to sell.  It is true that the base of clients for top quality coins is shrinking due to the aging demographics.  However, there are a handful of new serious buyers coming in with a more educated approach and striving for quality.  One affluent collector has spent over $100 million in a quest to assemble an Eliasberg Collection of top quality US coins in a very short time!  The future for top quality coins may finally be bright again.
 
The recently concluded Baltimore Coin Show was very good.  I was surprised that I saw a better selection of material than I had seen in the last few years.  It is very strange to be in a market where a wonderful 6-figure coin is actually more easily traded than a nice 4-figure or low 5-figure coin.  This really brought home the point that new buyers are not only interested in top quality, but are learning about high-end coins for the grade.  They are getting their education and entering the market with more discretionary income than most buyers have had to allocate in the past.
 
While I was attending the show, I had scheduled time to review clients’ coin collections and critique what they have been buying.  It’s a pleasure to see when the grading lessons are really sinking in.  One of our long standing clients came to me with a box of interesting key and semi-key dates of varied series of US coins.  I went through them all and gave an analysis of each coin.  His grading skills and market feel are now on par with many dealers in the industry.  He wanted to CAC some of his more expensive pieces, so I selected 10 coins and sent them to CAC for him.  I am happy to report that 9 out of 10 stickered!  The best part of it is that he is so appreciative.  We spend hours of time trying to help people with not so much as a thank you, sometimes going over their items for years and years with them.  Either way, it is rewarding for everyone to see when lessons are being learned.
 
I know that I’ve touched on this before, but a glaring example recently raised its ugly head.  We need to be diligent to help others and not fall into coin traps.  Many friends or relatives may not be collectors, but may actually be funding Golden IRAs and not even telling you about it. 
 
One last note, once again we’ve been asked to participate in the Rosen Numismatic Advisory, Crystal Ball Survey.  Maurice selects a panel of knowledgeable numismatists and asks for their opinion on a bunch of pertinent questions.  As one of the 6 participants, I am honored to have the opportunity.  With his permission, I will ask if he minds that we include the survey questions and responses in our next issue.  I hope you find the survey interesting and informative. 


Modern Proof Gold Rip-Off

By Warren Mills

The following is a case that we were alerted to.  Some of you may not know that there is a consumer organization that is lead by John Albanese, called The Numismatic Consumer Alliance.  Its sole purpose is to help people that may have been caught up in a coin scam.  We at RCNH dedicate our time when alerted to these situations to try and help people get some of their money back.  There is no compensation for it, but it is the right thing to do. 
 
As you all may know, the coin and bullion markets haven’t been good for almost 10 years now.  Coming into the end of the 2008, the market was strong with anticipation of continued activity and then came the financial correction.  The rare coin market stopped dead and the mind set for many people was motivated by fear to buy bullion for protection.  Bullion became harder to find and even with higher premiums, did well until 2011 and then began to fall.  We’ve been waiting for a recovery ever since.  Some people became interested in tangibles with no inclination for collecting, but thought for diversity that it made sense.  We are finding that many elderly people have been approached with starting Golden IRAs and to put Modern Proof American Gold Eagle Coins into it.  The problem is that these Proof Gold Eagles are being promoted as numismatic coins and in this instance, a client paid almost double the going rate that they should have paid. Right now, the premium for Proof Gold Eagles has dropped so much that they are about on par with uncirculated ones.  They may actually be a good buy now, but only at the true current market levels. 
 
If you or anyone you know has funded a Golden IRA in the last few years, you may want to take a look at it.  I hope that we can help this person, but it will be a long row to hoe.  In any case, we only recommend funding these IRAs with coins that are priced according to their bullion content.


Partner and owner of Rare Coins of New Hampshire, Inc. since June, 1990 and a full time coin dealer since 1979.  Warren is a full member of the Professional Numismatists Guild and a life member of the American Numismatic Association.  He was selected by the Rosen Numismatic Advisory as one of the ten leading numismatists in the country for twelve consecutive years.  He was selected by PCGS and written up in their newsletter as handling and submitting some of the nicest coins they have ever seen.


Taking The Red Eye

By Dave Carleton

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have an interest in coins. My grandfather collected them, my dad collected them, and then I collected them with a little help from my dad. The first coin my dad and I found that really set a fire underneath me was in 1959 and it was a 1955 doubled die Lincoln cent.

That first big find was the beginning of my weekly visits to the Souhegan Bank here in Milford, to gather cents to review and to return the rolls I had checked out.  I did this for several years with the constant hope to find that elusive 1909-S VDB or the 1914-D or another 1955 doubled die.  The coin I hoped to find the most was a 1943 copper cent.  I never found any of those dates and I was too broke or cheap to purchase them because I actually thought that I would find them sooner or later. I used to look at pennies until my eyes were bloodshot.

I haven’t sat down to look at thousands or even hundreds of pennies in years, but I’ve observed Warren doing it almost daily for the last thirty years.  He doesn’t just look at Lincoln cents; he looks at everything with a passion.  It’s amazing what he has found, especially in the variety category.

My appreciation for what Warren does was reignited last week when a gentleman came in with a collection he had inherited from his father.  Warren did the evaluation and I believe he paid 2 ½ cents for the Wheat Cents and, as usual, he told the gentleman that when we have time to go through the cents, if we find a better date, we would set it aside and pay a fair price for it. We wrote him a check and he was on his way.

Later on that afternoon, the man came back to our office and asked to speak to me as I was the one who scheduled his first appointment.  When I went out to meet him, it was apparent that he was a bit stressed out.  He told me that he had gone home after coming here and he went on his computer to review Lincoln cent prices because he thought that they would have been worth more than 2 ½ cents. He said that while he was researching the subject, he found that a 1943-D Lincoln cent was worth a ton of money and that there was one in the bag of pennies he brought in. Then he pulled out a sheet of paper with all the dates and quantities of each date and, sure enough, there was a 1943-D listed.

I was immediately excited and told him that if in fact it was in the bag, we would have brought it to his attention when we went through it.  Seeing how he was here and the bag of coins was right where it was left when he walked out, we looked though it. While we were looking, I took the opportunity to tell him of the many ways Lincoln cents have been altered to look like 1943 coppers.  Aside from copper plating a steel cent, I believe the next most common practice of producing a 1943 copper is to alter the 1948 by retooling the 8 into a 3. This is what I suspect we’ll find, but we’ll soon find out.  Wouldn’t you know it; we were down to the last handful of coins when I found a 1948-D with a scratch right through the 8 and it was very easy to see how this man had mistaken the coin for a ’43-D.  He had no idea at the time about such a rarity.

I tried not to be a pessimist, but I did mention several times while we were searching that the coin was probably an error as there are only two known as far as I knew, so when it turned out to be a ’48, he was more prepared for the letdown.  After he left, I had to take an aspirin for the massive headache I had behind my eyes. I couldn’t stop thinking about how many thousands of pennies I looked at years ago and now how only six- or seven-hundred would just about kill me.

This rare situation of me going through hundreds of coins made me appreciate what Warren does almost every day.  I still love coins, but I’m finding out that some aspects of the hobby aren’t as easy as they used to be!  

Dave


David Carleton, a New Hampshire native was introduced to coin collecting by his father and Grandfather in the 50’s. Gold bullion speculation dominated the 70’s culminating in 1980 when focus on Numismatics returned. He became a life member of the ANA , met Warren Mills  (his coin Guru) and they cofounded RCNH in 1990.


Questions From Our Mail Bag

By Warren Mills
 
Dear Mr. Mills,
 
I have acquired coins from many different sources over the years.  Now is my time to cash out.  However, I don’t want to sell for a wholesale price, I want to get a retail price.  Will I get a retail price by consigning my coins to an auction?   - G.F.

 
Wow G.F., this is a great question!  The short answer is no.  That is a big misconception about auctions.  Even the largest auction houses have commissions of 20% and the smaller ones can be up to 30%.  If you deliver a quality consignment and know how to negotiate with a good auction house, you can reduce that commission substantially.  However, if your consignment is of marginal quality, you will get less than what a reputable dealer may pay you.
 
Also, never ever consign bullion coins to an auction.  I’ve seen this happen with certified bullion coins that could be sold to a dealer for around $1,300 per ounce, but the consignor only gets $1,000 to $1,100 per ounce at auction settlement, ouch!  Your best course of action is to consult with a reputable dealer.  They will let you know what to consign and assist you with auction placement and descriptions.  This knowledge is very valuable.  You don’t want nice coins lost in a bulk lot or poorly placed in an internet sale with less exposure.  Then you can find out which coins should be sold outright and which coins should be consigned to get you retail or better prices.
 
Merry Christmas and God’s Blessings,
 
Warren

on Tuesday, 21 November 2017 20:25. Posted in News

Suspect Passing Counterfeit Gold

The Numismatic Crime Information Center is assisting the Ohio Attorney General's Office in identifying the suspect pictured below who sold a victim over $12,000 in counterfeit one ounce gold Perth bars. The victim contacted the suspect through a listing on Craigs List.

 

Anyone with information should contact:

 

John Costello
Criminal Investigator - Economic Crimes Unit Consumer Protection Section Cincinnati Office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
Direct: (513)852-1534
Fax:  (866)461-8089
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or

Doug Davis

817-723-7231

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

The Numismatic Crime Information Center is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit
corporation. P.O. Box 14080 Arlington, Texas 76094.

This was an email update by The Numismatic Crime Information Center.

on Wednesday, 15 November 2017 15:58. Posted in News

By Warren Mills

It’s always a quick one hour flight to Baltimore which makes it a pleasure to get too!  A major show so close is always wonderful to attend.  I arrived a day early to see dealers that were showing their wares in hotel suites.  It gives me an opportunity to see coins early on that I may miss if I wait for the start of the show and also allows me to get coins that are saved for me by dealers that appreciate our focus for original strictly graded coins.  You have to pay for the privilege but it is well worth it in the long run.  We never want to compromise our standards and this pays off when our clients go to sell their material.  Pre-show, we spent about six figures, I'd call that a good start.

Thursday, November 9th, was the first day of the show.  The weather was very cool and the show seemed a bit slow. I asked anyone that handled nice coins to show me anything of top quality.  We were lucky to find a bunch of nice want list coins for our clients so our new purchase inventory may be a little sparse.

An interesting observation is that for most series of coins, CAC bids are much stronger than non-CAC bids.  The prices for silver dollars are especially shocking.  As an example, 1892-O Morgan dollars have a grey sheet bid of $3000 but a CAC bid of $6000!  This reflects the commercialized grading of this series and the many over graded coins on the market.  Many silver dollars have similar differences in the bid levels.  An interesting note also is that a well struck true 1892-O in gem condition will sell for more than the $6000 CAC bid wholesale!  If CAC holds the line on their standards, CAC should continue to lead the market.  Gold coins that are scarcer also reflect a significant price differential.  The underlying message here is that over grading or commercial grading is destroying the price structure of many series of coins.  Look at the pricing of the silver commemorative series.  Stripping and dipping became the rage and nice MS-63 coins started to get graded as MS-65.  Over population ensues and bidders stop supporting the market, prices drop and then the series goes into free fall.  Franklin halves and Walkers have also been destroyed due to over grading.  Bulk submission gold and dollars have led to competition for grading fees and the services sometimes give the benefit of the doubt for a full point.  Grading needs to tighten up or the market may never recover.  Nice original commemoratives that are attractive still are desirable and real pretty toned coins are incredibly strong but buyers know to throw away the grey sheet when they find the truly superior coin.  The overhang of marginally graded coins drags down everything.

CAC is also not immune to coins that have no business being stickered.  For the most part I love the concept but every coin needs to be inspected with a jaundiced eye.  I saw some CAC coins that I thought did not deserve a sticker.  However, I’d rather have a poorly graded stickered coin than a non CAC coin if I’m a little unsure of my grading.  The other advantage that CAC has over the other services is that if you bring a coin to their attention that does not deserve a sticker they will buy the coin and take the sticker off.  Bottom line, they put their money where their mouth is.

I did spend a few hours reviewing coins for customers to help them with their grading.  I’m always happy to give opinions and pick out any coins that should be sent to CAC, held onto as they are or sold for a better example if it becomes available.  This critiquing is necessary for people to learn about the nuances of grading.

I also noticed that the people walking the floor are less educated about buying coins than they were 10 years ago.  Baltimore was a mecca for older educated collectors that flocked to the show years ago.   As that population aged, the knowledge was not handed down.  That’s why I try to spend as much time with people as I can to impart any tidbits that my help them.

One dealer I greatly respect had cases of affordable coins that he lets collectors pick through with no pressure at all.  When he was at the Long Beach coin show last month, he sold over $10,000 worth of these coins to knowledgeable buyers.  His sales in Baltimore were $143 of the same types of coins.  I asked him for his observation as to why there was such a divergence and he said the customers he spoke to in Baltimore have a fraction of the knowledge than the customers in California have.  I was shocked and I have no explanation for this.

This show surprised me in the sense that it was easier to sell a six figure coin than a low four figure coin.  Does this mean that big money which is normally smart money is picking off the classic rarities while prices are down?  At some point, there should be a filtering down for attractive lower priced pieces.  I don’t remember this phenomenon happening for a prolonged time period in the market before but it is happening now.

There is also one major buyer in the market place that has spent so much money in the past year that he is making some dealers careers.  One dealer I spoke with told me a couple of years ago that he had no retirement plan and didn’t know if he would have to work until his dying day.  Now he is making so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it.  I’m happy for him but again, smart money usually jumps in ahead of the market.  Let’s hope this is the beginning of something good for all of us.

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