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Beachcomber Coins, Inc. v. Boskett

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division
400 A.2d 78 (1979)



Beachcomber Coins, Inc. (Beachcomber) (plaintiff) is a retailer of coins. Beachcomber contracted to purchase a rare dime for $500.00 from Boskett (defendant), a coin dealer. Both Beachcomber and Boskett believed the dime to be minted in 1916 in Denver. Beachcomber paid Boskett for the coin, and received an offer to resell the coin for $700.00. The buyer conditioned the purchase, however, on a favorable inspection of the coin and determination of its rarity by the American Numismatic Society. That organization inspected the coin and determined it was counterfeit. As a result, Beachcomber brought an action in New Jersey state court against Boskett seeking to rescind the contract due to mutual mistake of fact. The trial court held for Boskett on the ground that it was customary within the trade for a retailer purchasing a coin to conduct its own investigation of the genuineness of the coin and to “assume the risk” of his purchase if his investigation is faulty. Thus, the trial court held that Beachcomber’s failure to conduct such an investigation resulted in its assumption of the risk that the coin was less than genuine. Beachcomber appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Conford, J.)

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