Patience…this is one of the toughest things to have when collecting coins. If you are collecting coins in your own country (mine is the U.S.A.), patience may be 3-6 months of waiting but for world coins this is an entirely different story! The supply of foreign coins and a dealers ability to replace that supply takes so long you may be waiting years instead of months.
I was reminded of this very recently working on a type set of Russian coins and all I needed was one 1/4 Kopeki. According to price guides it was affordable and readily available but I was thwarted at almost every turn. I could find no local dealers that carried the diminutive coin and struck out coin show after coin show. Not so easily beaten I turned to online dealers but struck out again. After 6 months I realized this was not going to be simple.
Refusing to admit defeat I wasn't out of tricks yet and switched tactics to online auctions. Finally I found what I wanted but was outbid on the very first attempt. Not a problem I thought to myself, I'll bid above current price trends. Still I was outbid at the last minute auction after auction (ARGH!).
It was suddenly 9 months, still no coin and my patience ran out. On the next few auctions I bid double the trend price and was still out bid at the last minute. Then for quite sometime even E-Bay had no 1/4 kopeki coins. After a 12 month search, I finally lost interest and moved onto another set. Then something amazing happened another 12 months later (we are up to 2 years for those counting), one coin popped up on my radar on a secondary online auction site and I won it for just $9.
At the end of the day this coin was far from rare but just shows the availability of foreign coins. So don't loose faith in completing a set, instead put it down for a bit and just check in once in awhile and that coin will eventually show up. They are out there we just need to be a little ahhh well patient :)))