I personally think both were refinished in the states. Neither has what I'd consider to be a typical Albanian finish. It's definitely one of those things where it will never be proven to 99.999% certainty either way, but in the court of public opinion, both those Albanians have issues that would cause many collectors to shy away.
True. But with the supply gone, regardless of accuracy of condition or price, you snooze you lose. Others MAY show up at some point, but how much time do you have to wait. In the 10 years I've been screwing around with SKSs, I'd never seen an Alby in person. Then a couple years ago, 2 showed up at my LGS within 6 months, and I swooped in on them fast. A 3rd showed up a little later on Calguns and I jumped on that guy too, refinished but good looking and the cheapest of the 3. PAX
There again.....and this is from watching this crap come and go for almost 20 years.... so please don't take offence.. not everyone goes after the same things.. some collectors will sit back and wait and snipe their items, others will bite and buy the first thing dangled in front of them, it's this diversity that makes everyones wants, desires and collections different. Some will buy to fill a blank in a collection until another higher quality variant shows up later, then they sell off the lower end one, while others are driven purely by economic reasons, some value having a lower grade cheaper version they could shoot guilt free and use vs. a high dollar expensive version they are scared too touch, much less, chamber a round in, then, you have some who like having both, a range beater and a pristine safe queen example. Then there are those who are simply just grateful to be able to own an intriguing piece of history from the Cold War or any other known conflict in our history, regardless of whether or not it has been refinished or in great condition.
One thing is for sure, one will always show up as time goes on, it's simple statistics, even the holy grail uber rare North Koreans, NVA and East Germans show up from time to time. Try as one might, no one person can cover and monitor every single auction, or monitor the behind scenes of a gun forum or behind the dumpster private sale, for every one you don't see for sale, there is one being sold somewhere. It may not be today, next week or this year, but given the statistics, one will be available eventually, it's a matter of having patience, being in the right place at the right time and then having the cash to back up the purchasers desire to own it.
I think price played a big part in the final sale price of the two shown, if you back through RM's old auction listings from time gone by, some I guess you could say, "as issued" were selling for 650-700 and up, while others that were refinished were somewhat less. Granted, an Albanian carries a signifiant premium to begin with as it should, given their rarity and uniqueness, but, unaltered ones typically will carry a slightly higher premium than a refinished one...much like most other surplus weapons on the market, i.e.....a Russian SKS, most "as issued" variants carry a premium over a typical refurb.