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  1. Learn Grading: What Are Full Bands and Full Torch?

    https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/6812/learn-grading-dimes/

    Nothing new here, I am back to my pet peeve – silly grading standards. You can go onto reading other posts – this is my pet peeve and I am going to continue with such posts until someone can provide a convincing argument on why what NGC is doing is superior to my approach.

    I will be referring to the NGC article with the above address so I suggest you bring it up.

    Welcome

    All U.S. coins above AU-58 are graded using a standard that magically combines strike and surface conditions. I want to discuss this concept. First let me just briefly touch on what can affect strike and surface.

    Strike – The physical setup of the presses, installation of the dies and collars as well as slight variations in the dimensions of the planchet can all play some part in the quality of the strike produced. Once the dies start to separate in the process of converting a blank planchet into a newly minted coin the quality of the coin’s strike is forever defined. Things can happen to the coin that affect the condition of its surface but not the quality of its strike. Minor imperfection from post production handling cannot hide the quality of the original strike even scratches do not hide the quality of strike. Yes one could say if hit by a hammer the quality of the original strike would be obscured but so would all the features need to define a grade and score for both the strike and surface. In just such cases the determination would have to read “Physically Damaged Coin” no grade determination is possible.

    Surface – The condition of a coins surface immediately following the completion of the strike to the day it is forever removed from circulation is continuously changing if for no other reason due to chemical contaminants in the air. There are also changes due to physical contact with mint equipment, bagging, counting, transport and activities related to getting the coins to the bank and into the hands of the collector. Once in circulation the surface changes due to wear and physical damage.

    Please look the NGC definition for the grades MS-66 to MS-70 which I present below.

    Numerical Grades

    MS/PF70      A coin with no post-production imperfections at 5x magnification.
    MS/PF69      A fully struck coin with nearly imperceptible imperfections.
    MS/PF68      Very sharply struck with only miniscule imperfections.
    MS/PF67      Sharply struck with only a few imperfections.
    MS/PF66      Very well struck with minimal marks and hairlines

    First for the grade MS/PF70 Strike is not discussed because the strike for a MS/PF69 is defined as being “A fully struck coin.” How can one improve upon the strike required for an MS/PF69. As such it appears MS/PF69 is as high a strike can be graded or as I prefer scored, besides it appears surface conditions is what controls the determination of whether or not a coin can be graded 70.

    The following discussion relates to the NGC article specifies above and I refer specifically to the coins shown in that article. The first photo shows a 1935S Mercury Dime graded MS67+ and a 1917 Mercury Dime graded MS67+ FB. When you use the option to enlarge the photos it is obvious that the quality of the strikes are significantly different with the bands on the 1917 dime being fully struck up to the point that all the detail related to the bands is there while the 1935S dime has noticeable details related to the bands of the fasces missing, yet NGC gives both coins the same grade MS67+, by grade definition both are defined as being sharply struck even though one has flatness in the design features where the other does not!!!! Come on, what the heck kind of grading system is this? But the best is to come.

    The other photo shows a 1988D Roosevelt Dime graded MS67 and a 1984P Roosevelt Dime graded MS66 FT. These coins confuse the heck out of me. First the strike of the 1984P FT is defined as very well struck while the center design devices from the torch’s flame to the bands on the torch are boldly struck just like those on the Mercury dime. To say the least definitely superior to those same features on the 1988D whose strike is defined as Sharply Stroke one notch above “very well struck.” Here is where things get tricky. Is this a weighted grade? That is, is it an average of the entire obverse strike with the entire reverse strike? In the case of the Roosevelt dime there are three components that make up the design elements on the reverse of the dime. These are the Olive Branch, the Oak Branch and between them the torch with flame. On the MS67 the strike of the Olive & Oak branches is much better than the strike for these design features on the 84P dime with a FT designation. To put a major premium on this coin only because 1/3 of its reverse has a full strike is totally stupid while the rest of the strike is definitely inferior to the MS67.

    The concept to blend strike and surface condition to come up with a single grade is just stupid. I continue to insist NGC should grade all coins the way they do ancients. That is a grade for wear, a score for surface and a score for strike. All UNC. Mint state and Proof coins would get a grade of 60 simply it is either uncirculated or it isn’t. Then the strike would be scored 1 through 10 and the surface would be scored 1 through 10. This way the 1984P dime might have actually graded MS60 FT, Strike 6 and Surface whatever, this approach would tell the buyer that even though it has a full torch the overall strike is just slightly above "about average" (what I would call a score of 5/10) with a bold torch but some weakness in the overall strike. In this way the buyer can determine how much, in the buyer’s opinion, that premium should be, if any. To be honest I don’t think every collector would pay big bucks for a full torch with a strike of 6 when FT dimes with strikes of 7, 8 or possibly 9 exist.

    Also how does the NGC system address a coin with a strike of 7 and a surface of 4? Don’t say they don’t exist. Simply it is stupid to think that strike and surface would always have a comparable score. Strike is the result of the minting process and Surface is the result of what happens after the coin is minted and simply these two factors have no relationship to one another.

    Although I keep insisting that NGC should use the same approach to grading used by the NGC Ancient Department, it appears that the NGC Ancient Department has lost its way with respect to grading Mint State coins. Rather than just use the designation UNC or Mint State the ancients department has embraced the following terms used by NGC:

    MS = Mint State/UNC = equivalent to the grades:
                60      
    Weak or average strike with no trace of wear. Numerous abrasions, hairlines and/or large marks.
                61       Weak or average strike with no trace of wear. More marks and/or multiple large abrasions.
                62       Slightly weak or average strike with no trace of wear. More or larger abrasions than an MS/PF 63

     Ch MS = Choice Mint State/UNC = equivalent to the grades:
                63      
    Slightly weak or average strike with moderate abrasions and hairlines of varying sizes.
                64       Average or better strike with several obvious marks or hairlines and other minuscule imperfections

     Gem MS = Gem Mint State/UNC = equivalent to the grades:
                65      
    Well struck with moderate marks or hairlines.
                66       Very well struck with minimal marks and hairlines
                67       Sharply struck with only a few imperfections.
                68       Very sharply struck with only minuscule imperfections.
                69       A fully struck coin with nearly imperceptible imperfections.
                70       A coin with no post-production imperfections at 5x magnification.

    Do you see the problem here?

    The terms MS, Ch MS & Gem MS are defined as being equivalent to the indicated NGC grades and these grades are defined by distinct conditions related to both strike and surface. So how is it possible for NGC ancient to score an MS ancient with either a strike or surface as a 4 or 5 (which many are) if by definition of these characteristics are typically weak and at very best average? The same goes for Ch MS and all Gem MS ancients must score at least 4 for both strike and surface.

    One thing is NGC Ancient may want to score MS state ancients on a scale of 1 to 10. However at a minimum NGC Ancients must define the designations MS, Ch MS & Gem MS (if they insist on using this approach) by using terms that in no way relate to the coin’s strike or surface conditions as the current definitions do since NGC Ancients already scores these features independently.

    I am not trying to give the NGC Ancient Department hard time. I was and still am super pleased when NGC Ancients decided to move from the 18th century and almost totally move into the 21st century by recognizing that grade and strike & surface are not related and must be addressed separately. NGC Ancient fell short only when they decided to force their grading of Mint State ancients to look like all the other grading done at NGC rather than accepting that they are the standard against which all other approaches to grading should be compared.

    By the way there is no need for Ch. MS or Gem MS, to a great extent Ch MS should be implied when one gets a high score for both Strike & Surface. This would be stronger if for Mint State coins the scoring for strike and surface was increased to 1-10 from 1-5. And there is no better way to imply a gem specimen then to assign the coin the highest scores (8 to 10 or 9 to 10) for strike and surface as well as designating it as having both eye appeal and Fine Style.

    Regards

     

  2. The latest update on my Roman Empire NGC Ancients Custom Set is that I finished and posted my Owner's Comments for my ancient bronze follis featuring Roman Empress Galeria Valeria.

     

    For this essay, I spent some time researching what appears to be the most widely cited primary source of information on Valeria, a book called De Mortibus Persecutorum written in 4th century AD by the imperial advisor Lactantius.  Lactiantius' account is necessarily biased, yet even so provides some very interesting insights into Roman Empire history.

     

    Regarding the coin, I purchased this one raw at auction and was pleased to see it grade AU, Strike = 4/5, Surface = 3/5, a very respectable grade for an ancient bronze.  One interesting aspect about this coin is that Valeria's obverse bust appears almost masculine; her features mimick the consistent depiction of tetrarchs on their coinage (you can see what I mean if you peruse Page 13 on my Roman Empire set.)

     

    Regarding Valeria, she was the daughter of Emperor Diocletian, who placed her into a an arranged marriage with his fellow and subordinate Tetrarch Galerius.  Apparently the union was a rather unhappy one, but as a political pawn Valeria had no choice in the matter.  After her husband's death, she was courted by his successor, whose advances she vehemently rejected.  The enraged Daia proceeded to ruin Valeria, despite her attempts to enlist her retired father for assistance.

     

    For more details of Valeria's tragic tale, you can read my Owner's Comments here.

     

    Of course, if you are further interested about ancient Rome and its coinage, you can peruse the rest of the Roman Empire collection here.

  3. My wife and I found out a couple of weeks ago that we're expecting our second child in the middle of next year. Most people don't know yet but we'll get around to that when we're further along in the process and we know a little more. We won't have the first doctor's appointment for another 3 weeks.

    When my son was born I picked up a quarter oz gold American Eagle in MS70 for his birth year. I'll be looking to do that again with the new baby.  I'm also hoping I might be able to talk my wife into letting me pick up the 1/10 oz Eagles for 2016 and 2019 and maybe grab the Silvers in MS 70 as well. I haven't kept up with the Silver Eagles like I'd like the last few years between paying my way through grad school and being unemployed for over a year for a while there but I'd like to get back into them at some point.

    At some point, I'm also going to be looking into the 1986 gold eagles in MS69. That was the first year of issue and happens to be the birthyear for my wife and myself and that just makes all of this the perfect group of coins for what I want to do here with the birth years.

    One of these days 1920 and 1924 $20 gold pieces will also be on the radar for the birth years of my grand parents. I lost my grandmother in 2016 a couple of weeks before Harvey hit and I'd like to get those for their years. No idea what I'd do in a similar vein for my parents in 1955/56 since the US wasn't really messing with gold in that period. I have zero clue when the budget will let me get away with those double eagles but I'm hopeful that I'll get a good bonus in early 2019 a little before the birth that'll let me get some of the other birth year pieces I want. I'll just have to wait and see what the situation is at the time.

    I'm not really up to anything else collecting-wise at the moment other than building some sets of the Queen's Beast coins.

  4. Greetings all.  It has been awhile but I am back.  Have a question about American Silver Eagles.  Given the current price of silver  and what the U.S. Mint is charging for these has anyone backed off purchasing these ?  When silver was much higher they sold in the $50 range but now when silver is so low they are and have been charging the same !   Thoughts

    Mike

  5. I have posted about emergency issues but what kind of calamity could compare to your city besieged?  Siege money are the ultimate emergency issues -- defending soldiers required pay and internal commerce needed to be maintained.  Many examples come from the period of the Eighty Years War, also known as the Dutch War of Independence that occurred from 1568–1648 or from the English Civil Wars in 1642-1651. 
     
    When regular coinage became scarce jewelry, silverware and religious vessels were converted into coinage.  Issued in an expedient fashion, they were often roughly shaped, typically squares or diamonds, with a uniface design. When precious metal ran out, other alloys or even paper could be issued, all in the hope that the emergency money would be redeemed after a successful defense.  The opposite was the worse case scenario where one might lose everything.

    My example is a silver thaler klippe issued by the besieged city of Münster in 1660 and fits nicely into my Silver Dollars of '60 custom set.  At 34mm x 34mm square and weight close to 28g it may not be silver dollar shaped but certainly has the heft of one.  The uniface design shows the city of Münster's coat of arms with the legend MONAST : WESTPH : OBSESSVM, for Münster Westphalia Beseiged.  It differs from typical siege currency in that it was not from wartime but from an insurrection that began in July of 1660.  The catalog notes from the CNG auction of the Jonathan K. Kern Collection of Siege Coinage provides the following background information:

    Quote

    As one of the terms of the Peace of Westphalia, the town of Münster was to be ruled by a Catholic prince-bishop. Not long after the treaty was signed, the citizens of Münster rebelled against their ruler, Bishop Christoph Bernhard von Galen. Their goal was to raise Münster to the rank of an imperial free city, thus removing it from the influence of a local prince. In response, Bishop von Galen and his powerful army besieged the city, eventually putting down the insurrection and regaining control in March of 1661.

    :

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  6. JoeF
    Latest Entry

    recently acquired set of 1932 - 1964 Washington Quarters. seller stated that set was "informally graded by an independent third party and ranges are from MS-60 to MS-65." although I doubt the '36-D is MS.

    here's some pics made with digital point n shoot, so forgive the quality. to be clear, each obverse is followed by same coin's reverse.

    considering grading. opinions (especially of Washington collectors) are welcome. be kind.

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  7. I chronicled my first submission and the outcome here a few months ago, well I just mailed off my 2nd submission! Again, 19 coins and all from thailand.

    Last time I submitted 19 thai coins, I had 11 graded, 8 details. There were some coins I expected to get details and some I did not expect. I used the experience I learned from the last submission to carefully inspect my current submission..........hoping for no details grade!!!

  8. so i hear canada is loosing its copper color brownie..lol..

    well i may have been anounced by the prime minister of canada or whom ever that the losing there cents ..lol. well thats cool

    i think american should or prolly would do the samething after changing the currency

    To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

  9. Because of my Laura Gardin Fraser collection an article in the June 2018 issue of The Numismatist entitled, “Fraser Finds”, aroused my interest. The author of that article went on to describe his pure joy at the Fraser finds comparable to that of discovering lost treasure. For my part I found this article fascinating. Never could I have imagined that Tom Rochovansky and his wife Nancy were preserving so much of the Fraser’s work as a legacy to them.

    Normally for me this is where the story ends. Later I was to find out that this was in reality where the story began. A friend of mine who has been invaluable to me in both researching and acquiring many of the Laura Gardin Fraser medals in my collection contacted me about the article. He went on to say that he lives within driving distance of the Rochovanskys and made an appointment with them to inspect the finds for himself.

    When my friend returned from inspecting the Fraser’s studio pieces he sent me a report of his findings. I was somewhat disappointed that there didn’t seem to be anything of interest to me in the report. Later my friend on a subsequent visit discovered two Items that he missed on the first visit that I was VERY interested in purchasing. Those pieces were a bronze 1912, 131mm cast medallion honoring John Cardinal Farley on his elevation to the cardinalate of New York. The second is a bronze 1915, 64mm Rosemary Hall 25th anniversary medal. I’ll have more to say about these medals later but for now, as Paul Harvey would say, “The rest of the story.”

    This is where having a friend that knows something about medals is indispensable. After finding out about these two medals I told my friend that I was interested in purchasing both of them. The price for the Rosemary Hall was about what I could expect to pay and well within my budget. The asking price of the Cardinal Farley medallion on the other hand was a stretch for me and just outside what I wanted to pay. With that my friend was willing to negotiate a fair price on my behalf to the Rochovanskys based on his knowledge of the market and it was a sale! Two medals once owned by Laura Gardin Fraser are now in my personal collection! Indeed, both of these medals truly represent a “Most Excellent Provenance”!

    I mailed a check directly to Tom Rochovansky with a hand written note thanking him and inviting him to peruse my set. After receiving my check, Tom gave me a call and I had a wonderful conversation with the curator of the Frasers studio artifacts. Tom went on to say that he personally knew Laura Fraser as a child and often referred to her as Aunt Laura. I asked him if I could conduct an interview with him about his experiences with the Frasers and he was very willing for me to call him at a future date. Now who could ask more than the prospect of acquiring first-hand information about the Frasers?

    In a bit of numismatic history Tom Rochovansky went on to say that he loaned the plasters for the 1999 200th anniversary of the death of George Washington half-eagle to the mint. In return the mint sent him one of the half-eagles that he incidentally still owns. The mint also returned the plasters which are also still in his possession. Finally, Tom told me about some of the non-numismatic items he still has, one of which I may be interested in purchasing at a future date when I will likely make-up a display case of this collection.

    Finally, I was not the only person to benefit from the “Fraser Finds” article in the Numismatist. Another of my friends introduced to me through the same person who contacted the Rochovanskys acquired several plasters, one of which is the obverse of the Oregon Trail commemorative half-dollar. He has also written of his purchases in the July 22 edition of “The E-Sylum” complete with pictures. Lest you think our common friend didn’t find something for his collection, think again. There are now three very happy collectors with their purchases and Tom Rochovansky glad to place a few of the Fraser artifacts into good homes.  

     

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  10. There seems to be a growing corporate strategy for NGC to focus on the Non-US market over the US and leave the US to PCGS.  I may be wrong and this is in no way a dump on NGC (you can read my laudatory comments about Mark Salzberg and NGC in the "A SLQ Problem Coin's Journey to Righteousness" journal thread.)  https://www.ngccoin.com/boards/blogs/entry/292-a-slq-problem-coins-journey-to-righteousness/

     

    It appears that while NGC is increasing its investments in the international market it is not doing as much on upgrading the U.S. platform.  The data I use to make the conclusion that NGC is shifting their focus to the Non-US market over the US is based on 1) they dumped all PCGS coins out of existing "World" slots, years ago. 2) The registry no longer starts with US coins but it takes an egalitarian approach to all countries listing coins alphabetically by nation (I start each of my "registry encounters" with Albania.) 3) While they have decreased their presence at US shows (Long Beach etc.) they have increased their presence internationally.  This includes both a greater presence at international shows and NGC has opened new "bricks and mortar" Centers in many other countries especially in Asia.  This "corporate approach" is probably working as they seem to be the dominant grading service for both World and Ancient coins.  Their volume has increased particularly in Asian paper money.

     

    With regard to the registry platform the registry navigation drives me crazy.  When I finish working on my Complete Standing Liberty Quarter (SLQ) set and want to go back to Quarters to work on my "one per date" SLQ set or Early Quarters set and use the back navigation button on the browser, the browser does not go back to the Quarter's registry page but back to the first page of the NGC Registry (Albania.)  I met with the NGC staff at a FUN show and explained this problem and they were clearly aware of as they said that others had complained as well.  Alas 2 years and no fix and you cannot "bookmark” page 2, 3 or 8 even as a go around.  If you bookmark page 6 the Registry opens to the first page (Albania.) 

     

    I believe in NGC and find their grading more consistent and fair than PCGS.  I much prefer dealing with Mark Salzberg over David Hall. I remember when Heritage Auction was more ANACS than PCGS or NGC.  Then ANACS slowly disappeared and it was NGC and PCGS.  Now, for U.S., coins I am seeing a decrease in NGC leaving PCGS alone.  I hope NGC does not abandon the U.S. market by default (by not focusing their prime effort in the U.S. market and shifting it to the World market.)  As I said I believe in and prefer NGC.   NGC brought me the Edge View which brings some coins to life.  NGC, for the most part, photographs every coin that they grade (PCGS does not.)   That photo can help you recover a stolen coin (I have done it.)   These efforts by NGC are what sets them as the market leader regardless of who was first to slab a coin (PCGS 1986 and NGC 1987) or who the Investor Class prefers.  Please don't leave U.S. NGC!

     

    John

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  11. I had a box of medals and coins when I entered the PA Convention Center. I just drove in from out of state. To my dismay the NGC booth was packing it up.

    If one advertises attendance to the 18th, does it means closing shop by 11:15 am on August 18th? Whatever excuse is presented, the other TPGs was their at least until 3:30 pm. 

    I should have a job at which I can call it a day before 12 noon. Yep, they ( the NGC employees) were taping boxes, banner was down, all forms pulled from the table tops. And yes, the doors were opened by 9:00am on August 18th according to the official ANA schedule. 

     

  12. NGC has graded 3546 examples of the 1955 Double Die Obverse Lincoln Wheat cent.  Out of those NGC has graded only 2 at MS66.  One example at MS66RD and one example at MS66RB.  Big price difference between the two coins.  I used to own the MS66RB example.  At one time I had all the major double die obverse and reverse Lincoln cents in my collection including a PCGS MS66RD+ 1972 Double Die Obverse Lincoln Cent and an awesome example of a NGC MS67RD example of that same coin that KKM sold me many years ago.  As always, thanks for looking and Happy Collecting 

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  13. Jack1221

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     I have a very interesting mark on one of my Morgans that is not recorded as a known VAM.  I have the picture of the reverse of my 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar Philadelphia mint.  In the top right set of leaves on the wreath sticking inward is what looks like 2 faint but definitely raised leaves.  The second picture is a 10x magnification of the site which makes it harder to see the leaf.  If anyone knows of a recorded VAM similar to what I am describing please comment below. Thanks!

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  14. NGC,

    There is no need to drastically reduce points in the World Sets. Some extremely rare coins have been assigned very low points in your latest update.  Registry points are subjective anyway, but I’m afraid that all this does is further discourage collectors from participating in the registry.

    It can be frustrating to compete in the registry if the rules are constantly changing without notice.

    See: Canada>Commemorative>$1 Proof for context

    Josh

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  15. Hey Guys and Gals,

    My son came over today and had a 36" T V with him. Up to my office he scrambled and started an attack on my old Dell computer. W.T.H. are you doing with my perfect running computer I asked.

    It took a while and some old school hook up lines that worked well with new school devices ( the T-V). 

     I now have monster sized coin pics to view that are so awesome!!

     So Cool!!!  

    Man, I love that son of mine --- He's Awesome!!!

    You know I had to add a pic to this post just to enjoy the huge view! :)

  16. Eagles Nest
    Latest Entry

    Happy July 4th to all the collectors out there and thank you to all the Vets that make our country the best in the world. Your service is the only reason we still have the freedoms we have and may God bless us all

    Jerry

  17. When I first started collecting the $20 Canadian silver coins, I was told NGC would not grade the "snowflake" issues. They contain crystals that may come loose and therefore are not gradable. My how times have changed. Now the "catch phrase seems to be "colored outside the mint" I am out  good deal of time and money for this excuse to grade a coin that is submitted with a COA, and charged for no grading, or encapsulation. Limited numbers are being plated or colorized, and many more to come. Our US coins aren't even struck in the mint they claim to be struck in. If NGC is afraid the enamel will fall off, why are we signing a release when submitted?

    I just had 2 more become "ungradable" and have more (8), of the same to be graded. There needs to be a list of coins that NGC will not grade. Now I have 2 collections that are missing completion. At close to $100.00 per coin and $30 each to not grade them, it is ludicrous. 

    There will be many more (collectors) trying to make sets with high grades, but now we have been halted by "policy."  There needs to be a current list, or a change in the grading procedure. SmartMint is coming fast and then we will see. No one even knows where, or what entity even strike them anymore. Why should NGC care about the colorization on so few specimens?

    if they are not colorized at "the" mint. Where are they done? Why do B.H. Mayer and CIT exchange coins? I also have a few other colorized coins that came from "the" mint.

    Collectors need a list before we engage in the purchase of coins that are "worthless."

     

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  18. I have been a member here for about ten years or so.  I can remember when I first discovered the Collectors Society, it was great.  I had a growing collection and could list all my coins in one place.  There was (and still is) a really good inventory report which I used yearly with each set to check progress and changing values.  Then, someone got the idea to ban PCGS, first from the world coins, then everything.  If you had them already documented here, they could stay.  Needless to say, this ruined any inventory reports since they could not be updated, same with the competitive sets and photos.

    Now they have ruined a wonderful part of the page, the journals.  It was possible to check a profile, see their coins and sets, and sort of get to know other collectors by their stories and seeing and hearing about their new found treasures.  Now there are no stories except a very few.  There was quite a period of complaints but I saw no change. 

    Too bad, this was once a very vibrant and interesting site.  I have always had NGC, PCGS, other TPGs, and raw coins, I will always collect but remember when this was a lot more interesting place.  Sad...

  19. Hello Everybody,

    I just received the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemoratives a few days ago and I thought I would share. The Mint did a nice job choosing the designs for this coin...which they don't seem to get right sometimes. The WWI comm is a good example. NGC did a good job with the label and the pink holder is a great touch when looking at the coin in hand. I just hope enough coins are sold so some money gets back to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

    Take Care Everybody

    Jeffrey

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  20. Perhaps it is just me, but as I have collected Franklin Halves for some time, I have noticed that PCGS seems to be flooding the market with new (e.g. their newest holders, retro green and dark blue) certified coins which for the most part, in my opinion do not live up to standard to the grades that have been assigned.  I am aware that PCGS basically ignores the top set of bell lines, which is a strike against them but I had purchased a few PCGS coins and thought, let me try a crossover of those coins that I felt would merit an NGC holder.  Wouldn't you know it, I sent in 4 coins recently to cross and not one was crossed over at the same grade.  In fact, one was CAC-stickered (and pictured here) and did not meet NGC's standards.  I had thought that all 4 of these coins were worthy of crossing over and I had see plenty of newer PCGS certified coins that I would not buy because they were overgraded, in my opinion.

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