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Everything posted by James_OldeTowne

  1. Why is it so important to (seemingly) everyone to own coins that must fall in the top 10% (or whatever the A/B is supposed to mean) of the grade? While I don't believe it's wise to pursue the worst-for-the-grade coins for one's collection, I am generally quite happy collecting decent, pleasing quality coins for my set(s).
  2. I thought the same thing - juiced. That being said, I own two collections of toned Jefferson nickels (one complete, one in progress), and some of mine are not terribly far off that image.
  3. After you find your 150th 1937 with no D it won't be as much fun. I scooped a sample. The dates ran all over from a dateless shield nickel up though a couple of early-1940s Jeffersons. I didn't seen any particular concentration of dates. Yes, I did scoop from the BOTTOM of the pile .
  4. Is it a die clash? It looks more like someone took two normal dimes, stacked them and hammered them, thus faking a "clashed die".
  5. There is no such thing as a "right" or "wrong" grade, because a grade is not objective. It's an opinion.
  6. A microscope, or at least a high-powered magnifier, can help immensely in authenticating a coin, for example, to look for an added mintmark. But high magnification is useless for grading. ALL coins look horrible under strong magnification, since tiny, unimportant surface anomalies can look like huge, gaping craters.
  7. It seems about typical, going only by the photos. You paid an appropriate price for it.
  8. I completely agree with Bill Jones. Older copper with fully "red" surfaces are extremely suspect to me. Obviously, many famous pedigreed red large-cents (and half-cents) exist that have been plated numerous times over the years, and one can view the old photos and see that they have retained their vintage red color. But my personal belief and experience has been that over the last 30 years, a huge explosion of fully red copper coins has appeared on the market - large cents, half cents, Indian cents and early wheat cents. How many of them were created from formerly red-brown example? The red-brown surface is substantially more stable than a red surface, particularly a "created" red surface.
  9. I have an opportunity to make an offer on some items from a local estate. One of the items is a box full of nickels, mostly buffalos. The box weighs 65 pounds net, so I'd guess there are 63 pounds of nickels total. How many nickels would that be? Also, I'd guess 80% are buffalo nickels, 10% are Liberty nickels, and 10% are early Jeffersons (I didn't see anything dated after 1942). The point is, they are probably "average circulated" overall, so they might be slightly less than "full weight". Thanks!
  10. The color looks weird to me. But then again, many Peace dollars in slabs have weird color.
  11. It may not be so easy to "cell" this idea to the general public!
  12. Trying to use photos to learn about cleaning is just about impossible, especially when so many photos of cleaned coins are taken in such a manner as to intentionally minimize the symptoms of cleaning.
  13. Why is it "important"? Speaking only for myself, I've enjoyed the hobby immensely for 35 years without ever giving a thought to whether or not some given coin would sticker.
  14. I have never priced a coin based on the presence of a CAC sticker (or lack thereof). Many coins that do not have stickers are overpriced, too, right?
  15. During my cataloging of various 1881-O dollars, I've often noted that it is, in my opinion, an underrated date. Attractive examples are significantly more difficult to locate than price guides seem to indicate. At MS-62, yours seems really nice, based on all the images provided.
  16. The 1980 market was largely a result of the crash of the underlying bullion markets. Gold fell from $850 to $375 in a few months; silver went from $50 to $12. Anything leveraged to the gold/silver price went down huge. I believe some Saints went down 75% in price and many Morgan Silver Dollars (MSDs) fell 80-90%. The 1990 market was driven by expectations that hundreds of millions would be moving into the numismatic arena on behalf of Wall Street investment funds. This caused a multi-month stampede into an already hot market: gold had recovered after the 1987 Crash and many people were wary of stocks and real estate. Money flowed into MS-65 coins causing a 500-700% premium for many Saints to the underlying gold. MSDs doubled or tripled in a few months; quadrupled or quintupled over a year or so. It was alot like the Tech Boom of 1999-2000 back for coins in 1989-90. This is very much how I remember both crashes. The "boom" leading up to 1980 is the biggest I have ever experienced. And the subsequent crash was also the biggest, again, to my recollection. It was driven by bullion prices, but silver seems to have been the really major player. When it all came crashing down in 1980, many dealers went under (I've been told), and it took a decade to recover. 1989's crash was due to the crazy, irrational speculation on certified coins as "commodities". Because there were so few coins certified (compared to today), so-called "rarity" was wildly inflated on certain coins that have since proven to be common. For example, I want to say that 1881-S Morgan dollars in MS-65 were bringing $500 or more at the time! If you take inflation into account, that's probably 700% or more over their comparative value today.
  17. If I may interpret what you are saying, I'd suggest you consider pursuit of red/brown Lincoln cents, rather than either full red, or full brown examples. It seems you enjoy sharpness, and in my experience, on a reasonably frequent basis, the pattern of red-brown color can actually enhance visual sharpness.
  18. Good to know, thanks for sharing your experiences. I typically wouldn't buy a cleaned coin purposely- however, the surfaces of this coin are exceptional, and have an attractive retone. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder for this instance. I definitely do not believe that "most morgans have been cleaned". While many have been, my experience is that non-cleaned examples far out number the population of those that have been cleaned.
  19. A conflict of interest is a conflict of interest. If there is a pecuniary advantage in awarding a higher grade, regardless of amount, that is problematic IMHO. But it's not a conflict of interest and James was trying make it one. Just like Mark was attempting to cast shade and failed miserably. They both pooped the bed. Even a million dollar coin "upgrade" would garner only $10,000. Hardly the incentive to muddy your reputation as a public company. Pebble. Shoe. Ax. Grind. mark You are looking at the effect for a single coin. There are millions of coins that have been certified since the policy started. Even $1 per coin could mean potentially millions of dollars even discounting raw submissions. As for reputation, that ship sailed long ago in my opinion when it began watering down its guarantee and doing so retroactively. That one coin example I used was a million dollar coin. I stepped out. I showed the math. Since you brought it up I would like to see real math on the "millions " of coins that went through this exact tier and their values and subsequent revenue. I think you are pulling numbers out of the air right now for impact. I think you are way way off. Maybe as much as James. If you really want to check facts seek the reasoning behind the 1% fee and the thought process to get there. Maybe just maybe it's not nefarious, sinister nor conflict of interest . Maybe, just maybe it is just sound business decision and has everything to do in getting the coin In the correct holder the overwhelming majority of the time. Shouldn't that be the goal? If it is then there is no conflict of interest. Just a 1% fee on a high value item. Get it stickered and boom, high value coin in a PCGS holder. A trilogy a collector can live with. Bank. A perfect score. Mark Of course, you are correct. I intended to type $100 on the $10,000 coin (1%). That would be all the more reason to "loosen up", though, right? (more upgrades, more coffer donations). I simply find it disconcerting that "if we hand out a higher grade, we get to charge more in grading fees".
  20. I don't know whether anyone has mentioned, it, but there's a seemingly obvious incentive for PCGS to "make" some new high grade / value coins these days. From the PCGS website: *The Guarantee Premium is equal to 1% of the value of the coin in its final grade. The value of the coin is determined by the PCGS Price Guide value for that grade or the Declared Value of the coin, if the Price Guide value is not available. The minimum amount for the Guarantee Premium is $5. PCGS reserves the right to make the final determination of the coin’s value. (reference: http://www.pcgs.com/servicesandfees ) In seems like, at this high-value grading tier, if PCGS assigns a high grade to one of these high dollar coins (perhaps in an upgrade?), then they collect 1% of the value of the coin as a fee in addition to the regular fee for grading. So as an example, for each $10,000 coin PCGS "makes" under this pricing tier, they put $1000 into their coffers. Under those circumstances, why wouldn't PCGS want to *ahem* consider loosening up a bit here and there, if it adds to the bottom line?
  21. I've heard that pizza collectors will soon be able to get their rare examples into similar slabs.
  22. I found the article useful and insightful, and close to the truth. As you all know, my personal collection relies very little upon slabbed coins, but as a business, I got burned, not once, but twice on the exact coin leading off the article - 1912-S Liberty nickel. I happened to buy two of them in MS-65, with zero expectation whatsoever that the bottom would drop out of the market for what used to be a very elusive coin. In both cases, my company lost money. A subtle effect of the sudden explosion of the population of a coin in a specific grade is that it has a depressing on the price of examples in lower grades, particularly the next lower grade. If the price of MS-66 nickels suddenly drops 80%, then the MS-65s will also drop in value as some collectors won't "bother with" the MS-65s anymore ("but, MS-66s are so cheap now!")
  23. I saw him at the Dallas ANA but do not know of his whereabouts since.
  24. I've used GIMP exclusively for around 10 years.