Cellgazer

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Journal Entries posted by Cellgazer

  1. Cellgazer
    Sometimes you get lucky and a gamble pays off...
    One of my flea market fantasies is finding a Cheerios Dollar in a bin of cheap coins. They estimate that about 5000 of the coveted 2000 P prototype reverse may have been minted and placed in Cheerios boxes. This interesting varient was not discovered until years later, so most were probably spent and eventually found their way to wherever it is that all of the billions of modern dollar coins end up, since nobody ever actually uses them as money. But some of them must be out there, tossed in peoples junk drawers and forgotten. Amazingly, less than 100 have ever been certified.
    Not surprisingly, flea markets have not yielded the prize to me. However, a couple months ago I did an Ebay search and came up with the lot pictured below. It was the BIG PRIZE! Listed under collectable toys, because apparently the owner thought that the Matchbox car was the desirable thing! It was described as a couple things found in Cheerios boxes....A nice car and some random coins, or something like that. The bidding was at around $100...in a state of euphoria and disbelief I put in a maximum bid of $3500, checked back the next day and it was still around $100. Was I the only one who knew about this??
    A few days later I checked back, and well apparently one or two other collectors found the coin, because bidding was over $1000. I know $3500 was about the max anyone would pay for the raw coin so I just stayed put.
    I should add that there in a hook in the Cheerios Dollar plight....a few coins were found in Cheerios packaging that did not have the prototype reverse. These coins are no different than all other 2000 P dollars, the special detail in the Eagles feathers is not there. These coins sell for a couple hundred dollars certified, while prototype reversers sell for, well, $3500 and up.
    SO the next day I checked back for the end of the auction. Of course there is a flurry of last minute bidding.......all the way to my max of $3500! And I win! I was excited, but a little bummed that I did not get a really great deal, and also worried I might get the booby prize; a non-prototype reverse turkey.....
    I am sure the seller was never expecting such a windfall...shipping was listed as standard first class mail, but the coins (and car) arrived Registered insured express mail. The dollar looked great, and I really really wanted to see the back... to be SURE.... but I sent it in to NCS than NGC in the original packaging. And tried to think about something else for a couple weeks.
    WELL YAY as you can see from the second photo I GOT THE PRIZE! and top pop MS 68 as well! Sometimes a gamble pays off. I wonder what I would have done if no other collectors bid up the coin....Could I, in good conscious, pay $100 for a $7000 coin? Would you?

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  2. Cellgazer
    What are they and can they be removed?
    Red spots on gold coins is a well know issue. It used to be thought that these were copper spots in alloyed coins. Well, 2008 Buffalos are essentially pure gold, yet they also frequently suffer from these spots. I have one in my possession with a spot near the top of the head (see pic). My questions:
    1. How do these spots affect grading?
    2. Can they be removed?
    3. Does anyone have any experience with NCS removing them?

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  3. Cellgazer
    PLEASE don't let your kids play with your US Mint products. (Or with this population...grandkids).
    I have had a recent very good run of modern coins purchased raw from eBay...mostly. I have found that if you buy platinum eagles in original mint packaging....from MOST sellers....they will grade 70 or at least 69. My luck changed recently when I bought a 2004 $25 proof and a 2006 W $50 burnished, from two different non-dealer sellers. In both cases the photos were distant and slightly blurry. However, they were in their capsules and proudly sitting in their little blue mint packages. The prices were lower than I would get for graded 69s, how could I lose? Well, the 2006 was obviously cleaned, maybe with a Brillo pad, and the 2004 looked like it was dropped and kicked across a carpet. I sent the 2004 in, because those are damn hard to find, and it was generously given a PF67...now THE lowball coin of it's type. (See pic). My question is, why would anybody ever remove these coins from their capsules? Maybe it's just those darn kids out there!

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  4. Cellgazer
    or: Finally my insanity pays off!
    I previously wrote about a 1990 Prestige proof set that I purchased feauturing a "no S" cent. Now buying ungraded coins over the internet is always a risky proposition, and proof packaging does not always guarantee a spotless coin. However, after examining fairly high resolution photos, I was fairly convinced that the coin would grade PF69UC, and the asking price was what a PF68 or 67UC would bring.
    So as the photo below shows, I was correct. However, I only gloat because I have been burned many times before. I feel like I am finally learning this game.

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  5. Cellgazer
    Will NGC make my 1990 no S cent better?
    Long time collector, first time journal writer here. Over the past year or so I have had some interesting adventures in the attempted completion of my "100 greatest US modern coins" set. Actually, I should say attempted partial completion because this is one set that nobody may ever complete, due to the presence of several nearly unique coins on the list.
    My latest acquisition is a bit of a gamble. I purchase a raw 1990 proof set with a "no s" cent pictured below. I am betting that the coin will come back from NGC (with the "100 greatest" label) as a PF68, HOPING for a PF69. Will follow up when I get the submission back.

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  6. Cellgazer
    to dip or not to dip....
    After my purchase of the 1990 no S cent, I searched Ebay for other coins to submit for the "100 Greatest" label. I found a 1966 SMS with a "no FG" half. The photos were not very good, but I was in a gambling mood and decided to take a chance with it. I got the set in the mail today, and to my pleasent surprise, the half looked nearly flawless! After examination with 10X I am convinced that it should be a strong MS67! Only problem was a light milky haze that tends to haunt these special mint sets. SO, after short deliberation with myself, I decided to dip the coin...the haze disappeared!
    Below is a photo of the reverse of the coin. The front is prettier, but the back is where the money is! Will report back with the final grade.

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  7. Cellgazer
    The haze has stayed away...
    Here is the front of the half previously discussed. Perhaps I should have used NCS, but I have had good luck dipping hazy coins in the past, and never had one body bagged. We will see how this one grades.

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  8. Cellgazer
    or My adventures....part 2.5
    I had purchased a lot of 20 1966 special mint sets around two years ago. On initial inspection, I was disappointed in the quality of the coins, most were hazy to some degree, and Dammit! there were no "no FGs" or DDOs as far as I could tell. Also, there was a distinct lack of cameos, or so I thought. I vaguely remembered that one or two of the halves appeared to be somewhat cameo, but unfortunately the fields were hazing and mottled. A few weeks ago I revisited those coins and decided to do some further experimentation with dipping. Below is one of the halves. The fields cleaned up quite nicely, and quite frankly pictures do not do it justice. The coin is a little spotty however, so I am expecting a MS66 cameo. with some super luck, (hoping the graders had a two martini lunch) I will end up with a MS67 Ultra Cameo! In that case it will go straight into my 100 Greatest set. Watch your tail Mr. Cramer!
    Will follow up when the coins get back from NGC. Guys, two martinis at lunch are GOOD for you! (just make sure you walk back to work.)

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  9. Cellgazer
    Did I enhance or destroy this coin?
    After some discussion on the merits (and dangers) of dipping proof and uncirculated coins (I agree, NEVER dip circulated coins) I decided to do a few experiments. For part one, I cracked out a graded 1952 proof half that I thought had unattractive toning and haziness. I did my standard dipping procedure (which NEVER resulted in a 'details grade, by the way), and I resummited it to NGC. The before and after photos are below, results will follow...

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  10. Cellgazer
    Farewell to the coin that started my "problem"...
    I used to be an "old coin" snob. Coin collecting to me was owning bits and pieces of history. I thought that the US Mint collector's products were a little bit of a cop out (for lack of better words). AND poor investments at that! Then one day in 2000 I got something in the mail advertising the latest mint offering, and this one caught my attention big time! it was b-imetallic and beautiful! The 2000 Library of Congress Commemerative $10 coin, platinum wrapped in gold! Never mind that "how BORING" is the thought of a coin celebrating a library (Zzzzz) I had to have that coin! So, against my now ex wife's threats, I ordered the shiny proof for around $400. I thought "why would anybody order the dull uncirdulated version for ten dollars less?"
    Well a lot of people must have thought the same thing because the proof outsold the uncirculated version nearly 5 to 1, and today an MS70 version may sell for as much as $5000!
    Knowing that, I have been keeping my eye out for an NGC MS70 coin for my "100 Greatest" collection, occasionally putting in "low ball" bids. Well son of a gun if one of those low ball bids came through! (Maybe $3550 was not so low ball...) so to make room for the new arrival I am selling the coin that started my obsession with modern US mint products. I have enjoyed it over the years, but now it"s just not "dull" enough for me.
    (Coin is being auction at that "big site" by Cellgazer.)

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