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Posts posted by Cellgazer

  1. 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 disbelieve 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 didn't get a great deal, and also worried I might get the booby prize, a non-prototype reverse....

    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. 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 we 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. PLEASE don't let your kids play with your US Mint products. (Or with this population...grandkids). ;)


    I have had a very good run of raw 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 that I 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. Here would be my evil plan: Examine the silver eagle with a 10X loupe, if you do not see any marks, have it graded, sell your PF70 coin for $10,000+, use the money to buy another set and repeat. ;)

    If you think it would grade PF69 or lower, only have the set graded if you want the registry points. I would take the points but these OGP sets are becoming increasingly rare due to nuts with an evil plan who think they might have a perfect coin. :)

  5. I am with you. But if you HAVE to have a complete MS70 ASE collection, you pay the price or don't play. I for one ain't gonna play.

    The "100 Greatest US Modern Coins" game, however, has sucked me in. I am paying the price for that game, but I do enjoy the variety. Each coin is a separate work of art, and has an interesting story on it's origin and/o desirability. It was the 100 Greatest book that turned me solidly into a collector of modern US coins.

  6. Supply and demand, simple as that. Only 88 '99 ASE's have been graded MS70 by NGC. In defense of modern coin, I would contend that many are quite undervalued when you look at the respective population. Someone I know recently purchased a '83 "no S" PF70 dime for around 5K. Only two have been graded PF70 by NGC. Thus they have an extreme modern rarity with an interesting back story, and a perfect coin to boot, for the price of a circulated 1989 cc Morgan.

    Anyway, there must be thousands of ASE collectors who would love to put one of the 88 MS70 '99's in their vault. Supply and demand.

    PS you must have been kidding about it being a $40 coin, right?

  7. 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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  8. 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 wraped 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!

    Know 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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  9. This is why thourough rinsing and compressed air drying are so important in my mind. You have legitimate concerns, and this is one reason I am doing this study. Sure I would prefer to send all of these ugly coins to NCS, but the price per coin, when you factor in shipping, can approach $100. If this coin comes back at a lower grade or ungradable, I will gladly eat crow. We will know in a week or two.

  10. I use e-Z-est, rinse, then soap, rinse, then blow dry the coin with filtered compressed air. This can be used with copper, but the color will be rather orange (may get red with time). I do not recommend dipping copper coins unless they are really hazy. Again, I never dip circulated coins.

    I do not know how NCS does it, but they are a little pricey for most coins. If I had a hazey 1995 W proof Eagle, I would send it to NCS. If it was a hazey 1995 P, I would dip it myself.

  11. 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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  12. 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 FG's" or DDO's are 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 someone 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, (ho[inh 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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  13. I have submitted coins that were dipped (by moi) and never had one body bagged. As long as they are not rubbed in any way, they should be OK. After the dip, I rinse, use mild dilute liquid soap, rinse again, then use a laboratory grade aerosol "dust remover". Nothing other than liquid ever touches the coin. I have had nice results with hazy coins with this method.

    NCS would have probably been the way to go in this case, but honestly I never thought of that.