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  1. It's an Israeli lira, their currency before they went to the shekel. The first pic writes out "one Israeli lira," in Hebrew "lira Israelit achat." Achat is the feminine of 'one'; numbers have gender, and lira is feminine, so it has to agree as does 'Israelit', which is also the term (noun or adjective) for an Israeli girl or woman. The smaller writing at bottom is the date, which is in the Jewish calendar. Tav-shin-bet quote chet would be JE 5728, roughly 1968 CE. Your coin is from just after Milchamat shisha ha'yomim (the Six-Day War). Other side gives the name of the country in Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic -script.
  2. They said that your coin has serious issues. It might not be authentic. It has certainly been abused with a brutal polishing job. It is positively not mint state. Hopefully that is clearer.
  3. If you buy raw and send to GC, the coins will have to be slabbed. Your smart move there would be to let GC decide where to send them, as they have a finger on the pulse of grading tendencies. That's part of the service you're paying for, their knowledge.
  4. My theory is that people divide into two broad groupings in how they address life stuff: some people are corner-cutters who just can't be bothered, and others insist upon doing things right. (The contracting trades attract an astonishing number of the former.) When the latter come to coin collecting, not knowing much else, they learn of grading and slabbing and think: "A professional opinion, coin protected for the long haul, beautiful display. This is Doing It Right." I totally understand it because that's how I am. I never just blop into something or someplace, jumping and assuming that a net will appear. I'm not enough of a drunk or fool to obtain that grace; I have to make my own or I'll faceplant. So, to the new folks. What they don't know, until we help them, is that Doing It Right in numismatics is not spending a bunch of money to have common coins slabbed. Doing It Right means learning to handle, grade, authenticate, and value--and to know when it is worth sending one in. It is on experienced numismatists to help them understand that they really don't have to spend all that money on slabs when they could instead spend it on great books and nice coins.
  5. I can go so far as to say I understand it better than I do some forms of collecting. But no one needs my understanding or approval to choose their numismatic inclinations, so I'm irrelevant to that process. I am very serious about my first point, which is that you buy/keep the coin, not the slab, even if it's one of those JGS garage operations that specializes in making sure people like their results. That by itself does not rule out the need to look at the coin, the coin, the coin.
  6. 1) I would look at the coins and decide, rather than considering the holders. 2) No, but all I can say about ASE collecting is that I recognize that some people engage in it, and that none of them need my opinion about the worthwhileness of ASE collecting, so I am manifestly not a useful source.
  7. Looks to me like a JGS (Joe's Grading Service). Of zero renown.
  8. Offhand looks like a sharp, hard point hit the coin hard enough to displace some metal. No reason to suppose it's anything but PMD.
  9. I see no doubled dies or errors. I see tarnished and damaged pennies.
  10. That is not what is needed. What is needed is to tell us specifically what you perceive to be mint errors. That said, I think all you are seeing is common tarnish and in some cases abrasive damage, none of which occurred at the mint.
  11. They even got up this way. There's a place in Cannon Beach (about an hour and a half west of Portland) that sells shipwreck coins, generally Spanish cob coinage. Overpriced, polished, etc., but a number of Spanish vessels foundered along our coast (the mouth of the Columbia is particularly dangerous) and evidently they have been able to pull up some coins. Maybe they have washed up on the beaches.
  12. The handy thing about selling through them is they not only get (and share with you) their bulk discount on slabs, but they know which service is likely to get the best results with a given coin. Plus they handle all that. Your main issue is just getting it there safely and under their insurance (necessitates you following their procedure, which is fair enough).
  13. I've sold through them, and I felt like my client got as good an outcome as was possible. On it never hurting to make offers, I tend to think otherwise. I like to pick out some coins and ask how much they would be all together. Some people don't mind offers, but some are really over lowballers (lots out there) and get their backs up a bit. The way I'd say it is that you have to size up your vendor; with some, offers are no big deal, worst they can say is no; with others, offers can create extra resistance and negatively affect the relationship. Some might say well, then, they aren't good at business. I'd counter by saying no, just because they don't do their business in the way one person expects doesn't make them bad businesspeople.
  14. Local dealers you trust. Dealers you see multiple times at coin shows and can examine their wares. One good way to evaluate a dealer is to buy a few small-value coins and see how honestly they grade and how fairly they price.