Getting sick of details grades
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Here's my rant. No I am not an expert on coins but I have seen many coins that are details grade pass NGC and get graded. I have sent in nearly 20 coins that have gotten grades of, improperly cleaned, altered color, filled rim, burnished, scratched, etc. etc. details grade. While I can agree with some of them I find it really sad that I cant seem to get a grade on anything. The last 2 coins were an Indian head that came back as altered color and a half cent that came back burnished. I even took the half cent to a dealer and he said it looked great. I am done getting coins graded and just buy graded ones on ebay.

 

End Rant

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If that many of your submissions are coming back as details-grade coins, it sounds as if you need work on your grading skills and that your decision to buy only graded coins is best for you. Hopefully, that way, you will get more enjoyment out of your collecting.

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If that many of your submissions are coming back as details-grade coins, it sounds as if you need work on your grading skills and that your decision to buy only graded coins is best for you. Hopefully, that way, you will get more enjoyment out of your collecting.

 

I have had several checked by others and by dealers. I figured a few of them might come back as details grade but "burnished" "rim damage" "altered" "scratched" can go one way but not the other. I think NGC is much more judgmental on half cents and large cents than they are on silver dollars. One little nick and it gets a details grade while a silver dollar can get scuffed and scratched yet it its a MS grade.

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Mark hit the nail on the head. Buy a few straight graded coppers and look at both those and your details graded coins and see if you can come up with the reasons for both. If you can't tell the difference show them to a dealer you trust and see if they can show you the reason yours are details graded. Eventually you will improve your skills. Don't give up on collecting or get discouraged. Sometimes we need to pay for our education.

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I would stop buying raw coins and then trying to put them in TPG holders. Buy raw and keep raw or buy already stabbed. After all those examples you cited I'm thinking it's the old adage that it must be you. Early coppers as a whole have been very manipulated over the years. You can probably bet on the fact that the coins you have submitted have been tried before by others.

 

mark

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Where you buy the coins can matter, especially if you are buying based on images. Your reason for buying raw coins can matter as well. A potential 'diamond in the rough' can be quite seductive.

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A great many collector coins have been sent to the third party graders over the last almost 30 years. As a result many of the raw coins that you see offered for sale are raw for a reason. They have either been sent in for grading, and got a body bag or, more recently, came back in a "details" holder. Expert graders may also have looked at them and deemed them to be problem coins that won't grade and therefore never sent them into a TPG.

 

As for copper coins, especially very old copper coins, the TPGs can drive you nuts. :insane: When I had my collection graded more than 15 years ago, I had more trouble with the half and large cents in my type set than anything else.

 

My 1793 cents and half cent all graded despite the fact I viewed them as problem coins with defects that might have prevented them from being graded (e.g. a scratch or a rim bump). My 1797 and 1802 half cents plus the Draped Bust and Classic Head large cents I had all flunked despite the fact that they had virtually nothing wrong with them. I really got PO'd when a couple of those coins ended up in PCGS holders after I sold them. It seems that some pigs are more equal than other pigs.

 

The bottom line is you can get different opinions from different submissions. You can also run into graders who don't know their job. Just because you know how to grade Morgan Dollars doesn't mean that you know how to grade early copper. In fact if you have not had enough experience with early copper and early coins in general, you don't know how to grade them. You can't learn how to grade early coins by learning to grade "walkers, dollars and commems."

 

My guess is is that most of the of the "details grades" you have gotten were justified. Buying raw coins, that are scarce, is a real minefield these days for the reason I stated here up front. I agree with the others that you should stick to buying coins that have already been holdered. That's what I do 95 +% of the time now as a collector. I buy the coin in the holder I want provided that I think that the grade assigned is justified.

 

When I was dealer I bought raw coins and had them graded. I agreed with grades assigned about 80% of the time. The other 20% included coins that were under and (mostly) over graded in my opinion. In other words I thought that I got more "gifts" than under grades.

 

The thing that burned me was some of the body bags. It also seemed like the TPG had to give me one body bag in every submission I made, just for the hell it. I always landed on my feet with these coins because there were dealers at the shows who bought raw coins. I'd explain to them each time that the coins had been rejected, and many times we would shake our heads and wonder what the graders were thinking.

 

Here's an example for you. Years ago I saw a really nice looking 1836 $5 gold at show that was raw. It looked like a Mint State coin. Then I REALLY looked at it, and sure enough. One of the rims had been filed. That was why it wasn't graded.

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Bill Jones first paragraph says a great deal. With Third Party Grading being available the first question you have to ask yourself is "Why isn't this already encapsulated?"

 

Regarding copper, if it doesn't look 100% natural, either red or brown, put it down. R/B or coins with color are suspect before they ever get looked at. Regarding cleaned, damaged etc. A few hairlines is all it takes. A scratch very well could occur in normal wear but it won't get graded unless it's minor bag chatter.

 

Buying encapsulated coins should be your preferred path. Ninety five percent of the time the coin can be bought "around" Grey Sheet bid. So get a Grey Sheet. If you can't buy at sheet, you're buying in the wrong places.

 

 

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Bill Jones first paragraph says a great deal. With Third Party Grading being available the first question you have to ask yourself is "Why isn't this already encapsulated?"

 

Regarding copper, if it doesn't look 100% natural, either red or brown, put it down. R/B or coins with color are suspect before they ever get looked at. Regarding cleaned, damaged etc. A few hairlines is all it takes. A scratch very well could occur in normal wear but it won't get graded unless it's minor bag chatter.

 

Buying encapsulated coins should be your preferred path. Ninety five percent of the time the coin can be bought "around" Grey Sheet bid. So get a Grey Sheet. If you can't buy at sheet, you're buying in the wrong places.

 

 

I must take exception with the part that says "If you can't buy at sheet, you're buying in the wrong places". For some coins, that might be true, but for many others, it's wrong.

 

And that type of thinking can lead to a sub-par collection. If a buyer is OK with that, fine. But if not, he needs to be aware of realistic price levels for the coins he seeks.

 

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If I limited myself to Gray Sheet prices, I won't be able to buy much of anything nice these days. The good stuff brings strong money. The not so good stuff sells for Gray Sheet.

 

Modern coins and run of the mill stuff sells for the Graysheet. Nice stuff sells for more, sometimes A LOT more. That's not to say it's worth double or triple Gray Sheet. There are limits.

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"I even took the half cent to a dealer and he said it looked great."

 

Sell all your "details" coins to this astute fellow. He must know much more than a bunch of experienced people who see thousands of coins a week.

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A great many collector coins have been sent to the third party graders over the last almost 30 years. As a result many of the raw coins that you see offered for sale are raw for a reason. They have either been sent in for grading, and got a body bag or, more recently, came back in a "details" holder. Expert graders may also have looked at them and deemed them to be problem coins that won't grade and therefore never sent them into a TPG.

 

As for copper coins, especially very old copper coins, the TPGs can drive you nuts. :insane: When I had my collection graded more than 15 years ago, I had more trouble with the half and large cents in my type set than anything else.

 

My 1793 cents and half cent all graded despite the fact I viewed them as problem coins with defects that might have prevented them from being graded (e.g. a scratch or a rim bump). My 1797 and 1802 half cents plus the Draped Bust and Classic Head large cents I had all flunked despite the fact that they had virtually nothing wrong with them. I really got PO'd when a couple of those coins ended up in PCGS holders after I sold them. It seems that some pigs are more equal than other pigs.

 

The bottom line is you can get different opinions from different submissions. You can also run into graders who don't know their job. Just because you know how to grade Morgan Dollars doesn't mean that you know how to grade early copper. In fact if you have not had enough experience with early copper and early coins in general, you don't know how to grade them. You can't learn how to grade early coins by learning to grade "walkers, dollars and commems."

 

My guess is is that most of the of the "details grades" you have gotten were justified. Buying raw coins, that are scarce, is a real minefield these days for the reason I stated here up front. I agree with the others that you should stick to buying coins that have already been holdered. That's what I do 95 +% of the time now as a collector. I buy the coin in the holder I want provided that I think that the grade assigned is justified.

 

When I was dealer I bought raw coins and had them graded. I agreed with grades assigned about 80% of the time. The other 20% included coins that were under and (mostly) over graded in my opinion. In other words I thought that I got more "gifts" than under grades.

 

The thing that burned me was some of the body bags. It also seemed like the TPG had to give me one body bag in every submission I made, just for the hell it. I always landed on my feet with these coins because there were dealers at the shows who bought raw coins. I'd explain to them each time that the coins had been rejected, and many times we would shake our heads and wonder what the graders were thinking.

 

Here's an example for you. Years ago I saw a really nice looking 1836 $5 gold at show that was raw. It looked like a Mint State coin. Then I REALLY looked at it, and sure enough. One of the rims had been filed. That was why it wasn't graded.

 

Thank you for your post, really appreciate it

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“With Third Party Grading being available the first question you have to ask yourself is "Why isn't this already encapsulated?"”

 

 

 

 

I think this depends on the venue. There exists a subset of coin collectors (how many is impossible to say) who do not have their coins graded - who may or may not even be aware of TPGs. Their collections are sold in small, local auctions.

 

Many of these collections took decades to assemble and were purchased from small, ‘mom and pop’ auctions that normally specialize in farm equipment and box lots full of miscellaneous whatnots or were passed down from the family or found in pocket change.

 

I have acquired a few nice coins from such auctions.

 

 

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If that many of your submissions are coming back as details-grade coins, it sounds as if you need work on your grading skills and that your decision to buy only graded coins is best for you. Hopefully, that way, you will get more enjoyment out of your collecting.

 

 

Sorry, but Mark is exactly right.

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Here is the coin in question NGC 2693202-001

 

 

 

 

After seeing the pics of this coin on the NGC website, I agree it appears to have burnished/polished/recolored unnatural surfaces to me.

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Here is the coin in question NGC 2693202-001

 

Yes, sadly your coin has been burnished and artificially retoned. Here is an example of a Mint State Classic Head half cent that has the right look and color.

 

1809%20Half%20Cent%20O_zpsixpcvbvg.jpg1809%20Half%20Cent%20R_zpsbos1usqz.jpg

 

In an unusual move for me, I did buy this coin raw at one of the annual Early American Coppers Club auctions.

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Why not put what you would spend on a raw coin or two, into the cost of the ANA grading classes? It might save you a lot of money and frustration in the long run.

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Cents are a very tough area in all respects to buy raw; even if you find a problem free one that is nice you will probably have to pay strong and then with grading fees you will be unlikely to sell it later without taking a significant loss.

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Sorry to be late returning to the party but I made the following statement earlier:

 

 

"Buying encapsulated coins should be your preferred path. Ninety five percent of the time the coin can be bought "around" Grey Sheet bid. So get a Grey Sheet. If you can't buy at sheet, you're buying in the wrong places".

 

I stand by this statement believing that it's true in 95% of the cases this collector is abt to encounter. Certainly a power coin costing thousands to purchase may be priced above Grey Sheet but based upon the OP's description of his purchases, I'm of the opinion he's in the other end of the pool.

 

Additionally, as a rule coins costing big money are normally already encapsulated and when the asking price for a coin far exceeds it's Grey Sheet price any sensible collector will ask why so much?

 

My point is, arm yourself with information that's reasonably accurate. Information is power. Red Books, Coin Prices Magazine, Blue Books and the NGC and PCGS price guides are not as accurate as a Grey Sheet. That's why almost every Dealer at every show uses one.

 

For the record: E-Bay sales, and auction hammer prices are quite helpful also.

 

Taking a Dealers word for it that his coins are priced right is an excellent way to hate the hobby really quickly.

 

 

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I started collecting raw coins at first but I figured I try slabbed coins to do some good with my available money. Now I gained a little more knowledge on coins so I buy been buying some raw coins, getting 2 of them slabbed soon to see how I did.

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Here is another part of the equation. In my experience, a majority of the coin dealers that you are showing your "detailed" coins to will have the same "expertise (?)" as you seem to have. Follow the advice above, until you learn the game, buy slabs.

 

...and just to be fair, all the grading services make errors of judgement. I am aware of many dealers who make a very good living dealing in "detail" graded coins and very expensive "problem" coins that they crack out and submit several times to each major service until they get a straight grade on it from one of them. Latest case, a $50 slug for $$,$$$ profit (less many, many grading fees)!

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My point is, arm yourself with information that's reasonably accurate. Information is power. Red Books, Coin Prices Magazine, Blue Books and the NGC and PCGS price guides are not as accurate as a Grey Sheet. That's why almost every Dealer at every show uses one.

 

A lot of people would say that auction results are better than any of those sources.

 

There are couple of problems with the Gray Sheet.

 

First, for coins that are more than just "stuff," the Gray Sheet is quite often the price a dealer wishes he could pay for a coin. They are not the numbers he will have to pay if he wants to buy the right coin when it comes along.

 

Second, some areas of the Gray Sheet are wrong, and they have been wrong for years. If you collect high quality early copper that is not dark, porous, corroded or cleaned, the prices are on the Gray Sheet are WAY TOO LOW. The coins are simply not available for those numbers, unless they have issues.

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...and just to be fair, all the grading services make errors of judgement. I am aware of many dealers who make a very good living dealing in "detail" graded coins and very expensive "problem" coins that they crack out and submit several times to each major service until they get a straight grade on it from one of them. Latest case, a $50 slug for $$,$$$ profit (less many, many grading fees)!

 

This is because the standards for grading $50 gold slugs have dropped considerably. Now coins with huge rim bumps, that would have gotten body bags in the old days, now get straight grades. Despite that the prices for slugs have gone up, and not dropped as they should have for "grade-flation." That's one of the reasons why I know I'll never own one of those coins. If the coin is graded EF or AU, you are paying more for those grades and getting less coin.

 

Why? Slugs are "trophy coins," and some of the people who are supporting the low end of the market have more money that knowledge.

 

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At least they aren't just sending the coins with problems all back in a body bag. I had just one no grade on a few recent PCGS submissions, an 1878-s Morgan that had tremendous eye appeal. MS64 with a little light cleaning or wipe or something. I sold it quickly to a dealer for $75 in the problem slab which can be a hard thing unless they like the coin. I was at a NY shop yesterday with another forum member who remarked on how many of the coins he was selling at high prices were problem clearly cleaned, many times harshly cleaned coins. And the guy doesn't like to take returns which should be obligatory if people's standards are shoddy. It's what made Walmart great, returns which lead to greater consumer awareness and product improvement. From what I have seen NGC is the toughest in looking for problems, then PCGS then Anacs then ICG; but the latter can be paranoid about small rim nicks and spots on copper coins.

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There is probably an over-the-counter medication for that kind of sickness...or maybe one of those prescription things advertised on TV were the fine print says: "May cause ALS, krone's disease, Parkinson's, heart failure, pulmonary edema, brain lesions, aortic aneurysm, psychotic episodes, uncontrollable itching, blindness and death."

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There is probably an over-the-counter medication for that kind of sickness...or maybe one of those prescription things advertised on TV were the fine print says: "May cause ALS, krone's disease, Parkinson's, heart failure, pulmonary edema, brain lesions, aortic aneurysm, psychotic episodes, uncontrollable itching, blindness and death."

 

Crohn's disease, not krones. Nasty no cure disease.

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Good ol' spellcheck.... Thanks!

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