Possible Proof? Help Welcomed
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70 posts in this topic

My grandma recently passed here in Louisiana & I inherited all her coins. This particular Morgan was in its own little case & I have all her other Morgan’s mostly NOs mint & knew she never cleaned them. This is the best looking over 100 years old coin I’ve seen. My question is, could this possibly be a true NO’s mint Proof Coin? Any help greatly appreciated 

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Although interesting, I can say with great confidence that this does not apply to your coin. Your coin lacks the detail and strike characteristics that would be expected from a proof coin. Furthermore, a veteran eye that has looked at countless coins can easily discern that coin appears to be polished. Let us just assume for a second that Conder101 and I are wrong (highly unlikely that Conder101 is wrong) and the perceived characteristics of your coin are simply due to the picture quality. The chances of your coin being the only discovered 1881-O proof Morgan are next to impossible. 

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6 minutes ago, Mohawk said:

Agreed with Conder.....definitely a polished coin.  An actual proof looks completely different.

Agreed, and starting another thread on it won’t change that.

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Just now, MarkFeld said:

Agreed, and starting another thread on it won’t change that.

Agreed with this as well.

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The only problem I have is I polish metal all the time & have done so many times & tons of silver. I’ve seen the kind of polished coins y’all are talking about. I also have proof coins from many different decades & even worldwide countries having grown up a missionary. Yes, anything can be faked & I believe the Chinese are some of the best at that. But I have to believe facts & my own eyes. This coin never left the place it’s been in for 20 years that I know of & possibly more than that. My grandma was born in 1920’s Louisiana & was not wealthy. My grandpa, her husband worked for Halliburton his entire life & was constantly in New Orleans. They also lived their early on in their marriage.  If these factors weren’t involved, I’d be exactly in your mindsets... 

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17 minutes ago, Travis Hale said:

The only problem I have is I polish metal all the time & have done so many times & tons of silver. I’ve seen the kind of polished coins y’all are talking about. I also have proof coins from many different decades & even worldwide countries having grown up a missionary. Yes, anything can be faked & I believe the Chinese are some of the best at that. But I have to believe facts & my own eyes. This coin never left the place it’s been in for 20 years that I know of & possibly more than that. My grandma was born in 1920’s Louisiana & was not wealthy. My grandpa, her husband worked for Halliburton his entire life & was constantly in New Orleans. They also lived their early on in their marriage.  If these factors weren’t involved, I’d be exactly in your mindsets... 

I am not sure how those factors are relevant unless you think I am suggesting your coin is not genuine. I have no doubt that your coin is genuine. I do however have serious doubts that it is a branch mint proof. If you feel that strongly about it, you always have the option to send it to NGC for them to look at. I personally would not do so because it would be a waste of money but perhaps this coin has some value to you beyond whatever the actual value of the coin is that would warrant it being graded in your perspective.

Edited by coinsandmedals
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9 hours ago, Travis Hale said:

The only problem I have is I polish metal all the time & have done so many times & tons of silver. I’ve seen the kind of polished coins y’all are talking about. I also have proof coins from many different decades & even worldwide countries having grown up a missionary. Yes, anything can be faked & I believe the Chinese are some of the best at that. But I have to believe facts & my own eyes. This coin never left the place it’s been in for 20 years that I know of & possibly more than that. My grandma was born in 1920’s Louisiana & was not wealthy. My grandpa, her husband worked for Halliburton his entire life & was constantly in New Orleans. They also lived their early on in their marriage.  If these factors weren’t involved, I’d be exactly in your mindsets... 

None of that is relevant. How many certified branch mint Proof Morgan dollars have you seen in hand? 

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When do we stop telling people that 1 in a million still is a chance. I tried to explain earlier the itching facts that I can’t avoid. I’m an Accounting major & facts are it in the professional world. Plus, through experience, I never discredit human gut intuition. If I weren’t from Louisiana. If I hadn’t handled & do own more New Orleans mint Morgan’s than most & had read the history of that mint & the information involved. If it wasn’t my grandma that owned it. If it wasn’t that my grandpa worked there for Halliburton for so long, & if it weren’t for my own eyes inspection. If any of these facts were not there, then the accountant in me would probably think just like you. I promise you though that in my professional career, when even less than that is involved, I have to continue looking for details & tracing information until the answer is found within a percentage now a days, but for me it’s usually the solid 100% facts that satisfy me. i hope this makes sense to you & that you understand in not a crack pot gambler or what id call a lazy estimating accountant & yes, i very well could bd wrong, but do i allow that possibility to rule out facts & intuition? No. then id be as complicit with the situation as Author Anderson was with Enron.

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2 hours ago, Travis Hale said:

When do we stop telling people that 1 in a million still is a chance. I tried to explain earlier the itching facts that I can’t avoid. I’m an Accounting major & facts are it in the professional world. Plus, through experience, I never discredit human gut intuition. If I weren’t from Louisiana. If I hadn’t handled & do own more New Orleans mint Morgan’s than most & had read the history of that mint & the information involved. If it wasn’t my grandma that owned it. If it wasn’t that my grandpa worked there for Halliburton for so long, & if it weren’t for my own eyes inspection. If any of these facts were not there, then the accountant in me would probably think just like you. I promise you though that in my professional career, when even less than that is involved, I have to continue looking for details & tracing information until the answer is found within a percentage now a days, but for me it’s usually the solid 100% facts that satisfy me. i hope this makes sense to you & that you understand in not a crack pot gambler or what id call a lazy estimating accountant & yes, i very well could bd wrong, but do i allow that possibility to rule out facts & intuition? No. then id be as complicit with the situation as Author Anderson was with Enron.

Is it possible that a Branch Mint Proof Morgan could turn up in an old collection?  Yes, though the chances would be very slim.  However, your coin is not one.  It's a polished coin, plain and simple.  You posted your photos and many people with many decades of combined experience have all stated the same thing: Your Morgan is a polished coin.  I think you're letting what you want to see to blind you to the reality of the situation.  Even with all of the family factors you listed above, that does not rule out that your grandmother got a polished coin or that she polished it herself.  Back then, shiny was everything and there were respected numismatic sources that actually told people how to clean their coins!  There are A LOT of cleaned and polished coins out there because of the mindset of earlier collectors.

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The amount of difference between a photo and the real thing is a huge gap in your reasoning. i do remember telling you she never polished her other Morgans and the silverware itself was never polished, but of course they lived poor for most their lives anod though the great depression. those type of people i promise you appreciate things differently. she also had OCD. so that factor known, every piece of silver she had should've been cleaned and worn down so. i never said i could be wrong. i said why do we encourage others to immediately dismiss that 1 in a million chance? your assumptions of me are small and perspective/knowledge on this issue narrow. don't always keep undertanding or thought process in a box. always think outside that box, but with balance...

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Travis:  It appears you are not going to take the word of some very experienced people here so I have a suggestion.  Send it in to NGC or PCGS and that will settle it.  If you do good luck with the results.

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1 hour ago, Alex in PA. said:

Travis:  It appears you are not going to take the word of some very experienced people here so I have a suggestion.  Send it in to NGC or PCGS and that will settle it.  If you do good luck with the results.

Thank you Alex!  There's your answer Travis.  You're obviously not going to listen to anyone on this, so go ahead and send it on in, see what NGC or PCGS have to say on the matter.  Maybe you'll listen to them.

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this is the form of proof you guys are talking about. same mint notice the luster & not mirror. the other one under everything looks like a proof. 

 

"Experience without objectivity breeds ignorance". 4CD7840C-1F7B-4A3D-B8C6-324125947E88.thumb.jpeg.6de91051a2349644e4728bfcc94d59b9.jpeg

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What are you trying to show with the last set of pictures?  Those aren't proofs either and they don't appear to have been seriously messed with as the first one does.

Don't get me wrong, you say you are an accountant and I will assume you have had a lot of experience as an accountant.  I'm sure you could run rings around me in accountancy.  How much experience do you have at numismatics?  I have over 50 years and there are people here better than me.  Images can be deceiving but they are all we have to go on, and the images of your first coins appear to be that of a polished coin.  And the detail and rims are nowhere near sharp enough to be a proof, even considering that a branch mint proof would not be as sharp as a Philadelphia proof.  OK you say your grandmother never polished it and she didn't polish her other silver.  But unless your grandmother was born about 150 years ago and got the coin IN 1881, there is no way to know what someone else may have done to it before she got it.  Frankly she may have held it because it was polished and "looked different" than the every day dollar.  There are a lot of non-collectors that think they have something special "because of how shiny it is" when all they have are polished coins.  You wanted opinions and you got them.  If you don't agree then the next step is to get it certified.  And if you are right and we are wrong come back and gloat, we don't mind eating crow if we are wrong.  But we don't have to eat it very often.

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I hope & assume that you know some history about Louisiana since there was once a mint here. That mint hasn’t been here in a long time & that coin was made well before that unlike any other New Orleans coin I’ve seen. I’m 39 & grew up on the mission field in the Ukraine. I’ve collected coins from every country in the world since we moved around that much anyway & the ‘80s in the Ukraine were like the 50s here. Not a lot for me to do. We traveled & lived & started churches in most of Asia. I beheld China before the so called curtain fell. I have currency I guarantee you’ve never seen. I looked & no one graded them yet. When coming back to Louisiana at 16, I learned how ignorant, backwards & corrupt this place still was in ‘97. Ive always had friends older than me meaning twice my age most the time because most of my generation here I’d dumb down for. Now, New Orleans was & I suspect always will be one of the most corrupt city I’ve been to. It was originally a docking port & penal colony for the French. I can also promise you that the leadership here to this day is corrupt as ever. I’m sure you even remember Edwin Edwards. So from the unique history I already know, but also the history that is never told or leaves here even books about that mint. I’m positive it was closed for more than you know. The only logical conclusion I have about a coin that is so pf like that it looks fake to come out of that place we’re the instructed branch ones ordered from Philadelphia. Those I’ve seen & look nothing near as nice. I believe it was one of leadership had it made for himself. I’m researching exstensively and even into your theory. I’ve looked at many polished Morgans. Oh, yes, btw I have smelted and sold precious metals since the inception of eBay. I even use nitric acid to purify & only suggest professionals do this. I’ve polished, examined sold many things with the unique contacts I do have. I also use a forensic computer device to magnify & penitrate the metals & coin for analyzing. The ir/uv scattered X-ray eliminates many factors. I’m sure you’ve seen this technology by now. With me, I guess because of consistency usually have to trace in my mind the process & circumstances something came to be. I have a Doctor friend that is 72 and is letting me read his library with history books about Louisiana & the mint that doesn’t exist anywhere else. I promise I searched. These are a lot of one off accounts books & very unique. Plus picking his brain. Even at 72 I promise he’s sharper than me by far. For him to be interested at all gives weight to what I’m researching. I’m sure you know that Louisiana is the only state that practices Nopoleanic code laws. You have to take two separate bar exams to practice here. Similar for CPAs who practice. If I rule out polishing, the only logical thoughts I have at this point is either it’s a fake from before I was born. Meaning that person or entity would’ve had to break federal law to create it. Or Second, & very likely here was made for some good old boy in power that got it done by request or for favor. I’m still not ruling other circumstances, I’ve got a ways to go still. You also do need to understand that the coin sat side by side my grandparents Confederate Currency. I have learned a very suspicious piece of my family’s history. My great grandfather, her dad, was a wealthy businessman a timber business & didn’t believe in banks and hordes an entire chest his sons took full of gold & silver. From what I’m told, he was the best around here at what he did & ive seen some of his work & it amazes me the quality. It is entirely very likely he obtained this and she got it. I’ve never meant any disrespect to you or anybody that has helped me with advice & I very much respect your experience & knowledge. The only point I believe I stated was never, even towards the end of professionalism stop accepting new information and keep learning. The moment we say we know it all is the moment we become stuck in a pattern of experience & perception that will never change or grow. There is common sense, there is knowledge/information, but only when we keep an open mind do we continue to obtain wisdom. I believe you are wise and appreciate your help and everyone’s help in any way/form given. I do take this hobby very seriously, or too seriously according to my wife. To her generation, she’s 30, they all say it’s an old man’s hobby & have no interest or respect to it at all. I just tell them that I was raised with the saying that if you have a hobby, make sure it’s one that makes money. Over time, I have made & make profit always and get to enjoy the hobby. It quiets my mind & keeps me from going crazy. I am very detail oriented to a fault and I don’t drink, never have, or have anything else that stops racing. So, I apologize because I can get caught on something sometimes that will drive me crazy till I know & observe the truth. Thank you is what I’m saying and you have my respect for sure sir... & secretly I consider what you do to be my dream job.... have a blessed day...

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1 hour ago, MarkFeld said:

Your thread title included the words “help wanted”. You have been provided with that help from a number of different knowledgeable posters. But you don’t sound as if you want to hear it. At this point, I don’t believe that any of us could say anything that would sway you from what you want to believe.

I get dozens of emails every week from people who “know” they have something special, when in fact, they don’t. 

You are still HERE - Mark you are a patient man.

The 1883-o is a typical lightly struck business strike, not quite sure whats happening with the 1 though. Some nice reverse die clash marks that may have some VAM value. Might be gradable depending on that 1.

Too much shadowing and blurriness to venture any opinion on the 1902-o but looks cleaned so this one is questionable without better lighting and pictures. Look forward to the next.

And If I forgot as I have a tendency to do, Sorry for your loss of grandma.

ps - not great pic but also a 1883-o business strike below

1883o1.jpg

1883o2.jpg

Edited by jgrinz
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Quote

"Experience without objectivity breeds ignorance".

Oops....Guess I'm not quite done yet!  Since we're posting quotes now.......

Quote

“Insanity is doing the same thing in the
same way & expecting a different outcome”

-Often attributed to Einstein, but it appears to actually be an old Chinese proverb.  Gotta love those ancient Chinese.....so much wisdom contained in a single sentence.

Now, I'm really done ;)

Edited by Mohawk
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46 minutes ago, Travis Hale said:

Sounds like a bunch of immature geriatrics....

Another Oops.....guess I'm not done yet again!  I'm 38, one year younger than you Travis. But, I must ask, what does age have to do with any of this?  We must all be geriatric and immature because we don't agree with your incorrect assumptions about coins?  Because I responded to that quote of yours with another one that fits this situation?  I don't usually do things like that, but you're frustrating the whole lot of us with this stuff Travis.  I know I'm frustrated.  You say you want help, but you clearly don't.  You say you want to learn, but you have all the answers already.  You tell us to be frank, but when we are you get combative with us and come at us with multiple fabrications in an attempt to bolster your own incorrect views and assumptions.  What you want is a bunch of "yes men" that just tell you exactly what you want to hear.  You're correct that there is some immaturity here.

Edited by Mohawk
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