Determining value of "Details" coins?
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So my first foray into grading was almost a complete bust.  The high hopes I had for my Morgans were dashed with one simple word - Cleaned... :cry:

 

Now that they're tagged this way, how do I figure out a rough value for them?  It was supposed to be easy, just in case someone else had to sell them (which is why I had them graded in the first place).  

With straight MS grades, it's easy to get a ballpark value, but I can't (probably for good reason) find anything similar for UNC Details.  It's even tough trying to use ePay as a resource.

Any pointers?

 

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In my opinion, melt, unless a key date in the series.  Details coins are generally a tough sell at any price. 

The first time I bought a raw gold coin it too came back as cleaned.  I only buy graded coins except for late 1700's copper now. 

 

Good luck with the process.

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Be patient. Knowing these things now can hurt. (I feel like Rafiki consoling Simba here.) Try to think of what you've learned as "tuition". Study straight graded coins of the same dates as yours and be sure you understand the difference. If you accomplish that, this will have been money well spent.

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4 hours ago, Matt_dac said:

In my opinion, melt, unless a key date in the series.  Details coins are generally a tough sell at any price. 

The first time I bought a raw gold coin it too came back as cleaned.  I only buy graded coins except for late 1700's copper now. 

 

Good luck with the process.

There's one that is a key date and that's the one I'm most concerned with (1879 Rev of 78).  The others I sent in mostly so they could fetch more than melt in the future.  

 

25 minutes ago, VKurtB said:

Be patient. Knowing these things now can hurt. (I feel like Rafiki consoling Simba here.)

Wow.  Had you left out the Lion King reference, you'd have been okay...  Assuming that the person you're addressing is some "young cub" and implying that you're the wise and knowing adviser makes you sound like a condescending *spoon*.

27 minutes ago, VKurtB said:

Try to think of what you've learned as "tuition". Study straight graded coins of the same dates as yours and be sure you understand the difference. If you accomplish that, this will have been money well spent.

 I realize now that my initial statement led people to believe that I might be starting into collecting, but that is not the case.  You advice here is solid for the budding numismatist and well presented.

I sent these in to be graded so that, should my wife have to liquidate these without my assistance, she wouldn't get screwed by some shady coin shop offering her melt for a key date Morgan.  Since they came back as Details, I need an alternate way to valuate them.  Any guidance in that direction would be greatly appreciated.

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I wish I had some current advice for you here, but what you're asking is a "moving target". I have heard several "rules of thumb" for valuing Details coins over the last several decades, but none seem to stick very well. About 20 years ago, the advice was "take it down about 10 points" from the otherwise normal numeric equivalent grade, but even that has pretty much failed to hold. They really are a separate category now. The rules really don't apply, now that a very healthy percentage of Morgans are in graded plastic. I have about 30 that I believe are full MS coins that I've kept in "raw" state because they're just kind of typical coins. I never slab "ordinary" coins. If we've actually gotten to the point where only the slabbed can actually sell, there are going to be MANY unhappy collectors. I thank goodness that where I live and trade, raw coins are still in abundance. I never buy or sell online. Jus' sayin'.

 

By the way, you DID post this in the newbie section, so I believe my assumption might have been justified.

Edited by VKurtB

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On 8/22/2019 at 12:06 PM, VKurtB said:

I wish I had some current advice for you here, but what you're asking is a "moving target". I have heard several "rules of thumb" for valuing Details coins over the last several decades, but none seem to stick very well. About 20 years ago, the advice was "take it down about 10 points" from the otherwise normal numeric equivalent grade, but even that has pretty much failed to hold. They really are a separate category now. The rules really don't apply, now that a very healthy percentage of Morgans are in graded plastic.

That's what I was afraid of...  The point of slabbing these was to avoid as much ambiguity over their value as possible.  Looks like it'd make more sense in this case to move them along.

 

On 8/22/2019 at 12:06 PM, VKurtB said:

 have about 30 that I believe are full MS coins that I've kept in "raw" state because they're just kind of typical coins. I never slab "ordinary" coins. If we've actually gotten to the point where only the slabbed can actually sell, there are going to be MANY unhappy collectors. 

Yeah, slabbing coins that don't pull in much above melt makes no sense under all but a few circumstances.  For most anything that can bring a premium, it makes sense for what I'm trying to do.  

On 8/22/2019 at 12:06 PM, VKurtB said:

 I thank goodness that where I live and trade, raw coins are still in abundance. I never buy or sell online. Jus' sayin'.

 

It's good to have a nice shop you can use as a resource if you're collecting.  Buying / selling online doesn't really apply here since these weren't purchased.

On 8/22/2019 at 12:06 PM, VKurtB said:

By the way, you DID post this in the newbie section, so I believe my assumption might have been justified.

Yes I did.  But assuming that just because someone is just starting out in a hobby doesn't mean they are decades your junior.  And even if they are, condescension is still unappreciated and pretty much universally unnecessary.  

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1 hour ago, Thompson2 said:

That's what I was afraid of...  The point of slabbing these was to avoid as much ambiguity over their value as possible.  Looks like it'd make more sense in this case to move them along.

 

Yeah, slabbing coins that don't pull in much above melt makes no sense under all but a few circumstances.  For most anything that can bring a premium, it makes sense for what I'm trying to do.  

It's good to have a nice shop you can use as a resource if you're collecting.  Buying / selling online doesn't really apply here since these weren't purchased.

Yes I did.  But assuming that just because someone is just starting out in a hobby doesn't mean they are decades your junior.  And even if they are, condescension is still unappreciated and pretty much universally unnecessary.  

No, no, no! You misunderstand me! I virtually NEVER buy online NOR at a coin shop. Virtually EVERY coin I buy, other than direct sales from a Mint, comes from one of two sources - the "show circuit", which is the lesser source, or old-fashioned in-person-only live bidding "show me your driver's license and I'll give you a bidder number" actual down home auctions, which are in such overwhelming abundance near me that I can't even begin to get to them all. THAT is where I do the VAST majority of my buying.

 

By  the way, sir, I'm 64 years old and I've been doing fairly serious numismatics pretty consistently since 1963. Yup, I started at age 8. And never once in all those years had I ever even HEARD OF anyone getting all excited by obviously damaged coins (not you, others here) until the Internet generation came along. It CAN'T just be a coincidence. There HAS TO BE somewhere that we failed the newbies. Where DO we go to fix that???

Edited by VKurtB

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4 hours ago, VKurtB said:

No, no, no! You misunderstand me! I virtually NEVER buy online NOR at a coin shop. Virtually EVERY coin I buy, other than direct sales from a Mint, comes from one of two sources - the "show circuit", which is the lesser source, or old-fashioned in-person-only live bidding "show me your driver's license and I'll give you a bidder number" actual down home auctions, which are in such overwhelming abundance near me that I can't even begin to get to them all. THAT is where I do the VAST majority of my buying.

 

By  the way, sir, I'm 64 years old and I've been doing fairly serious numismatics pretty consistently since 1963. Yup, I started at age 8. And never once in all those years had I ever even HEARD OF anyone getting all excited by obviously damaged coins (not you, others here) until the Internet generation came along. It CAN'T just be a coincidence. There HAS TO BE somewhere that we failed the newbies. Where DO we go to fix that???

For someone with knowledge and a good eye, that's a great option.  For someone starting out, not so much.  

It's great that you've got all of those years of experience.  Hopefully you can share some of what you've learned over the years.  

And no, it's not a coincidence.  Information and misinformation spread much faster in this world.  As such, it's your duty when you're on a beginner's forum like this, to spread the correct information.   I'd bet that if you worked on your delivery you'd find that explaining to people why you prefer the higher grade coins instead of *spooning* all over their interest, you'd have better luck. 

There's nothing wrong with people wanting to collect error coins.  I personally like things that are "different", so they appeal to me (not enough to convince me to go roll hunting though).  As far as people hoping their road-rashed coin is some sort of super valuable variety - that's an education thing.  There are trolls (as you've found) who will insist every mangled coin is worth a fortune, but mostly it's people hoping it's their lucky day.   There's no reason to be rude.  If you'd spent time on any forum covering any topic, there are always people on both ends of the spectrum.  In the better communities, those on your end of the spectrum take the opportunity to nurture the hobby.  In the worst, as soon as a person show up with a "dumb" question, they immediately get pounced on and never return.  

Seems like you'd want the hobby to continue even after you're gone, so I'd challenge you to think about how you present your opinions to people who have genuine interest.  Not everyone will want to deep-dive into the hobby the first time they find something cool, so please don't expect that they will do read a ton of books or do a bunch of research before posting a question here.  And no one - not even you - burst into the world as an numismatic encyclopedia and many people (including myself) learn by interacting with people first.

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2 hours ago, Thompson2 said:

many people (including myself) learn by interacting with people first.

Good for you. I have always been a "read like a fiend first" (in books, not websites, at a public library at first) type of guy. It has always worked for me, in academia AND in my career. I really have ONLY one interest here - to spread true information. Whether people like what I have to say, or not, or like the WAY I say it, or not, is NOT my concern. I'm the "tough love" section.

 

Incidentally, I DO serve the hobby at large. I work my TAIL off at every ANA convention. Use my vacation time to do it. Former ANA President Walt Ostromecki awarded me his "Numismatic Point of Light" Award for my efforts to build the hobby. NO ONE is serving the new collector by ignoring the fact that they're going "out of phase" with the rest of the hobby. Some tough love is badly needed. Do I eschew the prevailing "Internet culture"? Yes, I plead guilty. I dislike it to an extreme extent you can scarcely imagine. If you knew how I REALLY feel about the ethos of the Internet, you'd realize how well I'm holding it together on here. I'm quite serious.

 

SOMEBODY needs to stand up and "call BS" on what the 'net has done to the hobby. I guess it's just my turn to step up.

Edited by VKurtB

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I feel kinda bad about directing this at YOU in particular, @Thompson2, but I need to show you a picture.

173985340_IMG_21712.thumb.JPG.52835630fdc6fe9e1acbf55e67ce8731.JPG

 

I got this box of coins as PART of a bulk lot at an auction about 7 years ago. Aside from making a label for the box and sticking it away, I've never even looked at the coins in it. SOMEBODY spent a HUGE amount of time putting it together and it could not possibly interest me less. I'd actually like give it a home where it can be loved. But how to do it fairly is the problem for me.

 

The "other tragedy" is that this box was a "throw away" part of a bulk lot that I got really cheap. Again, the fact that somebody carefully assembled it is truly a sad thing, given its fate.

 

The "first coin" is a 1914 in G-4 with a lamination and the last is a 1958 in MS-62ish with a die crack, both based on what the original owner wrote on the 2x2, and I couldn't care less.

 

Unless I stumble across a brilliant way to offload it, I guess I've been saving it for part of my stock when I become a part-time dealer to supplement my income when I retire.

Edited by VKurtB

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2 hours ago, VKurtB said:

Good for you. I have always been a "read like a fiend first" (in books, not websites, at a public library at first) type of guy. It has always worked for me, in academia AND in my career. I really have ONLY one interest here - to spread true information. Whether people like what I have to say, or not, or like the WAY I say it, or not, is NOT my concern. I'm the "tough love" section.

 

Incidentally, I DO serve the hobby at large. I work my TAIL off at every ANA convention. Use my vacation time to do it. Former ANA President Walt Ostromecki awarded me his "Numismatic Point of Light" Award for my efforts to build the hobby. NO ONE is serving the new collector by ignoring the fact that they're going "out of phase" with the rest of the hobby. Some tough love is badly needed. Do I eschew the prevailing "Internet culture"? Yes, I plead guilty. I dislike it to an extreme extent you can scarcely imagine. If you knew how I REALLY feel about the ethos of the Internet, you'd realize how well I'm holding it together on here. I'm quite serious.

 

SOMEBODY needs to stand up and "call BS" on what the 'net has done to the hobby. I guess it's just my turn to step up.

And good for you.  I've worked around both kinds of people and there are advantages and short comings to both.

I'm curious what the criteria for "point of light:" is.  Seems like your work here might be contrary to that...  And I have no doubt you work hard at the conventions... full of like minded people... who already agree with your position.

And the small portion of people "out of phase" are 1) not harming the hobby and are 2) possibly the "next phase".  Things change and evolve all the time.  I really don't see the advantage of mindfully excluding a portion of the community.

 

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2 hours ago, VKurtB said:

I feel kinda bad about directing this at YOU in particular, @Thompson2, but I need to show you a picture.

173985340_IMG_21712.thumb.JPG.52835630fdc6fe9e1acbf55e67ce8731.JPG

 

I got this box of coins as PART of a bulk lot at an auction about 7 years ago. Aside from making a label for the box and sticking it away, I've never even looked at the coins in it. SOMEBODY spent a HUGE amount of time putting it together and it could not possibly interest me less. I'd actually like give it a home where it can be loved. But how to do it fairly is the problem for me.

 

The "other tragedy" is that this box was a "throw away" part of a bulk lot that I got really cheap. Again, the fact that somebody carefully assembled it is truly a sad thing, given its fate.

 

The "first coin" is a 1914 in G-4 with a lamination and the last is a 1958 in MS-62ish with a die crack, both based on what the original owner wrote on the 2x2, and I couldn't care less.

 

Unless I stumble across a brilliant way to offload it, I guess I've been saving it for part of my stock when I become a part-time dealer to supplement my income when I retire.

I'm perplexed as to why you would feel bad about that.  A box of errors that will likely languish in perpetuity doesn't bother me in the slightest.  It's not something that have or ever had a chance to own (unlike the bag of wheats my MIL cashed in at the bank)  I think it'd be interesting to go through.  

You come across as disingenuous when you say you'd like to find a home where it can be loved.  If you did, it'd already be gone.  You have basically nothing into it, so any method you chose to move it along would turn a profit for you or bring some joy to someone.  --> And the fact that you kept it and didn't just move it along says to me that you see there is value in it, whether you like that "out of phase" portion of the community or not.  

If you're looking for a way to get it out of your way, you could very easily throw it up on eBay.  People go nuts for "unsearched" lots of pennies.  The fact that they're errors would only add to the mystery.  I think you'd do well.

If that's not an option, you could post it here for some fairly ridiculous amount and take the highest best offer.  

You could start a thread and have people guess a number.  Send it to the person who guesses closest to what you're thinking.  

Raffle them off at one of the conferences.

There's a million ways... 

And again - the fact that you kept it and didn't just move it along says to me that you see there is value in it, whether you like that "out of phase" portion of the community or not.  

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I have never even set up an eBay selling system. I VERY seldom BUY on eBay, and I wouldn't even begin to know how to be a seller there. It seems like a whole lot of trouble I'm not interested in.

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28 minutes ago, Thompson2 said:

I'm curious what the criteria for "point of light:" is.  Seems like your work here might be contrary to that...

Read it for yourself:

 

fullsizeoutput_46a.thumb.jpeg.99240e620483b494e09304c4fba61823.jpeg

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17 minutes ago, VKurtB said:

I have never even set up an eBay selling system. I VERY seldom BUY on eBay, and I wouldn't even begin to know how to be a seller there. It seems like a whole lot of trouble I'm not interested in.

I assumed that was the case, which was why I offered multiple alternatives.  

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8 minutes ago, VKurtB said:

Read it for yourself:

 

fullsizeoutput_46a.thumb.jpeg.99240e620483b494e09304c4fba61823.jpeg

Yup.  I was correct.  I think that how you present yourself here runs 100% contrary to "your passion for sharing the FUN of the numismatic hobby with clubs, COLLECTORS and the NON-COLLECTING general public of all ages"  

FUN should be a part of this... it says it RIGHT THERE.  So if it's fun for someone to collect things that aren't "mainstream", who cares?

I still don't see why you think it's so horrible... My grandmother collected pressed flowers... made her happy.  Worth anything?  Nope.  Of interest to anyone else?  Not really.  Hurting anyone? Nope.  

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2 minutes ago, Thompson2 said:

I assumed that was the case, which was why I offered multiple alternatives.  

I have considered using this box as a door prize at the Harrisburg Coin Show in September, now that it's back out of the back of the closet.

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1 minute ago, Thompson2 said:

Yup.  I was correct.  I think that how you present yourself here runs 100% contrary to "your passion for sharing the FUN of the numismatic hobby with clubs, COLLECTORS and the NON-COLLECTING general public of all ages"  

FUN should be a part of this... it says it RIGHT THERE.  So if it's fun for someone to collect things that aren't "mainstream", who cares?

I still don't see why you think it's so horrible... My grandmother collected pressed flowers... made her happy.  Worth anything?  Nope.  Of interest to anyone else?  Not really.  Hurting anyone? Nope.  

Now I think you're onto where my problem lies. "So if it's fun for someone to collect things that aren't "mainstream", who cares?" I assumed that those who are doing it care. Maybe I shouldn't have. If it's just a pastime, fine. But some seem to be thinking it's a path to riches, and I'm sorry, but that's just a baldfaced lie.

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Just now, VKurtB said:

Now I think you're onto where my problem lies. "So if it's fun for someone to collect things that aren't "mainstream", who cares?" I assumed that those who are doing it care. Maybe I shouldn't have. If it's just a pastime, fine. But some seem to be thinking it's a path to riches, and I'm sorry, but that's just a baldfaced lie.

Maybe they only care that it's fun.  As your award also says, it's a HOBBY.  Some people get WAY more into a hobby than others.  Nothing wrong with that.  Nothing wrong with dabbling either.  Whatever brings the FUN to the HOBBY.  I think losing the fun and taking it all so seriously is sad... with all things we used to enjoy, not just this.

And yes, there are those who only want to get into it a path to low effort, high reward riches.  Nothing to be done for that.  You'll never convince them otherwise.  If they press that path, you can point out the frivolity of it, but it'll likely be fruitless if that's the only reason they're here.  But a lot of the people who pop in here with the one-off coins aren't THOSE people.  They simply found something of interest and are wondering if they got lucky.  Nothing more.  I recognize that there are (loud, obnoxious, insanely annoying) trolls who are trying to convince you that they're trying to get rich.. .but they're only trying to annoy you.

Mostly, I think, you'll find the people who come here fresh are genuine and should be treated as though they are... should they show other colors, feel free to bash... 

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14 minutes ago, Thompson2 said:

I think losing the fun and taking it all so seriously is sad... with all things we used to enjoy, not just this.

With this, you "win the Internet" for the night. Well said. I have no animus for those led "down the garden primrose path". They can only be victims. It is those who CREATED these new collectors' misperceptions, IF they have them, that get me upset.

Edited by VKurtB

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10 minutes ago, VKurtB said:

With this, you "win the Internet" for the night. Well said. I have no animus for those led "down the garden path". They can only be victims. It is those who CREATED these new collectors' misperceptions, IF they have them, that get me upset.

So first, I'm gonna go do a happy dance where no one can see me.. :D 

Second, most of the people coming here to ask questions have been started down the garden path by some fast talking nimrod on youtube or some other internet forum, so there should be no ire directed at them here, pretty much no matter how vehemently they insist that the road rash penny they've got is worth a fortune.  It's pretty easy to derail that train of though by simply suggesting they have it graded by one of the big three.  Should they refuse that, it's likely they don't fully believe what they've got is, in fact, what they are purporting it to be and will balk at being called out on it.

It's the people who are feeding incorrect information to those asking the questions who are the problem.  And on this site I've not seen anyone doing that who wasn't immediately corrected by 3 or 4 other contributors. 

I'm pretty sure that 99.99% of the people here agree that misinformation about collecting and falsely inflating the value of certain attributes needs to be stomped out... quickly.  But I think you'd find a similar number who find no issue with collecting errors / flaws / defects if the collector realizes that there are only a tiny percentage of those are truly valuable.  I don't think that the people who are looking for the smallest errors are thinking that it's going to turn a $5 coin into a $5000 coin.  They're in it for the hunt and, again, the fun.  

I appreciate your zeal for the hobby, but I think (at least most of the time) your frustration is misdirected here.  

And, for the record, I've enjoyed this conversation.  It had the potential to turn really petty and ugly.  I appreciate having an open, intelligent conversation about something we disagree on (pretty sure THAT's part of the Socratic method.  :)

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I wish I knew where to find all the cool little emojis y'all seem to have at your fingertips.

Kurt, we're you using himor up there with the whole Simba thing? You nutty boy, you. I did laugh, so it was funny. Did it feel good to be light hearted for a second?  You need not worry about that beautiful box of Wheat Cent Errors any longer. I will pay the shopping and you can send them to me. Right up my alley, they are. If they do turn out to be junk I will melt them down and make some more bullets. Sounds like a fantastic idea to me. Better than a door stop, for sure.

Thompson, I am sad that you aren't this for the hobby. I think Kurt is spot on as far as how to value the cleaned ones. I was going to suggest cutting the priest in half and I guess that'd be about the same. You could also deslab them and sell them raw on auction as possibly cleaned and get a bit more out of them.

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10 hours ago, KarenHolcomb said:

I wish I knew where to find all the cool little emojis y'all seem to have at your fingertips.

Kurt, we're you using himor up there with the whole Simba thing? You nutty boy, you. I did laugh, so it was funny. Did it feel good to be light hearted for a second?  You need not worry about that beautiful box of Wheat Cent Errors any longer. I will pay the shopping and you can send them to me. Right up my alley, they are. If they do turn out to be junk I will melt them down and make some more bullets. Sounds like a fantastic idea to me. Better than a door stop, for sure.

Thompson, I am sad that you aren't this for the hobby. I think Kurt is spot on as far as how to value the cleaned ones. I was going to suggest cutting the priest in half and I guess that'd be about the same. You could also deslab them and sell them raw on auction as possibly cleaned and get a bit more out of them.

I'll make you a deal, Karen. SOMETIME in the next year or two, we should cross paths in "meatspace". The West Virginia "panhandle" is a quick drive for me. Via Charleston is one route I take to northern Alabama. Maybe a Pittsburgh thing, maybe a Gettysburg thing, whatever. In fact, I'll make it an open offer to everyone here. Shipping is a pain in the butt for me, and I have a "mission" to encourage live face-to-face numismatics whenever I can. I have always thought of the Internet as a tool to get to personal face-to-face interaction, and NOT a tool to AVOID it. If anyone wants this box of (purported, I don't actually know) error cents, and we can find a way to cross paths (and I DO get around!), it's yours. Gratis. It needs to go to somebody who, unlike me, will appreciate them. I DO appreciate the WORK that somebody put into them. They really are lavishly documented on the 2x2's.

Edited by VKurtB

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10 hours ago, Thompson2 said:

some fast talking nimrod on youtube

You may officially consider that line "lifted".

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11 hours ago, KarenHolcomb said:

I wish I knew where to find all the cool little emojis y'all seem to have at your fingertips.

Kurt, we're you using himor up there with the whole Simba thing? You nutty boy, you. I did laugh, so it was funny. Did it feel good to be light hearted for a second?  You need not worry about that beautiful box of Wheat Cent Errors any longer. I will pay the shopping and you can send them to me. Right up my alley, they are. If they do turn out to be junk I will melt them down and make some more bullets. Sounds like a fantastic idea to me. Better than a door stop, for sure.

Thompson, I am sad that you aren't this for the hobby. I think Kurt is spot on as far as how to value the cleaned ones. I was going to suggest cutting the priest in half and I guess that'd be about the same. You could also deslab them and sell them raw on auction as possibly cleaned and get a bit more out of them.

I was going to suggest that to him @KarenHolcomb :D beat me to it. 

Edited by Dukemnm

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3 hours ago, VKurtB said:

I'll make you a deal, Karen. SOMETIME in the next year or two, we should cross paths in "meatspace". The West Virginia "panhandle" is a quick drive for me. Via Charleston is one route I take to northern Alabama. Maybe a Pittsburgh thing, maybe a Gettysburg thing, whatever. In fact, I'll make it an open offer to everyone here. Shipping is a pain in the butt for me, and I have a "mission" to encourage live face-to-face numismatics whenever I can. I have always thought of the Internet as a tool to get to personal face-to-face interaction, and NOT a tool to AVOID it. If anyone wants this box of (purported, I don't actually know) error cents, and we can find a way to cross paths (and I DO get around!), it's yours. Gratis. It needs to go to somebody who, unlike me, will appreciate them. I DO appreciate the WORK that somebody put into them. They really are lavishly documented on the 2x2's.

That's a pretty cool way to unload that box. Meet face to face share stories and have something to talk about when showing off the collection of errors. It's Fascinating.  I doubt that we would meet since I am hardly in that part of the woods, unless I have to travel for work. 

Edited by Dukemnm

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1 hour ago, Dukemnm said:

That's a pretty cool way to unload that box. Meet face to face share stories and have something to talk about when showing off the collection of errors. It's Fascinating.  I doubt that we would me since I am hardly in that part of the woods, unless I have to travel for work. 

Hope springs eternal. It WAS this discussion that led me to dig that box out of the back of the closet, after all.

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