Is it just me??
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63 posts in this topic

In the last few years there have been numerous spectacular 'finds' and 'errors' showing up on the market that no one had seen before. Am I the only on that is standing here dumbfounded?

Some of what I am talking about;

1. 1794 "first struck' silver dollar

2. dime struck on a nail

3. quarter struck over Canadian quarter

4. 1964 SMS coins

5. 'Prototype' IKEs

The list goes on.

I have to admit that I am a devotee of the Apostle Thomas, I doubt everything.  As such I think every one of these 'Spectacular Finds' is at best overhyped and at worst totally make believe.  The closest thing I have to a motto is  I believe nothing, know little,and think a lot. I think #1 is an over hyped early strike but no way to say it is the first and #2 through #5 are so much fertilizer, am I the only one?

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No, there are at least two of us.

It's my assumption that many "errors" were intentionally made.  There is nothing significant about 99% of errors either since there are so many and the differences are usually minimal.  Same applies to #4 and #5.

With the 1794 dollar, it's a significant coin but what you described is marketing.  It's an example of how those who make a living off of the hobby (dealers, auction firms, TPG and numismatic press) predominantly along with those who buy the most expensive US coinage exaggerate the significance of practically everything. The most logical underlying motivation is an attempt to inflate the price level as much as possible.

How do I reach this conclusion?

By comparing perception during the current financialized era to the one that preceded it.  Most of this coinage wasn't worth much because the claimed distinction is overwhelmingly numismatically trivial.  Collectors didn't collectively experience an epiphany to become more "sophisticated" to miraculously conclude this coinage is so much better than their predecessors.

Aside from the financial aspects, what I am describing is also the equivalent of awarding participation trophies just for showing up.  Particularly with US coinage (but getting worse for others), a noticeable proportion isn't affordable to an outsized proportion of the collector base.  This has always been true but the internet has made traditional collecting a lot less challenging.

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6. 1942 pattern cent "high relief" (the designation lasted about a month or two, but the hype remains on their website)

Lots of fertilizer out there.

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No you certainly are not alone, it seems to me that there is no way that most of the really wild errors could ever happen just by accident without some sort of human "help" to be created in the first place and then in getting out of the mint and into the coin channels.

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21 hours ago, Moxie15 said:

In the last few years there have been numerous spectacular 'finds' and 'errors' showing up on the market that no one had seen before. Am I the only on that is standing here dumbfounded?

Some of what I am talking about;

1. 1794 "first struck' silver dollar

2. dime struck on a nail

3. quarter struck over Canadian quarter

4. 1964 SMS coins

5. 'Prototype' IKEs

The list goes on.

I have to admit that I am a devotee of the Apostle Thomas, I doubt everything.  As such I think every one of these 'Spectacular Finds' is at best overhyped and at worst totally make believe.  The closest thing I have to a motto is  I believe nothing, know little,and think a lot. I think #1 is an over hyped early strike but no way to say it is the first and #2 through #5 are so much fertilizer, am I the only one?

Some of the “finds” you listed aren’t from the last few years.

The 1794 dollar has been known as a special example for many years. Only the “Specimen” designation (and increased speculation about it being the first struck) are relatively recent.

The 1964 SMS coins became known more than twenty years ago. I saw a fair number of them prior to 1998, while still a grader at NGC.

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Each of the claims (including #6 from Kppbll) requires sufficient evidence to support the claim. Not one of them possesses such evidence, and at least two, #4 and #6, are actually disproven by the evidence. Maybe it's the overall climate of lies, empty speculation, grasping greed, or a flight to ignorance and "alternative facts" that underlies the mess. It is very disheartening because the hobby has come to depend on what is supposed to be independent and thorough authentication.

Exceptions might be #2 and #3 since they are clearly as described. But their existence implies unusual activity at a mint (assuming they are not more Chinese fakes).

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Okay now we have two respected Numismatists disagreeing over evidence

 

4. 1964 SMS coins

Here @MarkFeld says

The 1964 SMS coins became known more than twenty years ago. I saw a fair number of them prior to 1998, while still a grader at NGC.

And @RWB says 

and at least two, #4 and #6, are actually disproven by the evidence. 

So were there Special Mint Sets in 1964?

 

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24 minutes ago, Moxie15 said:

Okay now we have two respected Numismatists disagreeing over evidence

 

4. 1964 SMS coins

Here @MarkFeld says

The 1964 SMS coins became known more than twenty years ago. I saw a fair number of them prior to 1998, while still a grader at NGC.

And @RWB says 

and at least two, #4 and #6, are actually disproven by the evidence. 

So were there Special Mint Sets in 1964?

 

RWB says no. NGC, PCGS and a number of numismatists say yes.

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10 minutes ago, Moxie15 said:

Did the Mint market them? If so why did it take over 30 years to notice them?

No, the Mint did not. See near the bottom of this linked page for some information, opinion and speculation:

https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1964-1c-sms-rd/3284

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18 minutes ago, Moxie15 said:

So there were no sets made so SMS is a misnomer

Think as you wish. Many who have viewed the coins in hand believe that they were specially made. And they came from a source which leads credence to that possibility (though granted, not known fact).

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1 hour ago, MarkFeld said:

Think as you wish. Many who have viewed the coins in hand believe that they were specially made. And they came from a source which leads credence to that possibility (though granted, not known fact).

No, it is the truth. The pieces are nothing more than early coins off new dies. Exactly the same phenomenon occurs with every series of coins where early pieces off new dies can be documented. For 1964, the phony "SMS" coins match the early coins from new dies given to the Smithsonian. Further, the Mitchelson collection includes several coins clearly identified as first off new dies - and those piece also show similar characteristics as the SI pieces and some of the phony "SMS" coins. There is not the slightest shred of documentary evidence for any special mint set strikings except for 1965, 66 and 67. Now, Mr. Feld, run outside and tell us what color the grass is -- or maybe describe the color of a clear noon-time sky.

The nonsense was begun by a TPG that did not do any research on the subject except to look, with dollar-sign vision, at some nicely detailed coins and jump off the cliff to a conclusion. They have done the same thing at other times and continue to do so -- all of which is detrimental to honest collecting and only confuses accurate understanding of the minting processes and results.

I realize that some otherwise respected merchant-types in the business have bought into the lies and BS - so be it. I will not. Truth and honesty are critical to understanding and expanding our knowledge.

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2 minutes ago, RWB said:

No, it is the truth. The pieces are nothing more than early coins off new dies. Exactly the same phenomenon occurs with every series of coins where early pieces off new dies can be documented. For 1964, the phony "SMS" coins match the early coins from new dies given to the Smithsonian. Further, the Mitchelson collection includes several coins clearly identified as first off new dies - and those piece also show similar characteristics as the SI pieces and some of the phony "SMS" coins. There is not the slightest shred of documentary evidence for any special mint set strikings except for 1965, 66 and 67. Now, Mr. Feld, run outside and tell us what color the grass is -- or maybe describe the color of a clear noon-time sky.

The nonsense was begun by a TPG that did not do any research on the subject except to look, with dollar-sign vision, at some nicely detailed coins and jump off the cliff to a conclusion. They have done the same thing at other times and continue to do so -- all of which is detrimental to honest collecting and only confuses accurate understanding of the minting processes and results.

I realize that some otherwise respected merchant-types in the business have bought into the lies and BS - so be it. I will not. Truth and honesty are critical to understanding and expanding our knowledge.

If you believe something, it’s the “truth”. If someone else believes otherwise, it’s “nonsense”. 
I understand.

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2 hours ago, MarkFeld said:

If you believe something, it’s the “truth”. If someone else believes otherwise, it’s “nonsense”. 
I understand.

Without passing judgement on this particular controversy, this is illustrative of the way @RWB routinely conducts himself. Nothing he believes is opinion; it’s all indisputable fact. [ eye roll so hard you can hear it ]

Maybe this is what ran him afoul of the federal court in Philadelphia. Being certified as an expert witness does not make one the possessor of truth. All it does is permit the witness to offer an OPINION, because “opinions” of people other than expert witnesses are not admissible at all in a courtroom. Painting one’s opinions as facts will not often serve the interests of the litigant for whom one is testifying. Lesson learned?

Edited by VKurtB
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5 hours ago, MarkFeld said:

No, the Mint did not. See near the bottom of this linked page for some information, opinion and speculation:

https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1964-1c-sms-rd/3284

"more are still believed to be out there that have not been attributed yet." - so... get rich from pocket change I guess??? Look carefully at the poster child coin on that link. Look at the rim, all the way around. This was a "specially made" strike? One rim 3x wider on one side than the other side? A clown like me busted a major TPG on #6 above and it has forever jaded me on all this hype BS. A cynical, beer-infused me says it's all about whatever lines your pockets. I suppose (sober me) the US Mint doesn't help any of this, by not being more transparent about what goes on in there. "The fields are usually well struck, very clean and tend to come without any major nicks or scratches. " - uh, and that's what makes it a "special strike"? I guess I align with RWB on this one.

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4 hours ago, kbbpll said:

"more are still believed to be out there that have not been attributed yet." - so... get rich from pocket change I guess??? Look carefully at the poster child coin on that link. Look at the rim, all the way around. This was a "specially made" strike? One rim 3x wider on one side than the other side? A clown like me busted a major TPG on #6 above and it has forever jaded me on all this hype BS. A cynical, beer-infused me says it's all about whatever lines your pockets. I suppose (sober me) the US Mint doesn't help any of this, by not being more transparent about what goes on in there. "The fields are usually well struck, very clean and tend to come without any major nicks or scratches. " - uh, and that's what makes it a "special strike"? I guess I align with RWB on this one.

My guess is that if you were to see the coins in hand and compare them to examples not attributed as SMS, you’d feel differently. But I certainly might be mistaken.

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It's coins... it's a hobby...

Quote

Maybe this is what ran him afoul of the federal court in Philadelphia. Being certified as an expert witness does not make one the possessor of truth.

 No but it makes him eminently more qualified to speak on the matter..

I personally read everything RWB POSTS and while I didn't post for almost 10 years I always stopped in and kept abreast..

And opinions are admissible in courtrooms if facts take you there..

 

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9 hours ago, kbbpll said:

"more are still believed to be out there that have not been attributed yet." 

This statement caught my eye, as well. I wonder what evidence there is to support this theory.

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13 hours ago, RWB said:

No, it is the truth. The pieces are nothing more than early coins off new dies. Exactly the same phenomenon occurs with every series of coins where early pieces off new dies can be documented. For 1964, the phony "SMS" coins match the early coins from new dies given to the Smithsonian. Further, the Mitchelson collection includes several coins clearly identified as first off new dies - and those piece also show similar characteristics as the SI pieces and some of the phony "SMS" coins. There is not the slightest shred of documentary evidence for any special mint set strikings except for 1965, 66 and 67. Now, Mr. Feld, run outside and tell us what color the grass is -- or maybe describe the color of a clear noon-time sky.

The nonsense was begun by a TPG that did not do any research on the subject except to look, with dollar-sign vision, at some nicely detailed coins and jump off the cliff to a conclusion. They have done the same thing at other times and continue to do so -- all of which is detrimental to honest collecting and only confuses accurate understanding of the minting processes and results.

I realize that some otherwise respected merchant-types in the business have bought into the lies and BS - so be it. I will not. Truth and honesty are critical to understanding and expanding our knowledge.

I find this EXTREMELY HARD TO BELIEVE:  "The pieces are nothing more than early coins off new dies." 

Because: They look NOTHING like any 1964 business strike cent I've ever seen.  The fact that many were in the possession of Ms. Adams adds to the fact that they are something different.      

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52 minutes ago, Insider said:

I find this EXTREMELY HARD TO BELIEVE:  "The pieces are nothing more than early coins off new dies." 

Because: They look NOTHING like any 1964 business strike cent I've ever seen.  The fact that many were in the possession of Ms. Adams adds to the fact that they are something different.      

That is an emotional reaction. The number of exceptional pieces off new dies is very small - possibly 25 to 50 before mechanical stresses on the dies change the surface. Of course, the change is gradual since it is not a deliberate process as in 1965 et al. The key is not how many Unc 1964 coins one has seen, but how many very early strikes from new dies have been seen, The number is tiny - largely because few were kept. That Ms. Adams had some of that some were given to the Smithsonian, is actually evidence of their normality - the director would have been the first person to receive brand new coins each year simply because they were the very best production pieces.

Where the argument of Insider and others fails is the assumption: "different in appearance" demands a "difference in production" - the two are not linked. As every coin collector with minimal experience knows, dies change during their use, hence early, middle, late, very late, past curfew, etc die states in common use by Morgan dollar and other variety collectors.

As I've stated before, the phony 1964 SMS coins are visually different but produced exactly the same as other coins from the same dies. Therefore, they are not something "new" or "special" but merely part of the normal output, from normal dies, struck on a normal press, by normal people, on a normal day in Philadelphia.

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Mr. Feld is an experienced numismatist of high repute and wide experience. His excellent observational skills and attention to detail in examining coins is widely recognized by collectors and coin business leaders. He is clearly an important asset to numismatics and to the company for which he works.

 

He is not an experienced researcher.

 

RWB

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1 hour ago, Insider said:

I find this EXTREMELY HARD TO BELIEVE:  "The pieces are nothing more than early coins off new dies." 

Because: They look NOTHING like any 1964 business strike cent I've ever seen.  The fact that many were in the possession of Ms. Adams adds to the fact that they are something different.      

The opinions of those who have actually examined the coins in-hand don't matter. Since there's no documentary evidence to support the notion that the coins were specially made, it's impossible that they were.

Likewise, any early Proof coin that speaks for itself, can't really be a Proof, unless there's documentary evidence of its manufacture, as such. RWB says so. Got it?  

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2 hours ago, Just Bob said:

This statement caught my eye, as well. I wonder what evidence there is to support this theory.

I would assume the same evidence that supports the theory that they exist at all; assumptions, guesses, and hype.

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12 minutes ago, Moxie15 said:

@MarkFeld, @RWB, @Insider What was the difference in manufacture of the 1965-67 SMS Coins? WAS the same process used on the 1964 Specimen coins?

It's been quite a while since I've examined any of the 1964 coins. However, my recollection is that they looked noticeably different from typical 1964 business strike or Proof examples, as well as from 1965-1967 SMS coins.

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