From time to time we see references to the Sheldon 70 point grading scale when talking about the grading system that is currently being used in Numismatics today. For the benefit of those who are not familiar with what Dr. Sheldon did and why he did it, I’d like to offer a short summary.
William H. Sheldon was born in 1898. He first became interested in Early Large Cents at a young age while looking through his Fathers cigar box full of those big old coppers. By the time he was a teenager, he was pricing Early Large Cents for a local dealer and according to him, using a 70 point system. As the years went by he became quite the aficionado of Early Large Cents (those from 1793 through 1814). On three different occasions he assembled sets with the last containing all 290+ known collectable varieties at the time. To put that more into perspective, that collection contained at least 16 (sixteen) 1793 Large Cents! In 1948 he published EARLY AMERICAN CENTS detailing much of his research...
In response to a recent question by a member on another thread, I present here the science of toning. This article is adapted from an article I posted a couple years ago on the NGC chat boards. Save it, print it, reference it, use it in discussions of toning. While some simplifications have been made to make it easier to understand (BadThad – I know! ), the basic science is all here.
The science of toning is very interesting. Sometimes delving into the details of something takes away the mystery of it, but to a scientist and numismatist, it only serves to heighten the wonder of a coin. Toning on silver coins appears through something known as thin film interference of a layer of silver sulfide (Ag2S) on the surface of the coin. This silver sulfide is formed when the silver alloy reacts with hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the atmosphere....
As I’ve mentioned in previous Houston show reports, the folks who put on the Houston Money Show work so very hard to make sure everything is done right and everyone is happy, even walking around from table to table to see if they could help or improve things. They also do a heck of a job advertising the show with both radio and television commercials. In spite of all this, I can’t say the show is a gangbuster show, but it is definitely steady and worthwhile for me to keep returning.
So as usual, the night before my flight, I organize all my paperwork and coins, both slabbed and raw. But now with my new little kitty, Penny, I get extra “help” during this process!
The other day I stopped in a local coin shop which had a weekly bid board ending then. After looking over the lots on the wall and not seeing too much that I really wanted to bid on, I looked over the large lots and expensive coins which are kept in one of the glass cases instead of being hung up on the bid board. One lot that caught my eye was the following medal, sorry the photos are so dark, was doing the best I could with a borrowed camera set up:
After deciding not to bid on any of the usual corroded Indian Cents, various overpriced junk silver and modern commemoratives that fill most of the bid board, I decided to go for this medal so that I would at...
The Roman provincial city of Marcianopolis was located in Thracia, just west of modern-day Devnya, Bulgaria.
Marcianopolis was originally the city of Parthenopolis. Trajan renamed it after his sister Ulpia Marciana, at the conclusion of the Second Dacian War, in 106 AD. The city flourished under the Severan Dynasty, but suffered from barbaric invasions in the mid-3rd Century. The Goths were repulsed by Gallienus, and the city continued to prosper through the reign of Diocletian, during which it became the hub of Moesia Inferior.
The city continued to grow in importance, and became the temporary capitol of the Empire during Valens’ conflict with the Goths (366-369). After that, its history becomes a roller-coaster ride:...
Just wanted to write a few notes on some suggestions for purchasing coins, and not being oversold, or vulnerable to scams, frauds, and misinformation. This is in NO WAY a condemnation of dealers (I have lots of dealer friends), veteran collectors who have "their way" of doing things, or investment "rollover" collectors. I just want to say a few words for the new collector, or middle-level neophyte who still has not acquired a lot of experience in purchasing coins and assuring that he/she is not over his/her head:
1. Buy from reputable dealers only. There are many of them on this forum, and lists abound here. Reputable dealers are honest, decent, nice people who deserve our patronage, to keep their businesses profitable. If someone is offering you a deal that seems shaky, or too good to be true--it is!!
2.Develop a rapport with dealers and collectors--if you are friendly with them, they will be friendly in reciprocation. Your purchasers will be worry-free.
3. To quote an...
You guys may be getting tired of my posting about modern fakes and their ever improving quality... well, too bad. I will keep posting about them even if it helps one person for every 100 that it annoys.
Here is a pretty good sample of some of the most common fakes you will see going around now-a-days. Some are pretty easy to detect, but some are very convincing even in hand to experienced collectors.
I will use this thread as a running list and will continue to update it with more examples as I find them.
Take the time or don't, your choice. But if you buy any of the types of coins you see in this thread, you best get very well acquainted with them. And don't be ignorant about slabs either, lots of the higher end ones you will see here have made it into real NGC and PCGS slabs. Also, they are constantly adding more types to their repertoire. I will do my best to keep up, but I am just one man with limited time for detective work.
Make no mistake... ALL of these coins are fake....
With the recent pickup of a Barber Dime, I have completed a subset of my larger Prooflike Typeset - all of the Barber coinage. It is interesting to compare them side-by-side. I'll be honest, I've never been a huge fan of Barbers: the artwork is functional at best, the designs are boring. They replaced the long-running Seated Liberty series which, while not the greatest, at least had more interesting designs. When the Barber coins were finally put to rest, they were replaced with some of the greatest designs in our coinage history.
However, now that I own them, I have come to appreciate the fine details that some of them possess. Barber wasn't an artistic sort of fellow, but at least he was a skilled engraver. The details on the feathers of the Eagle are some of the best around.
What really sets these coins apart is their prooflike quality. Prooflike Barber coinage is very scarce. Just a quick rundown of the numbers: there are only 18 Liberty nickels (and I own the single NGC...
Note: This was created as a super basic informational thread about coins and banknotes resources in Japan.
If you are thinking to travel to Japan you might like to “Watch Thread” for future reference.
I worked in Japan for three years from 2011 - 2014 and while I was there I tried my best to learn about Japanese coins, meet dealers, attended regular coin shows and add some pieces to my collection. I also was aided by another CoinTalk member whom I knew from this forum before I went to Japan. We met several times at coin shows in Japan and we enjoyed chatting and browsing the bourse floor together. He was instrumental in teaching me the ropes and because he’s fluent, helped my introduction to several dealers. I owe much to him for his mentoring.
Enjoying the hobby IN a foreign place:
Delving into numismatics in a...
This thread should cover basic concepts of grading the Morgan Dollar, from grade Poor 1 to MS69. I will be using the knowledge I have, photos from Heritage, and the grading standards of the ANA to point out what the coins graded and why they graded the way they did. This thread will stick to one grading company, PCGS, to maintain consistency in grading within one company.
In this thread I will try to remain with one date, I will try to get 1893-S for the lower grades, as that is a coin that is available in lower grades. For higher grades, you will start to see a bigger variety of dates.
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