Two months ago I posted the first of an irregularly produced series of observations from the bourse and the subject was “but-coins”. Today I will take on what might be viewed as a slightly more controversial topic and that is the value or usage of CAC. I’ll be upfront and state that from my vantage point, there is little that is controversial about CAC, but that has not stopped this newest market presence (market maker, perhaps?) from becoming a lightning rod of criticism and conspiracy theory while at the same time proving to have an avid and sometimes extraordinarily loyal base.
Prior to my career as a full-time numismatist I had been a scientist and serious coin collector, or more accurately a student of numismatics, for quite a few years. As a collector I had four criteria for placing coins into my collection and these criteria existed well before CAC came onto the scene. They were-
1) The coin must have superb eye appeal.
2) The coin must appear to have original surfaces...
Master List of Online Coin Dealers
Dealers with GREAT Websites
Many dealers have a websites that are either attractive or functional or that have great selection or great photos. But not that many sites have ALL of the above. I wanted to make a short-list of dealers that met certain criteria and to list them here for all our members. To me, if you don't already have particular dealer(s) you exclusively work with, the coin websites below should be your first stops.
Back in 2012 I purchased four new, unused Capital Plastics U. S. Commemorative Half Dollars holders #431C at a coin show cheap with the idea of reselling them.
Did not happen. Last week I finally thought of a way to put them to good use, re-purpose them so I can sell them. I erased the title, P D S and holder # on three of them. Then I went through my coins for sale/trade and found some half dollars to make up my own short sets.
The first one has 1943 Walking Liberty, 1953 Franklin and 1964 Kennedy inserted in it.
The second one I inserted one of each of the three metal content types of Kennedy halves, 90% 1964-D, 40% 1966, and a clad 1979-D.
The third one I inserted a 1964 reverse side up, a 1970-D for the obverse, and 1976-S with the Bicentennial reverse side up.
I think they all came out pretty nice and now I am going to keep them. I have one holder left and am...
Several weeks ago I bought this NGC 1827 XF45 on eBay for $245. The reason I paid that much was because I recognized it as the overdate 1827/6. Upon getting it in-hand, I noticed that it had pretty severe artificial toning. (Don't let the seller's pics fool you. It was chalky, blue toned. Not dark and grey like the pics). I was at a loss what to do since I didn't feel like joining NGC just to send it back in to have the overdate added. So I cracked it out.
Seeing it out of it's holder, the artificial toning looked even more pronounced, but I couldn't see hairlines from cleaning underneath. I really think someone just decided to try and add some color to it. So I used some heavily watered down dip and lightly touched it to the surfaces, attempting to remove the fake tone. It took a while, and I was in no hurry.
When I was finished I thought to myself, "Well, now it's going to come back as cleaned." I was disgusted...
I had an...
Many times I have logged on here and elsewhere to find people talking about New Orleans or “O” mint Morgan Dollars. Invariably, the discussion turns to strike quality and the consensus is that they are poorly stuck coins. While it is true that New Orleans has turned out its share of poorly struck coins, this is not always the case and I feel that "O" has gotten a bad rep. I thought I would post a couple examples as well as a little data I have collected from some research on the topic.
Based on my own experience and collecting information from various sources…this is what I have learned. First, let me point out that I have read many texts about the Morgan series and my views have been influenced by many of those books. I must give credit to the Comprehensive Guide and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars as well as Whitman’s A Guidebook of Morgan Silver Dollars as well as several other books I am forgetting. These are two books that I highly recommend for...
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
I recently heard this song by Julie Andrews from the Sound of Music and it got stuck in my head, then it also got me thinking, “What are a few of MY favorite things?” Well, of course, my Indian cent collection came to mind. I can’t think of anything else (besides my family and little kitty) that brings me more joy. So I thought I’d like to share a few of my favorite Indian cents from my personal collection. (Photos are courtesy of Todd Pollock at BluccPhotos.com.)
Many of those who know me know that I love toned copper, both Indian and Lincoln cents, and most of the coins in my personal collection have, in my opinion, beautiful toning – blues, greens, silver, rose,...
In addition to coins, I'm very fond of meteorites, and therefore any "sacred stones" from antiquity pique my interest. These show up on a number of coin types and I was very excited to acquire this hard-to-find early example from Kaunos.
Kaunos was a prominent trading center in Asian Minor alongside Lycia and Caria. It was mentioned by ancient authors specifically because of how its customs and language differed from Caria but until recently, it was not possible to decisively attribute any archaic or classical coinage to it, which is abnormal considering its importance during these periods.
Thanks to the persistence of academics and archaeologists across the world, our understanding of ancient history is constantly evolving. This coin is a perfect example: until the 1980s, little was understood about the Carian language. Egyptologists were able to aid in the deciphering, using Carian inscriptions...
Posted this in another thread, but I think its important for beginners to read and know, so I'll add a bit more and start a new thread for it.
Ok, first we're going to start with seeing the cartwheel. This can be tricky at first, because it takes just the right wrist movement to be able to move the coin and get the fluid cartwheel effect on the luster. Once you get it though, you will appreciate the beauty of it! Go get a slabbed, uncirculated coin (by a Top TPG - PCGS or NGC) and a strong light source. Hold the coin at an angle, so that it reflects the light. You should see the coin shining. Now, slowly and gradually, turn the coin. Notice the shine move? That is what we call cartwheel luster - if you turn the coin in the right way, the "spokes" of luster will appear to rotate around the coin like a cartwheel. Practice at this until you can see the cartwheel luster. Practice at this before reading the rest of this thread. Practice at this before buying anymore coins. If you can't...
A few weeks ago, I was at a coin show at the Metrolina Fairgrounds in Charlotte. While there, I found a dealer who had a box of large cents priced at $15 apiece. Now, being the cheapskate that I am, I had to look at every single one of them. Most were later-date, lower grade coins, but a few caught my eye. I decided to only buy one (though I kind of wish I had bought another that was in reasonable condition for the price). This one had a counterstamp on it, and I had no idea what I was doing. The dealer must have been feeling generous, as he sold it to me for $12. I notice a lot of dealers are like this to the YNs, BTW. They take good care of us. So, yesterday, I decided to try and figure out who or where it came from. Turns out, it is a pretty well-known and common counterstamp, but it is still not certain who exactly it comes from. It has a Brunk number of T-387 (I found this info in an auction listing), though that statement means almost nothing to me except to...
A member sent me a PM with the question of what books and web sites I would recommend to help him learn to grade. Now at first glance that would seem a kind of simple and easy request, but it really isn't. That's because there is a whole lot more to it than that. And my response to him prompted me to post this for everybody to read in the hope that it would help several people as opposed to just one. I've discussed all of this many, many times and in many different threads. But with a subject like this I don't know that you can post it often enough. So here we go.
To learn how to grade coins properly and accurately takes time and a lot of work. It begins by reading everything you can find on the subject, and there's a lot to find. Both in the form of books and on-line resources. Then you have to study what you read, learn it, get to know it, become familiar with it. And that's still just the beginning. Then you have to look at coins, in hand, tens to hundreds of thousands of coins -...
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