1886 "cleaned" quarter - worth?...

Discussion in 'What's it Worth' started by AtlantaMan, Jun 21, 2024.

  1. AtlantaMan

    AtlantaMan Member

    Hi All,

    I've uploaded some photos of my 1886 quarter below. I had a complimentary, casual discussion with a coin dealer recently who suggested to me that this coin has been cleaned. Oh well, I didn't do it. On the other hand, there seems to be minimal wear, but I am unsure as to how much the cleaning diminishes the value. As it stands now, could you hazard a guess as to what it might bring on an online auction? Would it be worth slabbing? Many thanks!

    1886 Quarter - Obverse.jpg 1886 Quarter - Reverse.jpg
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  3. mrweaseluv

    mrweaseluv Supporter! Supporter

    1st beautiful coin even if cleaned :D and no doubt about that at all..
    Well now that's always a tough call but thats a keydate it comes down to grade in the end I'm pretty sure that coin would rate UNC details "cleaned" but they might as easily call it AU details "cleaned". Authenticated by any of the 4 major TPGs with either of those grades I would expect it to sell about 1500, hell it could hit 3k at auction but not likely. Personally if it was mine I would take no less then $1k for it "raw" even as a quick sale. In the case of a higher value date/coin like this one having it graded even "details" will increase that price at auction considerably. But thats my opinion, many dealers and collectors consider detailed coins worthless even though auctions prove otherwise.
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  4. Spark1951

    Spark1951 Accomplishment, not Activity

    It’s not just been cleaned, it’s been damaged. I don’t think it would straight grade.

    Wear condition is around AU55, imo, but the cleaning and damage would jack it back to 50-53, if the TPG gives it a grade…NumisMedia/FMV gives a value of around $1,000.00 in this grade…

    …best guess is it comes back AU DETAILS…Spark
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  5. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Is that a hint of a wire rim from 2 to 6 on the obverse, and possibly on the reverse?

    It looks like cameo contrast remaining in the fields (where the scrubbing didn't reach)... is this an impaired proof?
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  6. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    This is a very low mintage coin. Without the cleaning it's 900-1000 and underpriced at that as I imagine the surviving coins may be very low.
    In the current condition if genuine, I would guess $500. All of these old coins were cleaned routinely. Some can retone, others have cleaning scratches.
    The proof question is very important as business strikes are worth more than the proofs. If this is an impaired proof maybe $400. An online auction could bring more if 2 collectors want it. But I would have to find out if it was a proof or business strike, and put that in the description as well as the cleaning.
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  7. lardan

    lardan Supporter! Supporter

    It is still a very nice coin even though to me it appears to have been harshly cleaned. I definitely agree with @mrweaseluv the coin would have more value as "Details" as opposed to "Raw" due to what it is and the year of mintage. If intent on selling, but did have a lower price I would accept I would do it this way. List a reasonable price you would accept and allow potential buyers to make an offer. I don't sell coins so I don't know what fees would be involved, but you would not be required to sell for less than what you would accept, only accepting fees if it didn't sell. I am referring here to ebay.

    How much it would sell for would depend on so many factors I wouldn't want to speculate. Personally if I really didn't need to sell I would keep it. It really is a very nice old coin.
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  8. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    It’s definitely been cleaned and harshly at that. I don’t think it would straight grade. At best a TPG might slab it Details Genuine. Shame as it’s a nice looking coin if you can get past the damage that was done to it. Not worth the cost to try and grade it.
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    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    A UNC Details - Spot Removed sold on Heritage in 2021 for $960. To me yours has a bit better eye appeal except for the nasty scrubbing below the eagle. John McCloskey's AU50 sold in 2022 for $2640. So that's a wide range between a UNC Details and an AU50. This seems like a coin where you should let the market decide. I would contact Great Collections, have them get it slabbed for you and let the bidders go at it.
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  10. MeowtheKitty

    MeowtheKitty Well-Known Member

    It does look like a proof to Meow. It has very nice details.
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  11. AtlantaMan

    AtlantaMan Member

    Hi All - I can't tell you how much I appreciate the comments - thank you. Yes, it's a super nice coin and it was a real letdown when I learned it was cleaned. But, it's still a super nice coin and I'll follow the guidance and see if GC can help me out. Really on the fence though, because, as you have pointed out - it's a really super nice coin :)
  12. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    I agree with -jeffB, I believe this coin is an impaired proof.
    It is still a rare coin, and desirable despite the cleaning. There are collectors with albums, and if they can fill an impossible hole at a semi reasonable price they will.
  13. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    It looked like a proof to me too at first. It will take a specialist to say for sure. I know almost nothing about these but poking around Heritage last night it appears that all of the circulation coins are Briggs 1-A, and all of the proofs are Briggs 2-B. One listing says only one die pair was used for circulation strikes. Based on the date position the OP coin is definitely 1-A, so that would make it a circulation strike. NGC says when comparing with proofs, "This is in contrast to the currency strikes, the obverse die of which was over polished, as these have weak tops to 88 and the adjacent base of Liberty." This is seen on a lot of the Heritage examples, but not all, and the OP coin appears well struck in those places. So that tidbit confuses me.

    Adding to the confusion, PCGS has graded several coins as MS that have the proof date position (2-B, below). So I don't know if there was really only one die pair used for MS coins, or if PCGS has screwed up a few. You need an expert! If your details coin is the circulation strike it will easily sell for more than a straight-graded proof.
    This one even specifically says it's Briggs 1-A, when clearly it isn't.
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  14. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    It very well may be a proof. I can’t tell but that was my first thought when I saw this thread last night. It is a thought date and if a collector can fill a hole at a reasonable price they will despite the condition. Really, the only problem this coin faces is the roughy cleaning.
  15. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    After using some of my handy - dandy software, here is what I can research.

    1886 Quarter All.jpg

    According to Breen (please no comments, I am aware of all of it.) This coin is a business strike. To be a Proof, the coin is supposed to display the following.

    • The base of the "1" in the date is supposed to be minutely recut. I can't tell that from the photo.
    • The "6" is almost closed. That does not seem to be the case here.
    • The point of the shield is over the center of the "1." Here it is on the right side of the "1".
    • The left base of the "1" is over a space. It isn't.
    To prove that Breen is correct, here are images from the PCGS "Coin Facts" site. Here is an 1886 Mint State piece.

    1886 Quarter Coin Facts Unc.jpg

    And here is an 1886 Proof.

    1886 Quarter Proof Coin Facts.jpg

    The diagnostics tell me the OP coin is a business strike.

    Having said that, I don't think that the coin will get a straight grade because of the scrape under the eagle.

    The Greysheet says the coin is worth $800 in EF-45 and AU-50. That's probably because there are so few coins available to trade. I would think that the coin would be worth the VF price which is $500. The trouble is, you have to find a collector who would be happy with a problem piece because he's paying less money.

    An MS-65 is listed at $2,400, which isn't that much, but how many of them are out there? How many collectors collect Seated Quarters by date and mint. I don't know; I'm not one of them.

    I can't give you the definite answer, but at least you have some information.
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  16. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    @johnmilton I take a lot of what Breen says with a grain of salt. I've looked at a ton of the proofs on Heritage and I can't see what he thinks is a recut 1, and the closed 6 thing is a tiny difference, if it actually is a thing. One would think it was the same 6 punch for both proof and circulation.

    That said, I don't see where either of those attributes matters. The difference in position of the 1 relative to the shield tip and denticles is obvious. The question is whether the Briggs 1-A (right edge of 1 is aligned with shield tip and 1 is centered over a denticle) was ever used for proofs, and conversely whether the Briggs 2-B (right edge of 1 clearly right of shield tip and 1 centered over gap between denticles) was ever used for circulation strikes. I did not find any Briggs 1-A on Heritage that were designated as proofs, which is strong evidence that the OP coin is the circulation strike. However, as noted above, I found 3 Briggs 2-B coins that PCGS called MS, which I'm guessing were mistakes. The first one is VF30, which is a lot of circulation for a proof, but stuff happens.

    A mystery is why Briggs designated an A and B reverse. What's the difference? Perhaps someone has the original Briggs reference.
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