1901-S 25c - Another quiz

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by KBBPLL, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    This valuable key date is graded VG08 by PCGS. Let's see if anyone can spot something about this coin that would cause you to dig deeper. I'm particularly interested if our resident professional grader @Insider notices it right away.

    1901-S_25c_RevII_Stacks_Combo.jpg
     
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  3. QuintupleSovereign

    QuintupleSovereign Well-Known Member

    Is that a burn mark on the obverse?
     
  4. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else Supporter

    I am having trouble with the obv. Although unexperienced I believe the 1's in the date should be centred over a denticle
    EDIT Die pair B is the same as yours, but the second 1 seems a little high
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
  5. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    A previous auction described it as "An obverse toning spot is noted at the rim at GOD WE, otherwise the in-hand appearance is devoid of unsightly marks". Good eye but not it.
     
  6. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    Very knowledgeable response! Yes, there are two known die pairs. However, there were 5 die pairs shipped to SF on 01/10/1901, so the possibility exists for an unknown pair. Your response is not exactly what I'm getting at, but it's a piece of the puzzle. Good job!
     
  7. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Sorry, the only thing about this coin that I don'[t get is how it could be straight graded?
     
  8. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    What about it wouldn't straight grade?

    I guess this is tougher than I thought. For a professional grader to authenticate the key date in Barber quarters (and probably the key in the entire Barber series outside the 1894-S 10c), it seems like they would pick up on what's "different" with this coin. Here's a hint - it either makes it more unique/valuable, or nearly worthless.
     
  9. Razz

    Razz Critical Thinker

    The mm lack serifs so is altered?
     
  10. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    An altered or added mint mark is a good guess. However, it is not the key to this puzzle. @expat was on the right track. It could be an added or altered mm, but the coin should have gotten a grader's attention for another reason.
     
  11. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Well, both sides are a different color making it look like it is two coins put together.

    The color in the area above the eagle looked repaired but blowing up the image I can see it is not.
     
  12. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    The difference in color is a good observation but not the "smoking gun" that to me would require a very close and skeptical examination of the coin. Another hint: this has been known and published since at least 1989. That's pretty close to giving it away...
     
  13. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    You gave away what you wanted to know - the type 2 hub. I never cared about this but I guess I should. ESPECIALLY, if 1901-S coins come with TY-2 and TY-3 hubs. If this is the case, perhaps someone can go on the Heritage site and post images for us.
     
  14. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    Yes, I gave it away, and it's something to be cared about, since a Type 2 reverse is completely unknown on any 1901 quarter. The Type 2/3 transition varieties are only known for 1900, and there are a wealth of combinations, some quite scarce. But for a 1901-S, very valuable, very low mintage, only 2 die pairs known, the fact that this is a Type 2 reverse should have immediately jumped out at the grader/authenticator as suspicious. Combine that with the difference in color, and the difference in wear in the denticles on both sides, and I'd be looking for a seam with a microscope.

    This is not to say that the coin is definitely a clamshell or sandwiched fake. We cannot know this for sure without the coin in hand. If it is legitimate however, it would be a third die pair and extremely rare.

    Edit - I did look on Heritage. In fact, I looked at every 1901-S sold, every one on ebay, GC, and Stack's as well, probably 400-500 coins. This is the only Rev 2 found, and it sold twice, once on Stack's in 2011, and again on HA in 2016. The owner may never know.
     
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  15. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    I thought is was your coin. Good catch. Most likely then the coin is altered and got pass the TPGS. Next step is to send them your findings so they can make a note of this and hopefully get the coin back for an exam.

    As for immediately jumping out to ANY professional grader...I disagree 100%. I never, ever, even remembered about the hubs used for barber quarters (had to just look it up due to your hint) because it had no bearing on the authentication of any key coin in the series. IF this coin is altered, its hub would never have been needed to catch it. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that something as obvious as two coins put together or an added mintmark has gone undetected.

    You are to be commended for catching the hub discrepancy and educating a bunch of us.
     
  16. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    I can appreciate your disagreement but I disagree with your disagreement. :) I don't expect a grader to know everything about everything, but this is a famous 1901-S here, and there are probably way more counterfeits than real ones. Information on authenticating these is widely available, including here: http://www.barbercoins.org/BQ1901S.shtml

    Even if you just focused on the known die pairs, the date position is close but not a match to the known obverses, as @expat pointed out. There is a 1901-P with a very similar position. The mm also appears to be lower and left versus the known reverses. Both PCGS and NGC attribute the 1892 Rev1 and Rev2 varieties, so they should be well familiar with the third type. NGC says right on their coin facts for 1901-S "All 1901-S quarter were of the hub pairing 2/3".

    I know I'm being hard on the graders, but between the two auction sales this is a $16,000 mistake. "Presumably"! I guess it's a good example of what can slip past the pros.
     
  17. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    KBBPLL, posted: "I can appreciate your disagreement but I disagree with your disagreement. :) [You can disagree all you wish - I've worked in five grading rooms over a period of forty-nine years (making me just a worthless :bucktooth: who cannot hold a job) and NO ONE EVER authenticated a 1901-S 25c by its hub or even considered talking about hubs for this date/mint. :p] I don't expect a grader to know everything about everything, but this is a famous 1901-S here, and there are probably way more counterfeits than real ones. Information on authenticating these is widely available, including here: http://www.barbercoins.org/BQ1901S.shtml [But nothing I see about HUBS for authenticating this date/mint]

    "Even if you just focused on the known die pairs, the date position is close but not a match to the known obverses, as @expat pointed out. There is a 1901-P with a very similar position. The mm [mintmark] also appears to be lower and left versus the known reverses. Both PCGS and NGC attribute the 1892 Rev1 and Rev2 varieties, so they should be well familiar with the third type. NGC says right on their coin facts for 1901-S "All 1901-S quarter were of the hub pairing 2/3". And most don't expect educated folks to know that a period goes inside the quotation marks. IMO, that is exactly the same thing as this coin and its hub. IT DOES NOT MATTER because no one either knows or cares! ;)

    Date and mintmark! Thanks for making my point that the hub type is not considered to authenticate a 1901-S 25c. Apparently, you have found the first (and only?) case (a TPGS mistake) where it did. :smug:

    "I know I'm being hard on the graders, but between the two auction sales this is a $16,000 mistake. "Presumably"! I guess it's a good example of what can slip past the pros."
     
  18. Omegaraptor

    Omegaraptor Gobrecht / Longacre Enthusiast

    When first looking at this one I thought the mintmark logotype looked a little off for a 1901-S. Now I learned something I didn’t know before. Awesome thread.
     
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  19. justafarmer

    justafarmer Senior Member

    A little off subject but perhaps you can help me. I emailed BCCS several years ago but never received an answer to my question. On their website they listed two different obverse types for the Barber Quarter.
    Type I - no cartilage in Liberty's ear
    Type II - Cartilage clearly shows in Liberty's ear

    My question is about "WE" in "IGWT" The crossbar on the middle hump of the "W"
    Earlier coins has it and later coins does not.

    My question is - Is this a pick-up point for the Type II obverse or a 3rd obverse type? I hope the image below illustrates my question.
    20210729 Barber Quarter WE Crossbar.JPG
     
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  20. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    great question, the BCCS isn't great at answering questions
     
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  21. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    @justafarmer

    Interesting. I'll try to remember to look.

    Here is something to consider. It takes a good eye and comparison pieces to root out all the little things that get changed when a design is slightly modified. If you are not looking for them, the majority of us would miss them! I for one never noticed most of these changes UNTIL others found them. That's mostly because other things are generally used to authenticate coins. Today, with internet images, anyone can do some great research.

    For example, the reverses of shield nickels w/o rays looked al the same for me. Then, about forty years ago I learned about the different hubs (star positions is a major difference). I still don't care about them although I'll bet there are some rare die combinations and transitional coins.

    Eventually, the work like you and others are doing will make into a book on Barber quarters - one very much better than the two in my Library at this time.
     
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