1911 Liberty Nickel Grading Help

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by TechTimm, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. TechTimm

    TechTimm New Member

    Hi all,

    Just picked up this 1911 V nickel at a small antique shop today. It was marked as “AU” on the original flip (which I carefully switched out), but I personally think it would grade higher. It’s not cleaned, and retains its luster and incredible toning that my crappy phone camera (all I’ve got at the hotel room) doesn’t capture very well.

    Anyways, do you guys think this is MS condition? If so, what grade would you think this would achieve? Looking at Photograde and comparing it with MS examples from the same year, it looks to be nicer than stated. Below I’ve attached some pictures. Handled with care as well.

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  3. CommemHalfScrub

    CommemHalfScrub Active Member

    It looks like au cleaned to me based on the pictures.
    spirityoda and thomas mozzillo like this.
  4. toned_morgan

    toned_morgan Toning Lover

    Photograde is good but honestly I just hop onto eBay and look at the thousands of examples they have there. Find multiple coins with good pictures of each grade and just look at them all and eventually you will learn to distinguish between the grades without having to compare to a picture. The toning looks a bit suspicious because nickels usually don't tone that way. To me, it looks a bit more like PVC residue from a crappy flip. I'm not 100% sure, so we'll see what others say, but to me the toning doesn't loom too good. Then the grade is around AU. It does have nice luster, but not quite enough and I can see a layer of very light wear on the whole coin, which is why the luster isn't as strong as MS examples. I would say it is a high AU, but the toning is still very suspicious. Honestly, $35 is not too bad since it is raw, but again, I don't know if it would grade cleanly with that toning.
  5. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    You may have PVC residue on the coin creating a haze that impairs the luster. An acetone soak is in order. From your pictures, I don't see a "smoking gun" for the coin grading AU, nor do I see issues that would result in a details grade. If it's uncirculated, 63 or 64 is plausible. The reverse is very clean.
  6. TechTimm

    TechTimm New Member

    I’m not an expert on the liberty nickels, but so I know what to look for in the future - what specific parts of the coin have wear? I’ve heard the 1911 nickel often suffers from die wear, and I read that the stars aren’t always pronounced and details on liberty’s head aren’t as profound. Again, don’t know a whole ton here, just wondering what to look for specifically.
    That’s definitely something I’ll do as soon as possible, given how it doesn’t look to serious yet... how long should I soak this for?

    Thanks everyone for the replies!
  7. TechTimm

    TechTimm New Member

    My iPhone 6 camera is also god-awful, so the lighting and shades are also off. When I get home I’ll try to take better pictures With a better camera (after the acetone bath if that helps) since it does have more luster and detail than the picture makes it look to be.
  8. toned_morgan

    toned_morgan Toning Lover

    The wear on coins is always on the high points, no matter what coin it is. The high points on a V nickel for the obverse are the hair, the crown thing, and the eye. On the reverse, it's the V, the wreath, and the lettering. You can see a tad bit of smudginess in the hair detail.
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