Concern over a Capitol Coin Grading Service coin

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by PR70, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. PR70

    PR70 Junior Member

    I am the winning bidder on a 1871 PR68 Half Dime from an eBay auction. I have a concern that there may not be any Proof 68 coins that early in the minting history. It is hard to tell from this picture, but does this coin look legitimate? Even if it was overgraded, it would still be worth it, depending on what it's actual grade is from PCGS or other top tier grading service.


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    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Howdy PR70 - Welcome to the Forum !!

    Well I certainly understand your concern. To be honest - I never would have bid on the coin given the grading company and the seller's feedback rating. To make things worse - the pics are so poor that you can't even get an idea about the coin and if it is genuine or not.

    The seller has no stated return policy - only to ask him for details. Hopefully you did before you agreed to buy it.

    Sorry I can't offer a more positive response - but an auction like that would worry me :(
  4. PR70

    PR70 Junior Member

    Thanks for the welcome and the quick reply. I was mesmerized by the opportunity to own a Proof 68 version of such a rare coin and didn't ask the questions beforehand. I noticed 3 of the replies on the first page state tha Capitol has overgraded the coins.

    What concerns me is that there is no buyer protection since Paypal isn't offered. I feel sick having to recind my offer, but I am afraid I will be out major $ if I follow through.

  5. cdb1950

    cdb1950 Senior Member

    I haven't heard of Capitol Coin Grading, but there are a lot of new grading services out there. Just about anyone can buy a slab and print up a label to encapsulate a coin. With no track record for this grading service and the fuzzy picture in the auction, you are really buying this piece sight unseen. I suspect that if there was a real PR68 1871 half dime out there, it would probably have been encapsulated by one of the 3 or 4 major grading services and sold at a major auction for tons of money. Good luck! CDB
  6. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    Welcome to the forum. Hopefully your tuition wasn't out of your means, as I am afraid you have just attended a session of the school of experience, and learned that when it seems to good to be true it virtually never is
    Neither the feedback of the seller, nor the identity of the grader seem calculated to inspire confidence. :(
  7. Ed Zak

    Ed Zak New Member

    These low-tier grading services and those run by ebay sellers themselves (i.e., Star Grading Services <SGS> run and operated by the seller Aboncom) really have some nice marketing and glitz...but they are all for not since their coins would never receive a grade from the top 4 graders as they advertise.

    When a seller pushes and pushes that their coin was "professionally" graded by a certification company other than PCGS, NGC, ICG and is wise to do more research and do simple google search on both the seller and the grading service before you buy.

    Also, did you ever notice that the picture quality from these low-tiered (or bogus) grading services are always BAD? That is because they are selling the supposed-slab...not the coin!
  8. Speedy

    Speedy Researching Coins Supporter

    Howdy PR70

    I think if you don't want to go through with the deal you should be able to back out.....I've heard it done before.

    About the value I looked in my red-book and it listed PR-63 at $600 so even if PCGS down graded it to PF-63 I think you'd be ok.

    So if I were you...I'd go ahead and get it and send it right away to NGC or PCGS.

    Hope you have a great day.

  9. PR70

    PR70 Junior Member

    Thank you for your responses. I unfortunately did all of my research on the grading company after I won the auction.

  10. 9roswell

    9roswell Senior Member

    1.not even pcgs or ngc has a proof 68 recorded
    2.Cost of the coin or whats it worth I have no idea
    3.Up for sale is the "hgihest"
    red flags
  11. National dealer

    National dealer New Member

  12. mmarotta

    mmarotta Perpetual Newbie

    I am sort of curious about how you weighed the description of this coin from Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Proof Coins. Breen says of the obverse:
    "71 almost touch. Date begins almost centrally: slants a little down: left base of first 1 and r. base of last 1 about over spaces between dentils: shield point above tip of serif, pendant approximately central over 7. Top of D open. ..."

    (Breen does allow that other varieties may exist.)

    Perhaps you used a different guide, such as the website established by James Halperin of Heritage at

    Myself, when I make a mistake, I always keep my word. Pay the money. Next time, spend the $600 on books. Join the ANA. Go to the seminars in Colorado Springs. You will be money ahead.
  13. lincoln64

    lincoln64 New Member


    Don't let these naysayers get you down. There are bargains out there! I've taken chances on a lot of items on ebay, and usually done pretty well. As far as the pictures, a lot of people don't have good "macro" close-up lenses and the best they can do is small photos.

    The "experts" sometimes take a lot of the fun out of this deal by slamming anything they don't find warm and fuzzy. These oldtimers have forgotten about the excitement some of us new collectors feel and to keep us going we need someone to share the excitement not bring us down.

    Good luck with the coin!! Keep the excitement, take a chance once in awhile, and for crying out loud don't let the "experts" bring you down.
  14. PR70

    PR70 Junior Member

    I am not taking the comments personally and I value their experience. I have found a few items that I have bought from Ebay that I like. I am less happy with a few. For example, I bought this coin:

    and it doesn't have the edge to edge luster that it does in the pic. It's a pretty coin and wasn't that expensive, it just looks different than the pictures. There is a foggyness around the sunbeams and on the other side. Does the flash change the look of the coin?

    I also bought this:

    and the coin is alot darker than the picture seems to show and there isn't much of a rainbow effect that I can see when viewing it. It is another nice coin, just different than expected.

  15. Prethen

    Prethen Senior Member


    I was one of those "bidders" that was watching this coin. I was curious what it was going to go for. The grading company is a lark. If it's truly a Proof 68 you have a coin worth potentially many 10's of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, in that holder, there's a good chance that someone has already cleaned the coin (especially since it appears it's a "white" coin). There's a possiblity that it's even impaired by someone harshly cleaning it, it getting polished, a little bit of circulation wear, or all of the above.

    Is it possible you got a deal? Sure. But, I would never stake any large amount of money on it. If I were you, I would back out.

    I personally own an 1871 Proof Half Dime graded by PCGS (I think, otherwise it's NGC) as PR64. Proof coins are very susceptible to being handled improperly and the top-tier grading services will show no mercy when it comes to grading that type of coin. Typically, a mishandled proof coin will be "body-bagged" and sent back to you.

    Essentially, by buying that coin in that type of holder, you're buying it as a raw proof coin. My rule of thumb, because I'm not an expert in accurately grading raw proofs, is to only buy the coin if it has been slabbed by NGC/PCGS/ICG/ANACS and, of course, if I like the appearance of the coin. I realize some of you might shiver at the idea of having a policy of not buying a raw coin, but I've come close to being seriously burned on buying them raw. The pricing changes can be quite large between various proof grades.
  16. PR70

    PR70 Junior Member

    I received a reply from the seller offering to close out the issue for the relisting fee. I asked for more detailed pictures to see more accurately what it looks like. If I can get better pictures and it looks good enough, I will continue the sale. If not, I will pay him the relisting fee. I thought that was a fair deal.

  17. susanlynn9

    susanlynn9 New Member

    Welcome to the forum! Unfortunately, I have to say that I agree with the previous comments. There were a lot of red flags on that auction. In my opinion, you would be better off to back out of the deal and risk the negative feedback than send $600+ to this seller. I am sure that the coin is not going to look like a PR68. If it looked that good, the seller would have provided close-up pictures that would have guaranteed him at least $1000 for that coin.

    I looked at the rainbow IHC and I am sure that you received the same coin picured. If you take the coin tilt it drastically and flood it with light, I'm sure you will see the same rainbow effect. The seller obviously wanted to show the coin at its best, not in its actuality. Let's face it, most people don't view their collection at a 90 degree angle flooded with light. He obviously set out to mislead from the beginning.

    Don't get me wrong. There are honest sellers on eBay, but caution is a must. Feedback comments should be viewed, don't just go by the rating. The seller of the PR68 has seller and buyer feedback. All of his negs are from buyers. His responses to the FB comments also concern me. This is not an individual who cares about his customers. He only wants to make a buck. I do not get the impression that honesty is his strong suit.

    On the brighter side, you have found a forum with people who would love to help you know what warning signs to look for and how to find honest sellers. Let's face it, we honest people all have to stick together to avoid the scammers out there! :)
  18. PR70

    PR70 Junior Member

    Thanks for the reply Susan. I really don't mind that the coin doesn't have a rainbow coloration, I almost prefer it. It is really dark though and it doesn't look much different than the MS65 1880 Indian I received. Were the proof coins of that period less discernable than they are in these modern times?


  19. susanlynn9

    susanlynn9 New Member

    The fields weren't as polished (at least not in ones that I've seen), but the strikes set them apart.
  20. Andy

    Andy Coin Collector

    If the seller was and only if the seller was trying to rip people off with a bogus representation of his product then forget about him and any relisting fee. I wouldn't care if it was a dollar we were talking about. If someone was trying to mug me I wouldn't say how about I give you cab fare to another corner so you could mug someone richer, I'll just screw him. But that's me, a happy go lucky guy and you have to do what is best with you and your karma.
  21. susanlynn9

    susanlynn9 New Member

    BTW, if he relists the item and it sells, he gets his original listing fee back from eBay. Obviously, he is still trying to make some money off of you without even having to send you the coin. If he is so sure of this coin, he shouldn't have a problem with you backing out of the deal. After all, as the only PR68, he should have expected in excess of $5000, right? More and more, I think this seller is a problem child. :(
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