Do proof coins have die polish lines?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by C-B-D, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

    I swore this was a business strike with a PL cameo appearance. It’s covered in die polish lines, which I thought disqualified it from being a proof. Am I wrong? (Note that the “zipper” looking area to the right of Liberty was a dried brush mark from when the lacquer was applied, which came off when acetone dissolved the lacquer). @Insider @GDJMSP

    Here are pics of it in the PCGS holder, then the new holder, with closeups from the original seller.

    ED888D0B-072B-4368-A74E-624CF1C182CA.jpeg 5E3407BF-4579-4506-96BA-B1BA8034EE70.jpeg

    88272E61-426D-46BA-B151-2CAC74CAE118.jpeg F865FB7C-D068-4F77-B784-0E44E6388B8E.jpeg 592FFC4A-D1C8-491D-9E55-B0E685CEB74C.jpeg EFEFAA2C-2ED9-46C4-BFC7-DCCD318C1607.jpeg
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  3. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    Do MODERN coins have die polish lines or is this something from proofs from decades ago ?
  4. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

    Good question.
  5. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

  6. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member


    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    A coin is either a Proof or it isn't, and the presence of die polish lines, nor the lack of them, has anything to do with it.

    In regard to the question asked in the thread title, as a general rule, Proof coins do not have die polish lines. This particular coin, seeing as how there were only 600 Proofs I think it unlikely that any of them would have die polish lines as it would be pretty unusual for a die to be polished after only that many strikes.

    That said I do not know the particulars of this issue, meaning I do not know if only 1 set of dies was used or more than 1 set was used. But with only 600 total, you can bet it wasn't very many if more than 1 set was used.

    Also, looking at the coin, it does not appear to be a Proof to me as the edges are too rounded in places and the strike is not as strong as I would expect on a Proof. So in this case I suspect that PCGS was correct in labeling the coin a business strike.

    edit - I don't know if there is or not but there may be a book that list information regarding Proofs of this design, dies used, die diagnostics, etc. If there is, that would, or at least should, settle the issue of if this is a Proof or not.
  8. halfcent1793

    halfcent1793 Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on the cherrypick!
    C-B-D likes this.
  9. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

    Thanks but I am slightly bummed out. Only because if this had been a business strike Prooflike, it would have been the only one known at PCGS or NGC.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  10. 1776

    1776 New Member

    That’s a really interesting coin. I don’t see where PCGS labeled it a business strike even though I would agree. If I remember correctly my first grading book by Ruddy told how to preserve a coin by using fingernail polish, is that the reason for a detail grade?
    C-B-D likes this.
  11. 1865King

    1865King Well-Known Member

    This an interesting coin. Is it a proof maybe maybe not. In 1865 the same dies that struck all the proofs also was used to strike half dimes being placed into circulation. This could be same case with this half dime. It's possible the dies were polished after the proofs were struck and they started to use the dies for circulation strike coins. I think this likely the case with this 1873 half dime. I think this is a circulation strike because the details really aren't that sharp. I have two books on half dimes so I may find the information in them.
    Dynoking, Insider and C-B-D like this.
  12. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    This coin looks to match every example of the Deep Cameo specimens. I could only find one cameo that it matched below. I think that missing frost in spots is what held it back. Awesome H10 @C-B-D . The one below is a 67+ Cameo.
    Small lower image to the right.
    Jim Dale, TypeCoin971793 and C-B-D like this.
  13. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Those have polish lines all over them
    Pickin and Grinin likes this.
  14. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

    Well then I learned something today.
  15. Jim Dale

    Jim Dale Well-Known Member

    I have an H10. It's not graded, but it is put into a commerical (non-TPG) slab.
  16. Jim Dale

    Jim Dale Well-Known Member

    I lost my train of thought (choo-choo). It only got a Genuine from PCGS. Any idea how much the above mentioned H10 would cost to buy one that is a Proof?
  17. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    Nice score! Had I bought that, the lacquer would have been covering up surface hairlines.
    TypeCoin971793 and C-B-D like this.
  18. eddiespin

    eddiespin Fast Eddie

    Frankly I don’t see how NGC could give it a PR. It’s too weak. We’re it a circulated grade I could be the less fussy for it but they’re saying this coin is a near gem. I think you’re right, they blew it. Devices aren’t strong enough for a PR. That’s one place I think where they took their eye off the ball. Another I think is as you say, a complete polishing is inconsistent with the objective of imparting a mirror-field. Does it cartwheel for those lines? Does it reflect funny? It has to reflect different for those lines, you know that.
  19. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

    Feels good to "save" one for the collecting community. One of 600 proofs, anyway. Nice double-up... can't feel disappointed for too long. Plus I learned that early proofs can have die polish lines!
    Sunflower_Coins and CircCam like this.
  20. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Proof coins do have Mint die polish. Most of the time it is on their relief. Die polish in the field is not common for most vintage issues and extremely rare or completely absent (?) on modern issues. Major die polish in the field on a vintage coin would probably indicate MS.
  21. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    So do you think that these DC proofs have the markers present to be called proofs or do you think they have these attributed wrong?
    There is no doubt weakness in the rims and a weaker strike.
    I would suspect that a weaker strike could be due to the polishing of the die face.
    charley likes this.
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