Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by fiddlehead, Jul 6, 2020.
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Um,Yes, clearly an issue. Could you put a number to that (as meaningless as that may be?)
Yes, but short of that, (assuming same luster), I like the question. I am probably of a different mindset than many, but I grade on DETAILS. The great jump the shark moment in US numismatics to me is when they declared wear worst than anything else. I am the opposite, I consider the maximum details the coin SHOULD have , and deduct from there. The reason could be soft strike, greased dies, worn die, wear, or dings. The reason doe not MATTER to me. It may be interesting, but not matter in terms of grade.
I know the top coin is worn and bottom weak strike. I would say luster of course, and I would also say the reverse of coin 2 vastly superior. The bottom, even with weak strike, has more detail so not apple to apples.
Let's say they ARE though. If both had the EXACT same amount of details, I could see a bump for luster. That is all. If numeric grading, I could see a difference due to luster of 45/50 to 53/55. However, the bottom coin should never be compared with what used to be called an AU-58, (my favorite US grade when collecting). Even a current AU-58 has better details and should be worth more.
I know I was out of sync with others in US coins, another reason I moved to ancients. In the ancient world, DETAILS are what matter, not the WHY they are missing. We are interested of course, and do know the differences, but they do not affect the GRADE. Any dealer listing XF - Weak strike we laugh at as a US coin dealer playing with ancients.
I would guess the top is 45, bottom 61/62 IMHO, (not being a gold $20 collector).
I love your analysis. Since strike varies so much on double eagles, on gold generally from what I've seen, I don't completely agree but you definitely have the sense of difference grade wise between the two.
A hint is that they both have CAC stickers so someone who knows something thinks they are spot on for their respective grades. What I find so interesting is that the strikes are so similar.
When the details appear to be same level of clarity (or lack thereof), then you look at how much luster there is. A greater presence of luster will indicate a weak strike
This is exactly not how modern coins are graded.
It is the opposite for modern coins. For the early US coin types, where varieties are extensively studied, specialists have a fascination with the “why” a particular issue was weakly struck.
Why the pompous attitude? An UNC hoard coin that was weakly struck off the flan is still an UNC. It won’t be valued the same as a well-struck and centered example, but they have the same level of preservation. Now if the dealer was trying to get an equal price as the perfect specimen, that would be a laughing matter. Simply describing the state of preservation along with the strike quality is not.
That is a really interesting statement. Are you saying that a coin with a weaker strike will have more luster than a similar coin with a stronger strike - assuming same amount or lack of wear, etc?
I might have to make a trip to my safety deposit box to check that theory out. I have seen some AU double eagles with better than average strikes combined with below average luster but I never drew a conclusion about it.
Can you say more about that?
I’m referring to the difference between wear and weak strike. A lack of detail solely due to a weak strike will not have any luster breaks, regardless of how weakly it is struck. A circulated coin may have more details, but it will have broken, significantly less, Or even no luster at all.
1803 C-3 Half cent, one of the weakest-stuck varieties of the type.
In contrast, the 1804 C-12 is one of the best-struck of the type.
And here is another 1804 C-12. It’s level of detail is rivaling that of the 1803, but it is hardly in the same league grade-wise. There is virtually no luster left in this XF coin.
More dramatic examples can be seen in the buffalo nickel series. The 1926 D is notorious as one of the worst-struck of the series. Some examples have nearly all minor details missing. (Both of these are UNC)
By contrast, the 1937 is one of the best-struck.
This VF-20 rivals the detail of the second MS-62 1926 D above, but to say they Should be equivalent based on detail alone is a ludicrous statement.
Why is it ludicrous? What do coin collectors collect? Coins. They don't want blank pieces of metal, and they most covet the perfect coin.
Let me ask you this, would you prefer the second MS62 above or a sharply struck 58? Why is a sharply struck 58, with just a touch of wear but MUCH better details on the coin graded lower than a mushy coin?
That is the original sin of US grading, to say a slight wear makes a coin lower grade than a weakly struck, worn die, bag marked up POS that technically has not circulated. Would any collector, except for the grade on the slab, really prefer the latter?
I actually support TPGs and their gradeflation of AU coins. They are trying to fix this historical error by raising the grades of AU coins. Too bad they cannot demote weak strikes and worn die coins.
Btw, you mentioned EAC collectors being interest why. Ancient do to, (EAC collectors are probably the closest to ancient ones). We discuss it all of the time and study ancient minting techniques. I am just saying for grading we do not give a coin a break because of it. If the details are missing, they are missing, and we grade accordingly.
That is irrelevant to the question of a coin’s grade. None of @fiddlehead ’s questions were about desirability. His questions were about distinguishing between weak strike and wear for the sake of being better able to evaluate a coin’s state of preservation.
“Grading” is not at fault. It’s the market’s fault for perpetuating the belief that higher grade number = More desirable = higher value. Again, your point is irrelevant to the questions posed.
There are lots of discussions regarding TPG market grading, where they call a premium 58 a 62 because it should be worth more than an ugly 60. This is a bad solution to the problem, but whatever.
I should read ahead before quoting.
Why should they? They don’t need to except in extreme cases (like the second 1926 D above). People are hesitant to pay more than “book value” for a coin of a particular grade (eg 58), but they are happy to pay less when it has less-desirable characteristics (as-struck weakness). The market adjusts coins downward accordingly.
How is calling a mint-state coin UNC “giving it a break?” I went to school with some of the dumbest of the dumb, but I won’t call them anything less than human because that would be inaccurate. Giving a coin a break would be saying “But it is UNC, so it is worth what this perfectly-struck UNC is worth.” To continue the analogy, that would be equivalent of giving one of the classroom fools a neurosurgeon job.
See how silly your points sound now?
Unless excessively weak, the strike strength generally does not matter until you get above MS-66. There should be no strike weakness at MS-70.
Planchet flaws and the like also count against the grade as you near MS-65. There shouldn’t be any major flaws above 65. There should be no flaws at all at 67 and above.
But a mint flaw does not an AU coin make
I think you got it all wrong. Instead of saying AU58 coins have a “lower grade” than MS61s, I’d argue AU58 is the highest grade any circulated coin should get. This doesn’t imply an MS61 is a better coin. Sadly the TPGs now grade exceptionally nice AU coins as high as MS62/63, but that’s a different story.
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