Help Me Understand High Grade Moderns

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Randy Abercrombie, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    Very true. See early 80's clad coinage, particularly the years without mint sets!
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  3. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    '89-D cents come very nice in the mint sets. Many are even highly PL.

    The typical coin is an MS-66 making high grades of this date common. Even MS-67 is represented in more than 5% of the sets and MS-68's are available with effort. Like most moderns roll coins aren't that easy to find, are poor quality, and are often tarnished.

    In all these years I've seen no more than a couple of '89-D cents that even have a shot at MS-69. Both of these are virtually flawless and very PL. Grading is tough though so would more likely come back as '68's (but maybe PL or with a star).

    Anyone who thinks moderns are a game that anyone can win by selling and lose by buying should get out there and try to sell something. Moderns are insanelyu cheap and if collectors ever wake up and try to assemble a nice attractive set of anything they'll find that prioces will have to soar through the roof to meet the demand.

    As evidence consider the barely popular '70-S sm dt cent. Few collectors want this because there's no hole in the folders. Even though it accounts for nearly 11% of mint set coins it wholesales at $40. Consider the '70-S cent itself is a Gem only about 3% of the time and every collector needs it but these are available starting at about 20c!!!!! Sm dts outnumvber Gems by about 50 to one because the cents still in the packaging today are ruined but the sm dt is worth 200 times as much!
    Paul M. likes this.
  4. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The registries drive this insanity. If you can get the top POP coins, you get to be top dog, and you get your name in the paper, like "Coin World."

    I did it one year in the far less prestigious NGC registry for the total U.S. gold type set (1795 – 1933). I have done it for less difficult sets, like twenty Cent Pieces. I never thought for a minute that I had the best sets in the world for any of those coins. It was only the set that got the most grading points for a point in time.

    The trouble with this “wonder penny” game is that the things are not stable. One spot will kill you. Preserving red copper is like trying to preserve a snowball during the January thaw. Preserving red copper that has a zinc base under it, it like trying to preserve that snowball in July.

    My short answer is “No Thank You!”
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  5. BadThad

    BadThad Calibrated for Lincolns

    Yes, mintage in the billions with 99+% MS-60 to 65. Unless you collect Zincolns, you'll never understand the extreme difficulty of finding examples that are well-struck, free of bubbles and spots. I've been working on a set for decades and it's far from "complete" with the quality of coins I want.
    RonSanderson, cladking and Kasia like this.
  6. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    Yup, supply and demand. If there are 2 of a thing and 5 people want it, it will sell for a lot more than if there are 5 of the thing and 5 people want it.

    This may be enhanced by the Registry - there is an incentive and a strong motivation to get the highest ranked set. Might not be important or valuable to a lot of us, but we have to recognize that some people have a lot of money to play this game.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    I do not wish to sidetrack the thread, but i simply cannot just let that pass. Yes, changing in the holder is what PCGS claimed. But that is not what happened, not even close. The marks were on the coin before it was originally graded, and that was proved the first time it was auctioned. PCGS only bought it back and made that claim the second time it was auctioned. And they didn't even do that until the bids got over $45,000 ! Only then did they step in and stop the auction.

    If any wish to discuss this, fine - but let's do it in another thread, not this one.
    Evan8 and Kasia like this.
  8. PassthePuck

    PassthePuck Active Member

    Well from what I understand an MS70 is flawless...the perfect coin. No scratches, no marks, no bubbles...front and back. Those types of requirements are only found on proof coins. So to find a Business strike coin that's not a proof...makes it rare. Each grading below MS70 the rarety goes away, the less money it's worth. There is a HUGE difference in grading between MS70 to MS 67. One requirement of an MS70 is a luster finish. Now PCGS put out a quarterly magazine called: Rare Coin Market Report. In this magazine, they explain each grade and what to look for at each grade starting at MS70. Then they explain exactly what an MS 69 is and why it's graded that way. Here's a video that will help understand the process:
  9. Evan8

    Evan8 A Little Off Center

    Ah I didnt know all that. It was awhile ago when I read it on another forum.
  10. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    I already “understand the process,” thank you very much. Depending on your age, it’s entirely possible I’ve been grading coins since before you were born.

    Of course it’s easy to tell the difference between a 70 and a not 70. I was saying that an MS67 is not low quality, so quality doesn’t account for a $2k spread on a common coin. You have it right: it’s a condition rarity, and that’s why it only appeals to registry collectors.

    Even then, I defy you to show me that most collectors who are any good at grading can tell the difference between a 69 and a 70 in the 20 seconds they have to do so in the grading room. I’d be willing to bet there are a large number of 69’s that could be resubmitted and get 70, and vice versa, too.
  11. Joshua Lemons

    Joshua Lemons Member

    Exactly, they are cranking out these cents in the billions each year. You can't keep up that pace and expect the coins to reach MS 70. Also, these are business strikes, the mint could care less if there's a bag mark, scratch, etc.
  12. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I appreciate all the replies and I certainly do have a better handle on this now. Being an old guy with little use for the web other than business and CT, I was oblivious to the value placed on high grade moderns by registry set collectors. I get it now. Thanks
  13. Ana Silverbell

    Ana Silverbell Well-Known Member

    The opening bid is $2,200 but so far no bids, with just over two hours left. So $2,200 is probably too high.

    On the other hand, this appears to be the only MS69RD 1989-D Lincoln cent, so I could see someone buying it for $1,000(?), maybe $2,000, in a future auction.
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