Help on how to research

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Joe Campbell, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    Hello all. I have an 1881 $10 gold eagle that has a nice RPD. I posted it in another forum several years ago and was told there are 4 known RPD’s for that date and that mine isn’t any of the 4 know ones. I should send it to CONECA to get it attributed and then slabbed.

    My question is this; where can I find what are the known RPD’s for this coin? I’ve searched CONECA, variety vista and PCGs and somehow can’t find the right information.

    I’m specifically not posting pictures because I’m looking for an attribution. I’m looking for help on how to attribute. Specific links would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    You'll need to send your coin to an "Official" organization for an attribution. Otherwise, you can keep that "treasure" for yourself and call it:

    1881 Cambell #001 RPD.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    You may not be able to find what you're looking for on the internet. Quite often one has to resort to books for information like you want. For example, I checked the CPG because they often have examples of coins that are not listed by CONECA, but there was no listing for the coin you mention.

    You might want to try this book -

    It often contains information you simply can't find anyplace else. Now I don't know that it contains what you want as I no longer own one to look it up - but it might.

    edit - I would add that even if you do decide to send the coin in to a TPG, that you will need to be selective on which TPG. I say that because NGC and PCGS simply don't attribute most varieties - they only attribute a few of them. I suspect either ICG or ANACS would be your best bet.

    But, the gentleman who posted directly above me, he could probably help you out - if he had good enough pictures or the coin :) I strongly suspect he has access to most books since he happens to work for a TPG.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  5. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    This will be tricky. I'm not aware of who or what organization catalogs die varieties for $10 Libs, if any. Given the high mintage for 1881 and that fact that it's not a series collected by die variety, it's not surprising that there are varieties that aren't known. You say there are four known RPDs to date, so my approach would be to contact the cataloger of those varieties and ask for guidance on how to establish yours as the fifth. If they're just known to exist and not officially cataloged by anyone, then my advice would be to catalog them yourself and put together a web page with the 5 different RPDs so that it can become a standard reference for referring to them. CONECA will catalog yours, but without the others it would be an incomplete catalog. The Cherrypicker's Guide would be another option, as it doesn't attempt to be complete, but the guide isn't published often, and without being in the book, having a FS number that nobody can verify doesn't mean much. Without yours being cataloged anywhere the grading services would really only be able to say "repunched date," and not all of them will even go that far.
  6. GoldBug999

    GoldBug999 Active Member

    I have that book - I have attached a photo of the page with the 1881 coin.
    1881 gold coin.jpg

    edited to fix quote tags
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2020
  7. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    Appreciate the feedback. Funny that I didn’t even consider that the information I’m looking for is in an actual (gasp) book?? I just assumed everything was accessible via the internet. I do have the CPG which is helpful.

    I’ll post some pics when I get back to the home computer tonight.

  8. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter


    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    In this day and age a lot of folks make the same assumption. But, there are numerous mountains of information that is NOT available on the internet. Books are still a necessary requirement in a great many cases, especially when it comes to coins ;)
  10. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    Here are pictures of the front, back, date and a die-crack on the reverse. Any additional information or help on variety is appreciated. Also, with all the 'circulated gunk' on it, is it a candidate for an acetone bath? Any thoughts on grade are helpful to calibrate myself as well. I think it's an XF coin, maybe XF-45. Thanks. IMG_4783.JPG IMG_4784.JPG IMG_4785.JPG IMG_4786.JPG
  11. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    I should have started my reply with 'thanks for the information - extremely helpful!'
  12. physics-fan3.14

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

    Definitely appears to be an RPD to me. Unfortunately, it is not one that will be designated by NGC. Their list of variety attributions can be found here:

    That book contains almost no information on die varieties. It is a very general, high level overview of all gold issues.
  13. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    You could try but I doubt acetone would have much if any effect at all. I can see that coin has a few spots of verdigris on it, and maybe some plain old dirt and grime on the shield and a few other places. A good soak in distilled water would probably do more good at removing that than anything. And just a soak, no brushing, wiping, rubbing - no anything but soaking it and swishing it around in the water. And when you're done, stand it on edge on a soft towel and lean it up against the backsplash on your counter over night to let it dry.

    As for the verdigris, you could get that off with Verdi-Care if you can find some. Simply follow the directions that come with it. But there isn't anything else that'll take it off safely. But if you store it correctly the verdigris will just stay like that and do no more harm than it already has.
  14. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    Nice repunched date! Unfortunately, these aren't cataloged by anyone, as mentioned earlier. Someone from CONECA would probably catalog it as "RPD-001", but you'd have to send them the coin. After that, ANACS, ICG, an I (as VSS) would put RPD-001 on the label. I agree with your XF45 assessment.

    My approach to the gunk would be a little different from Doug's. After an acetone bath, the caked-in stuff might need some mechanical nudging with a cactus spine or green rose thorn to remove, but I'd only do this under a stereo microscope, and it's the kind of technique you need to practice on gunky cents. Gold doesn't tend to get green corrosion like cents, so the green bits are probably easily dislodged.
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