help with Lib Seated Half grading AU or UNC?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Gallienus, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. Gallienus


    I'm looking at two No-motto Seated Halves being auctioned: both of the same date. One coin looks like it has wear on the leg. I wrote to some people and some said that it's an AU coin but some others are calling it UNC. Am I missing something; have grading standards slipped or are flat knees acceptable for unc coins? See below:

    Since this is apparently a common date of coin there is another one of the same date available. This darker one does NOT have the flat knee yet it appears to be a weaker strike.


    So are both of these UNC's or is only the 2nd piece an unc? Can MS seated half dollars have flat knees? I'm aware that a lot of coins are being regraded these days and are making it into higher grade holders.

    I was looking at a Capped Bust half: pretty ratty IMO, in a 63 holder that someone bought, imediately reslabbed as a 64 and put it back for auction 1 or 2 months later.
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  3. potty dollar 1878

    potty dollar 1878 Well-Known Member

    I would rather see full pictures of the coins obverse and reverse before grading them.
  4. thomas mozzillo

    thomas mozzillo Supporter! Supporter

  5. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I agree. I don't know why you are showing us pieces of coins to get an opinion. Here's the coin in my set which grades PCGS MS-64, CAC. You can get an idea as to how the knee should look on a Mint State coin. In my opinion the first of your partial coins is not Mint State. The second one might be.

    1860-O half dollar B O.jpg 1860-O half dollar B R.jpg
    Gallienus likes this.
  6. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Half baked, no sale. Better pic's
  7. Mac McDonald

    Mac McDonald Well-Known Member

    I'll play, with what I can see, although it always helps to have the full coin. Based solely on the partial images, I'd say the first coin (worn knee/leg) is AU-something... or maybe even details given a rather flat-looking finish from what limited areas can be seen/speculated from. I don't think the people you mentioned are looking close enough or, more likely, don't fully understand how to recognize wear and what goes into grading, et al. The second coin seems to indicate a likely MS grade, with even some luster and/or toning. Don't think we need to peg these to the Nth degree of a grade, but rather just some general opinions...and fun.
    mike estes and ksparrow like this.
  8. Seascape

    Seascape U.S. & World Collector

    AU Details Cleaned.
  9. Gallienus


    Thanks for the helpful comments. After the auction I'll post full details of all coins involved but I'm always scared of people bidding against me. Technically tho someone asking "how to grade Seated Half Dollars" shouldn't be the expert to follow.

    I did ask for a review of the coins and got some opinions but as we all know grading of earlier type coins is slipping. I will say that all pieces are NGC / PCGS and no details grades. I bid on both the halfs: the auctioneer was really pushing the 1st (lighter) piece but I like the darker one.
  10. Gallienus


    Unfortunately I don't want to post the dates yet as these items are still up for sale.
  11. Gallienus


    In case anyone is watching: an update.
    Both coins sold and despite bidding I got neither tho I did bid in the range for the darker toned half.

    The lighter coin (with the flat leg) is an NGC-63 1839 No Drapery Seated half and sold for $18K or 21.6K w/ comission. It was the subject of a 360 degree video view which provided very little information.

    I did send my concerns about the flat leg to the auction firm and they said "we believe the coin is unc". I don't like the flat leg and won't bid on such pieces: especially since ===>

    The darker coin is ALSO an 1839 No Drapery Seated half also in 63. This is a PCGS "Gold Shield" (whatever that means) and is the same die variety. It doesn't have the flat leg but is a little weaker strike. It sold for $17.5K or $21K w/ commission.

    A much nicer coin IMO.
    This is why I couldn't post full pix as the No Drapery Halves are pretty much one year type coins and I didn't want competition.

    Thanks everyone for your input. I guess grade inflation is rampant with Seated Halves too?

    If anybody wants I can now post full pix of both coins.
  12. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, please post pics. BTW, the Gold Bean means that CAC thinks it is undergraded.
  13. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I misrread Gold Shield for Gold Bean. I think Gold Shield is the newest PCGS encapsulation technology for security but more knowledgeable members can correct at will.
    longshot likes this.
  14. Gallienus


    Okay Here are both coins:

    1) NGC-63, 1839 No Drapery half Lighter piece w/ flat leg
    USA_50c_1839-P_LS-ND_1_obv_850px.jpg USA_50c_1839-P_LS-ND_1_rev_850px.jpg

    2) PCGS-63, 1839 No Drapery half Darker Toned piece w/ full (non-flat) leg



    It appears the 2nd, Darker, 1839 is more weakly struck yet has no flatness on the leg. This would tend to indicate that Seated Halves with flat legs are circulated pieces, regardless of what slabbers say?
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
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  15. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted Supporter

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
    Gallienus and Morgandude11 like this.
  16. Morgandude11

    Morgandude11 As long as it's Silver, I'm listening

    Coin #2 looks much better. Coin #1 looks on the verge of overdipprd, despite its clean surfaces.
    micbraun likes this.
  17. noahlh

    noahlh New Member

    BTW - I hear that! I'm bidding on a few coins this weekend and feel like I need to keep the whole affair a closely guarded secret. Meanwhile, I bet half of you are sitting right across the (virtual) auction floor thinking the exact same thing :)
  18. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted Supporter

    No, ALL of us!
  19. Gallienus


    I agree. Despite this coin# 1 was featured in a 360 video on the auction website. Coin#2 had no such distinction. A trend is emerging though. Neither coin realized anywhere near the PCGS price guides and in fact these coins are trending downwards with time. I've seen "flipped coins" (i.e. coins that were recently reslabbed at a higher grade) realizing more than the old, lower grade but much less than the full newer slab grade.

    It's getting to be a game the dealers are playing that I think will hurt them in the end.

    I should mention that I also own an 1839 Seated Half (with drapery unfortunately). This coin was bought raw at around $32. but could possibly grade at the 55 or 58 level today. I'll try for a picture.
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