How the heck do you estimate grade on 3¢ silvers?!

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by mckinneym, May 23, 2024.

  1. mckinneym

    mckinneym Supporter! Supporter

    I just won this 3¢ silver on eBay and think it's a pretty nice one for the $70 I won it for. It doesn't really matter, but I'm trying to get a ballpark grade. But my goodness the PCGS Coinfacts pics are useless. Comparing it to the pics, I could go anywhere from 30 to 55! There's just not much fine detail in the design and the strike qualities are all over the map! What am I supposed to be looking for in these?
    upload_2024-5-23_11-11-3.png upload_2024-5-23_11-11-30.png
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  3. mrweaseluv

    mrweaseluv Supporter! Supporter

    I would grade her at about 45-50 xf/au and the fact that that particular coin sells for 70 in f12 I think you did very very well :D
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  4. mckinneym

    mckinneym Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks! (I got hosed on a Barber quarter the other day, so this brings some balance to The Force, I suppose.)

    What are you looking for? The bars in the shield don't seem to be a good differentiator. Maybe the edge of the shield?
  5. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Well-Known Member

    s-l400-2.jpg 35086096_Medium.jpg

    Here's an xf to go by.
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  6. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Well-Known Member

  7. longshot

    longshot Enthusiast Supporter

    Remaining luster is a big clue in this grade range on many coins. Might be hard to evaluate on a coin like this though.
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  8. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Your 1852 Silver Three Cent Piece has the sharpness of an AU. It appears to have original, never dipped or cleaned surfaces which is a big plus.

    The only downside is the line that is running down from the rim, through the second "T" in "STATES" and into the star and shield. If that is a scratch that is into the coin it would probably prevent the piece from a straight TPG grade.

    Otherwise, it's a piece that is very nice for a lightly circulated example. Many of these coins have dark black spots. These pieces were 75% silver and 25% copper. All of the other silver coins from this period were 90% silver and 10% copper. That odd alloy makes a difference.

    For $70, you got a good deal.
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  9. mckinneym

    mckinneym Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you!!

    I'd take an "AU-details, scratched" grade. They all get broken out of their slabs and put in my type set anyway. I've got quite a few "details, scratched" coins in it. I find a minor scratch worth the reduced cost. This one will be right at home with my AU-scratched SLQ.

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  10. mrweaseluv

    mrweaseluv Supporter! Supporter

    here's my pretty 52 and I regret to say I paid out more then you did :D but still got a good deal. I posting it now to show the patina/color on this one.. the 75/25 silver copper mix made these coins tend to tone on the gold/copper tones.
    4631894_Full_Obv.jpg 4631894_Full_Rev.jpg
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  11. Jim Dale

    Jim Dale Well-Known Member

    I have an 1862 Silver Trimes that my father had in his collection. I'm in my office that my wife kicked me out of for a while, so I can't get to my Red Books at the moment. She's afraid I will wake up our new week old kitten that we rescued from the middle of a highway. Took it to the Vet and was told that the kitten's eyes were not even working yet and something smacked it in the mouth and the Vet had to cut the skin away from its teeth. My wife and I are in our 70's with 3 dogs and a cat, and now we have a kitten that might be a week old.
    Just what I need now. We already have 2 cheweenies, an australian Shepherd and and another cat that we rescued from the road a few years ago.
    As I mentioned, I'm hibernating in my office to get a nap.
    Anyway, anyone have an idea what a nice 1862 Trimes might be that is in decent shape.
    We name the kitten Patches because she is beautiful and has a multi-colored coat of many colors. We live on a 5 acre patch of land.
  12. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Brother can you spare a trime? Supporter

    Really crude... there are six points to the star and thus six places where the shield touches the lines of the points.

    Wear only on the surface of the shield is your AUs

    Wear on those touches is XF45 and below, subtract 1 for each worn point.

    For the reverse, there are faint raised lines on the edges of the C by the nobs. Those are gone by the time you hit AU53.

    Wear on the top of the diamond (9 o'clock) is XF45. Then look at the orbs to the bars and count down.
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  13. mckinneym

    mckinneym Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks! That’s super helpful. The PCGS pics seem to be all over the place, like the MS shown. But I guess that’s where the quality of the strike comes into play…and the art of grading!
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  14. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    These are fun to grade. PCGS gave this one MS-62. I never saw that coming. I was thinking AU-50.
    Image_0921.JPG Image_0917.JPG Image_0924.JPG Image_0913.JPG
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  15. mckinneym

    mckinneym Supporter! Supporter

  16. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Brother can you spare a trime? Supporter

    Larry, I'm terrible at grading them in MS, but I can see it.

    You have the fins on the arms of the C. The strike is so-so, the diamond isn't filled in.

    The rest is just degrees of sharpness of the strike (vs. strike weakness).

    I've seen in hand one MS68 (before it was sent into PCGS). The point of the diamond could be used as a tattoo needle and you could shave with the planes at 12, 3, 6, and 9.

    On your coin, look at the top center leaf (upper reverse) and the ribbon and fletches of the highest arrow.

    On the obverse, look at the knob on the right scroll on the top of the shield and the top two shields points left and right. Of the six points of the star, only the top one shows any real definition into two planes.
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  17. lardan

    lardan Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin, @John milton is correct about the scratch. But, to me TPG is just an estimate and/or luck. That is why I have never sent a coin in myself or ever would. My favorite coin grading company is ANACS. Some may agree, but I'm sure most will disagree. As always to each their own.
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