My first U.S. coin - did I choose fairly well?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by nerosmyfavorite68, May 23, 2024.

  1. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    I come from a background of ancient coins. I've been collecting them from 30 years, and all my knowledge revolves around ancients. I could tell you about every Roman emperor, but I know little to nothing about American coins, and I wanted to pick an attractive one (with toning). The stated grade, within reason, doesn't greatly matter to me, nor does the value. I just wanted a pretty coin.

    Attractive toning is more valued in the ancient coin community. I picked the coin, coming from that worldview. To my inexpert eye, the toning appears not to be faux toning, like some of the psychedelic rainbow toners.

    My criteria: there had to be some rainbow toning, it had to be from the 1870's-1880's, and had to be attractive.

    I'm more of a struck coins guy, but the Morgan dollar has always been my favorite from the American series.

    Let's hope it isn't a disaster and I didn't pick too badly. This seemed the most attractive of the moderately priced coins. I also trawled through ma-shops offerings of the same price range.

    I chose the super-expensive shipping, as to avoid Priority. Even with a protective slab, I'd rather not have it go through the Lucille treatment.

    Not counting the price paid, did I do ok? Yes, it has the sucky SEGS slab, but life isn't perfect.

    Morgan Dollar - 1884 - SEGS MS 63 rainbow toning.jpg
    imrich, Tall Paul, BRandM and 4 others like this.
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  3. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 U.S Casual Collector / Error Collector

    The coin is a solid MS63. You did great, providing the price is right. " Buy the Coin Not the Slab". That's what I always go by with these lower grading companies. If your happy, then that's all that matters. biggrin.gif
    BTW: Welcome to the Lighter side. "Once you come, you never leave.....The same way again! biggrin.gif
    nerosmyfavorite68 likes this.
  4. longshot

    longshot Enthusiast Supporter

  5. longnine009

    longnine009 Darwin has to eat too. Supporter

    I like dark coins so it looks great to me.
  6. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    I like the coin and the nice golden toning. I was always a sucker for toned coins and would put this one in my collection in a second. Well done!

  7. Tall Paul

    Tall Paul Supporter! Supporter

    As pappy used to say, "ya done good."
  8. mckinneym

    mckinneym Supporter! Supporter

    Nice Morgan. I’m usually not a big fan of toned coins but I really like the look of this one. It has an almost cameo appearance that you usually don’t get on such a high grade coin. Enjoy!
  9. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    We collectors of ancients usually have this criteria for our coins:
    1) Do I like the coin?
    2) can I afford it?
    3) the grade, within reason, generally isn't too important.

    Part of the problem was that different dealers would describe toning in vastly different ways. I had to use a lot of search terms and a lot of trawling. I found ones with more attractive toning, but they were very expensive, like $400+. For the sub-$130 category, this Morgan was the best one I came across.

    As long as it came from the 1870's-1880's, the particular year and mint were irrelevant to me. I was trawling for toning. I know nothing about U.S. coins, I have no modern references (not too much point if I'm not a regular collector), so I kept firmly in the budget arena. I also had no clue, outside of vcoins/ma-shops, Harlan Berk, etc., where the best venues were to buy U.S. coins, aside from local coin shops.

    I actually did like some of the silver stacker stuff, especially the hand-made items, and that interested me more than the American coins.

    I could see myself buying the occasional toned Morgan, but I'll always be an ancients/struck coin guy. I just love the history too much. The late Roman coins are somewhat akin to moderns, as they are standardized and vary only by mintmark. I never got much into those.

    We'll have to see what it looks like in person, but I'm glad that my first buy wasn't a disaster. Well, it could be a disaster in shipping, but registered shouldn't be too bad. That usually forces the shipper to use a smaller envelope.

    The Trajan Decius sestertius below is an example of how I collect ancients. I loved the portrait, and the patina was nice. (It was also about $19 cheaper than the Morgan).

    Trajan Decius was the first emperor to be killed in battle by the barbarians, and some very bad times ensued. All four proverbial horsemen were riding high a few years later.

    Trajan Decius - 249-251 - AE Sestertius - 30mm, 16.08g - RIC IV 126d - VF nice green patina.jpg
    longshot likes this.
  10. mrweaseluv

    mrweaseluv Supporter! Supporter

    very nice Morgan I really like the light toning on that one.. but we must warn you, Morgans are like tater chips... very hard to stop at 1 :D
  11. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Very nice looking and even toning all over. Given the price was right, you did good.
  12. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    I assume this one was from the DC mint?
  13. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    It's easy. You just gotta say "No More(gan).:D

    nerosmyfavorite68 likes this.
  14. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Opportunity cost is easy. I only have so much budget for coins. If I were to do modern, it would be something like Louis XIV medals.
  15. Mr. Numismatist

    Mr. Numismatist Strawberry Token Enthusiast

    There isn't a District of Columbia Mint.

    The one you bought is from the main Mint in Philadelphia.
    nerosmyfavorite68 likes this.
  16. Barney McRae

    Barney McRae Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin. I take it you are from across the big pond? USPS isn't great but not terrible either, it's their logistics in shipping (timeliness) that is terrible at times. I don't know anything about international shipping.
    nerosmyfavorite68 likes this.
  17. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, it shows how much I know about U.S. coins. I can tell you about every Roman emperor, but I know next to nothing about U.S. coins.

    I'm in the U.S.A., in answer to Barney's question. I often buy ancients from overseas dealers, however. Perhaps that's where the confusion came from.

    My dad had purchased some Byzantine coins for me at the local coin shop, and also waiting for me was... an 1885 Morgan in a staple-flip. It looks pretty nice, for a blast-white coin. There's very few dings. 63+ is annotated on the back of the flip. It's pretty sharp. If you were on the ancient coins board, you'd know about my chronic inability to photograph coins. The owner of the shop is somewhat of a bigwig in dealing American coins, according to the fellow at work who also deals in sports cards.

    The Byzantine coins were very dark, but that's my meat and potatoes. I was able to quickly ID every one of those, even though some of the coins were decrepit.

    However, I've seen people use a cell phone perched on a soup can and achieve passable results. I'm told that perhaps the problem is that my Samsung Note 20 Ultra doesn't have autofocus (although someone mentioned something about telephoto). I cleaned off my disused photography station, so perhaps I'll try this weekend. I have a DSLR, but no macro lens, and my tripod (the rotating part) flops over if I try to lock in the camera facing straight down.

    A Morgan is quite a heavy coin. If I had to go with one type of American coin, it would be the Morgan.
    Barney McRae likes this.
  18. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    MOrgan 1885 dollar MS 63 from coin shop - quick pic.jpg

    Here's a quick pic of the Friday coin. Using the phone's raw mode and setting the phone on a soup can worked relatively well for a first try. It's much better than my usual blurry pics.
    Barney McRae likes this.
  19. Barney McRae

    Barney McRae Supporter! Supporter

    Your photos are quite good. Way better than mine.
    nerosmyfavorite68 likes this.
  20. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    That's very kind of you. You should see my sad attempts at photographing ancient coins. I can photograph people well, just not macro objects.
    Barney McRae likes this.
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