Newbie's First Post - Help!

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Lostinspace, Apr 8, 2021 at 11:23 AM.

  1. Lostinspace

    Lostinspace New Member

    First, a bit of background. My grandfather's formative years were as a poor cotton farmer in north Alabama in a slapboard shack during the great depression. So, he hoarded coins his whole life. My father had the same habit most of his life. He passed about 15 years ago and I inherited bags and bags and boxes and banks and cups and Mason jars and any container you can think of, full of coins. Mostly he was looking for silver (from what I can tell). And I have a lot of common date, modernish silver. Most of it likely from roll hunting so, it's all fairly well circulated. I have FINALLY gotten all the pennies sperated (10,000 + pennies, still sitting in bags that I will sort some day). I have all the silver separated and I'm organizing by year so I can find the best examples of each year and then figure out what to do with the rest (likely sell, someday). The vast majority of the nickel clad, post 64 stuff, has gone to the bank. I have a deluxe edition 2017 redbook and the small portable one from the same year. I also have a 2013 "Standard Catalog of World Coins." All obtained at Ollie's or half-price books. I need a better world coins book because dad has A LOT of 20th century (a smattering of 19th c.) foreign coins he got at flea markets and yard sales. I have found a few US coins that were obtained in the same fashion. Nothing earth shattering. But, some things interesting to me.

    So, some questions. I have done quite a bit of reading in the redbook and have spent countless hours trying to understand what I actually have. I know the values in the books are not accurate on any given date. And I see people post that you have to look at "realized" auction values. I know how to look at sold listings in ebay. Where else would you look for these auctions? I see people talk about special "members only" auction records and such and such and I have no idea what that stuff is or where to find it.

    I'm also struggling because, with all the time I've spent with these coins, I love some of them. So, I want to protect them. I was thinking of slabbing some. There seem to be many strategies on slabbing but, the gist of it seems to be, is the coins value at least as much as the cost of slabbing. Right? So, if it's worth 20-30 bucks and I really want to keep it, go ahead and slab it? And what things should I absolutely slab? I have a few quarter eagles and a half eagle - definitely slab those, right? And the good examples of morgan's etc, right? I don't know. I have some stuff I want to have graded and cased just because they will be the start of my collection. I think Dad inadvertently created a monster.

    Finally, I'm trying to make educated guesses at grades. I'm going to attach an 1831 half dollar. I would love some of opinions on grade. (One of the very few "interesting" coins out of 10s of thousands). I don't see any luster but, the strike looks good and the wear is pretty minimal. I think. I don't know. In the future I'd like to post some things I think might be MS, just to see if I really understand what the standard is. I'm always a little biased and tend to think little scratches, etc. aren't fatal.

    It's intimidating to post here because I do see some community members lack patience for us newbies. For instance, I can't spot a fake. Have no idea what to look for. I'm not an idiot, I can tell if something is or isn't silver, I've looked and touched enough to know. But, silver cast fakes or some of the stuff that gets posted that fooled coin grading services? Yeah, I'd get duped. And I have reached out to the local numismatic group but, it was a few years ago, before I really tackled the hoard and decided what my sorting strategy was. I didn't even know what all was there. I have since sorted everything (except pennies) and will probably reach back out to them once the vaccine is more thoroughly distributed. In the meantime, I was hoping to make some connections on here. Alright, that's my pitch. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 11:41 AM
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  3. GH#75

    GH#75 Well-Known Member

    The coin in picture would probably grade around XF-40. And as long as you are wiling to learn, we won't lose patience with you. (Well, most of us) The reason some people get annoyed is when the people asking the question disagree with the answer they get, and think the people with experience don't know what they're talking about. So basically, don't exhibit any distasteful behavior, and you'll be fine.
     
  4. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I love posts like this..... First off, the newbies that folks tend to get cross with are the guys that have no interest in learning. You are clearly not one of those..... Lots of questions.... I'll address the slabbing questions.... First off, surprisingly I would recommend against slabbing the quarter and half eagles unless they are absolutely superior examples. I only say this because guys like me that buy gold don't care much about the slab... So if your intent is to sell the pieces, I don't believe you will gain anything with the expense of having them slabbed.... Unless they are spectacular pieces..... I'll leave it at that as I am sure there are lots of others here that will fill you with good info. Welcome to the hobby. You may get addicted!
     
  5. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Fakes are always a concern. If you find coins that look like they are worth a little more, good photos will help us. I would agree with XF40. It might have been cleaned years ago (most were).

    For your normal silver circulation finds, not a lot of risk in fakes for those. If you wanted to really check out everything you have for varieties, I would recommend the Cherrypicker guides. Two books, one half cents to quarters I believe, the second the rest. Get cheap older editions on Ebay. You are not concerned with their prices, but to know what exists. That is only if you want to fully vet all of your inherited coins.
     
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  6. CoinJockey73

    CoinJockey73 Here comes trouble... Dealer

    I recently inherited ziploc bags and bags of coins and folios, of my grandfather's, as well as starting a circulation collection of my own. I don't have much to contribute to the boards, other than a good attitude, and some fun with the other members, and I've found everyone incredibly welcoming and patient with me. I've only been posting for a couple months, and have learned a ton, mostly that these guys know what they're talking about, and if you're cool with them, they're more than cool with you.
    Welcome. Can't wait to see more coins from your new collection.
     
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  7. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    Hi! I hope all is well, and wish you luck. I don't know enough about this series to say with certaintly it's not a counterfeit, but it looks legit to me based on the picture and what I know about them.

    I'd call it VF-25 it might get to VF30. there obvious obverse rim wear, wear on her bust line, hair, lettering is getting weak and stars are dragging towards the worn rims. Reverse rim also worn down, eagle wing tops and head are worn. I feel pretty good about VF25 on this. Maybe I am too critical, heck I am sure I'm too critical, on my own coins also.

    Does it have any edge lettering left still?


    you'd need an expert on overton varieties to get further than this, or the overton book, I'm not that guy for that part. It might be more desirable if its a hard to find die pair. I don't know much on this part except it exists.

    for a lot of things, you can go on the PCGS website, look up the coin by date and mintmark, and they have a lot of pictures to compare you condition to, to their grades for a ball park. the prices they list are auction prices, even from ebay, but I wouldn't trust it to be current, or what a dealer would give you. or even what you'd get in a private sale. But it gets you in the neighborhood of knowing the value.

    https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1831-50c/images/6159
     
  8. YoloBagels

    YoloBagels Well-Known Member

    Interesting situation, let me start out by saying welcome to the forum, our members will be happy to help with any questions/concerns you have.

    We would appreciate pics of the hoard/bags/jars just to give us a general idea of what you have. It is good that you already read through references like the red book. For the world coins I would reccomend to use Numista. It's an online catalog that has nearly any coin you can think of.

    The problem with auction values is that it can usually only apply to more valuable ($50++) coins. You aren't gonna get values for avg circ indian heads or mercury dimes from stacks bowers. A good reference though is PCGS Coinfacts as it displays auction values for each coin.

    And for grades you can use PCGS photograde, which can give you a good idea on how certain series are graded. Coinfacts also has a "view more images" feature that can help with grades.
     
  9. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Wonderful story! Most of the coins you have are probably not worth the cost you would spend to grade them. Being as you inherited them from you father they should mean more to you than anything else. Glad you're willing to learn and this is the place to do so.

    Welcome to CT.
     
  10. Lostinspace

    Lostinspace New Member

    The "half dollar" on the edge is readily legible. Looks good. The y in "fifty" is pretty faded and "cents" is legible but, light.
     
  11. cplradar

    cplradar Talmud Chuchum

    I am impressed but I am also a tad suspect. Do you have paperwork that shows the coins were inherited from your family? This is very similar to the kind of story one would hear when dealing with a professional fence and con artist. While such hoards have precedent in the history of numismatics, it doesn't happen as often as a fencing operation, and a confidence scheme. The first thing you should do is get a hold of your paperwork and bring the entire thing to a professional auction house and have assessment done. You need to build that relationship. Once the pedree issue is settled, you will have a lifelong partner in the numismatic arts.
     
  12. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    First of all, welcome. Second, thanks for doing a little bit of homework before asking questions, and not just coming here expecting a free appraisal of what you have.

    The half dollar you show looks like an XF coin, worth about $150. In addition to checking eBay sold items, look through PCGS's auction prices, which is free for anyone to use. Also look at Heritage's sales, which is free to use once you set up a free account. Be aware that once you get below $100 in value, there won't be as much on these sites, and you'll be best to use eBay.

    As far as what to slab, you don't have to slab anything, but doing so offers best protection and liquidity and provides assurance of authenticity. The cost of slabbing needs to be considered, of course, including the round-trip postage costs, which can add a lot the cost per coin if you do just one or two coins. I would probably slab the 1831 half, but send it with a bunch of other similarly valued coins. The gold you mention is a maybe. Post pictures here. If they aren't problem coins (cleaned, scratched, removed from jewelry), or they are better dates, then they'll probably be worth slabbing for the reasons above. If you decide not to slab anything, then there are still decent coin holders you can buy to help protect your coins.
     
  13. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    There are many reasons to slab a coin. The most common reason is to add legitimacy to a coin prior to the piece going to market. I think the best reason to slab a coin is to document a family heirloom. If you wanted to save several of grandad's coins for future generations sake for example..... I am like your grandad and was collecting long before slabs, so they aren't a prime decision maker for me when I am on the hunt.... But I am a dying breed.... Your Redbook will tell you which coins may be of additional interest and you can post them here for opinions before you invest your hard earned money having coins slabbed.
     
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  14. cplradar

    cplradar Talmud Chuchum


    Not newbies like you. Newbies trolling the forum looking for magic double die coins from their pocket change.
     
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  15. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 Casual Collector / error expert "in Training "

    Welcome to Coin Talk !:happy:
     
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  16. JeffC

    JeffC Hogwarts Numismatist Apprentice Supporter

    Just a reminder that you've got another option for those coins you'd like to slab (but which may not warrant the TPG costs). Lighthouse and other companies make DIY slabs which you can use - at least to preserve the coins you cherish.
    I enjoyed reading your story and, like @YoloBagels mentioned, would enjoy seeing photos of the hoard of coins!
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 12:53 PM
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  17. Lostinspace

    Lostinspace New Member

    Lol! I honestly think that's why Dad had all the pennies he did. He also liked to play the lottery, too.
     
  18. Lostinspace

    Lostinspace New Member

    Ahhhh. I get that. We're all anonymous on the web. Not a thief or a scammer. Just a poor boy who inherited the mess the poor boys ahead of me left behind. The bags are all pennies. Some mint sets Mom bought Dad for gifts. Went through a lot of those "savers" in dimes, quarters, etc. I remember sitting down as a family and rolling coins as a kid. For hours and hours. But I don't think Dad cashed much of it in. Cause I found tons of rolls. I rolled all those halves. They are all non-silver kennedy's. There's an original roll of un-circulated The ones that aren't rolled are all silver-clad. I bought some supplies - The dollar plastic holder. The tubes. Some boxes and cardboard flips. Just trying to sort it out. I call it a hoard, maybe I'm using the wrong word.
     

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  19. fretboard

    fretboard Defender of Old Coinage!

    Welcome to CoinTalk! :cigar: Nice looking Bust Half dollar coin up there! :D Mums the word when you own as many coins as you do. That means keep your coin ownership to yourself, as there are a ton of thieves out there! This forum is safe, but the social media world is not!
     
  20. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Looks like what my grandkids are gonna have to sort through one day! That looks like loads of fun........ I know a little something about coins but I don't know a ding-dang thing about technology. There is one photo that I cannot blow up. It appears to be plastic tubes of old dollars. On the ends of those tubes are numbers... 63, 64, etc.... Now those numbers to me represent a grading scale and I am assuming they meant the same thing to your grandad... If those tubes contain silver dollars that may grade in the 63-64 range, you may indeed have something there.
     
  21. Lostinspace

    Lostinspace New Member

    I wish! Those are dimes. I'm the one sorting. Dad and Grandpa never did much sorting. And the numbers are years. Trying to see if I can create a decent circulated set.
     
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