Newly Obtained American Silver Eagle with a story and questions

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Jeepfreak81, Jan 22, 2022.

  1. Jeepfreak81

    Jeepfreak81 Well-Known Member

    Hey all,

    I have recently obtained a 2007 American Silver Eagle, it's the first of it's kind that I've owned however I'm familiar with them on a basic level. Before I get to the pictures, a little back story.

    My Grandmother JUST retired a few months ago at age 86 after working for the Littleton Coin Company for more than 50 years. When she started there they didn't even deal in coins, they were actually only dealing in stamps (Littleton Stamp) then they eventually brought coins on board and it became Littleton Stamp & Coin. Until at some point I THINK in the 80's or early 90's one of the Sundman brothers (I believe his name is Rick) split off and took the stamp portion of the company to New York state. The name of it escapes me at the moment.

    I also worked at LCC for a short period of time right after high school. They used to give out numismatic related gifts to employees yearly or for special events. When i was there it was the turn of the Millennium and we all got a Silver 1oz round with a special millennium design on it.

    Fast forward a bit to 2007 and the orginal founder of the company Maynard Sundman, who was a very nice guy that I met on a couple of occasions, passed away. Everyone in the company received one of these 2007 ASE coins in one of Littleton's Showpaks.

    The showpaks are a neat idea and look cool I guess and allows them to add some information but it's not a good way to store a coin.

    So this is what the coin looks like in the infamous showpak as I've received it from my Grandmother. She kept all of these items from LCC but has passed them on to me. There was no additional storage measures taken as far as I know. They were all in a jewelry box I believe (I got a handful of other coins as well)

    ASE-001_Obverse-Showpak.jpg ASE-001_Reverse-Showpak.jpg

    My grandmother is somewhere in that photo on the back. In any case, I removed the coin from the showpak carefully as to not damage the packaging as I intend to keep it. However I want to store the coin better going forward and I've now placed it in an "airtite" container.

    Here's what the coin looks like out of the showpak and before I put it in the air tite.


    So I just thought I'd share my little story of this coin and also show you how the coin faired in LCC's showpak. Obviously plenty of air got to it, I imagine the paper contributed to the colors of the toning? I don't know a whole lot about that to be honest.

    Also I think this has some milk spots as well? Again, that's new territory for me but particularly in the stars above the eagle, is that a milk spot?

    I welcome any and all comments and questions.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
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  3. Beardigger

    Beardigger Well-Known Member

    I don't know for sure. But Milk Spots is what I'm seeing around IN GOD WE TRUST and down around the date. What I see in the stars does not look like milk spots. Seems more like Tarnish or Toning. Milk spots are usually just that, White spotting on a coin.
    Wait for more knowledgeable members to reply.
    CoinJockey73 likes this.
  4. Jeepfreak81

    Jeepfreak81 Well-Known Member

    Thanks I kinda thought that also but then spotted that other discoloration also. We'll see what others think, mostly just wanted to share and maybe learn a little while I was at it.
  5. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 U.S Casual Collector / Error Collector

    Very nice story @Jeepfreak81! Love the coin also, nice toning.:)
  6. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    I like the story. Keep it for sentimental value. Nice present.
    Jeepfreak81 likes this.
  7. Southernman189

    Southernman189 Well-Known Member

    worth LOTS more as a memory piece then silver content. You have a solid "gold" memory. For your future info, find out where your grandmother is on that picture. Wait too long NO ONE will know.
  8. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Very cool. I was overseas in the Army in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Of course I had no internet to fuel my love of coins. But Littleton filled that void for me sending their envelopes of “coins on approval” every month or so. My thanks to your grandma.
    -jeffB and Jeepfreak81 like this.
  9. masterswimmer

    masterswimmer Well-Known Member

    Congrats to your grandmother. 50 years at one job is beyond remarkable. They should issue a coin in her honor too.

    Gotta love the tucked in tie look ;)
  10. Jeepfreak81

    Jeepfreak81 Well-Known Member

    Good point I'll have to find out, wonder if I used my loupe if I could find her. haha

    That's cool, I think before the internet they probably scratched that itch for many people who otherwise didn't have access to coins.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  11. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    There are no milk spots on that coin.

    Milk spots have a very specific look and are easily identified once one knows what they look like. That said, there are a lot of folks who do not know what real milk spots look like and mistakenly refer to just about any light colored spot as a milk spot, when it isn't a milk spot at all. It's a fairly common mistake, and very similar to another common mistake where any dark colored spot is often referred to as a carbon spot when it isn't a carbon spot at all.

    This is what real milk spots look like.

    milk spots 1.JPG

    The pics aren't the best but what I have at hand at the moment. Typically they show up as being very white. And they are not spots on the surface of the coin, they are spots in the surface of the coin, in the metal itself in other words - and thus incapable of being removed without damaging the the coin.
    Jeepfreak81 likes this.
  12. Jeepfreak81

    Jeepfreak81 Well-Known Member

    Ok thanks for the explanation on that, knowing that they are actually in the metal of the coin will help me to identify in the future. It is hard to tell from pictures as the spots in your pictures look similar to some on my coin, which is why your explanation helps.

  13. Southernman189

    Southernman189 Well-Known Member

    I have to learn NOT to drink milk over my coins from now on.:wacky:
  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Supporter! Supporter

    What a nice story to pass down to later generations.
    Maybe try taking a close-up photo of the company photo so you can blow it up and identify grandma might help.
    Southernman189 and Jeepfreak81 like this.
  15. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Supporter! Supporter

    I thought I had read that "milk spots" (nothing to do with milk), were from improper rinse and drying of the blanks. That they were residue from the cleaning solution that was left to dry on the coin. Am I wrong? @GDJMSP stated it was spots in the surface, not on it.
    Southernman189 likes this.
  16. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Left on the surface of the blank, and then struck into the surface of the coin, right, Doug? Or is that also still uncertain?
    Southernman189 likes this.
  17. Jeepfreak81

    Jeepfreak81 Well-Known Member

    I knew it had something to do with the striking process but that was as far as my knowledge went, and also that they can't be removed without damaging the coin.
    Southernman189 likes this.
  18. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    If it was certain they would have fixed the problem by now. The wash is the suspect but given its still a problem they clearly dont know for sure
    Southernman189 likes this.
  19. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    I would contact Littleton and ask if they have a blowup copy of the original photo. kudos to you and your grandmother. Good luck.
  20. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    As already stated, there are several theories as to what causes milk spots but nobody knows with any degree of certainty what really causes them.

    My personal theory is that milk spots are due to some sort of impurity in the metal. Which is why they only show up on some coins and don't show up on others, and also why it sometime takes them a while to show up at all. In other words, a bit of toning has to occur before some of them become visible, while some others apparently show up immediately after the coin is struck.

    And of course them being in the metal itself is why they cannot be safely removed. And, to the best of my knowledge PCGS still has a standing $25,000 reward for anybody who can come up with a way to safely remove milk spots.

    Me, I don't expect it can ever be done precisely because they are in the metal, not on it.
  21. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    I dont think we'll ever know if someone figures out how to do it. You could make far more money buying them at a discount to resell after fixing them then you would from a reward having to tell everyone else how to do it
    -jeffB likes this.
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