Featured Peace Dollars (Is strike an element of grade?)

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Lehigh96, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    Peace Dollars are often found weakly struck. It is not uncommon to find uncirculated Peace Dollars with incomplete reverse lettering and mushiness on the obverse. The TPG's claim that strike is an important factor in determining the grade of a coin. Yet they seem to contradict themselves when grading coins from a series that were often weakly struck. Take a look at the photos below. Shown are five gem state Peace Dollars ranging from MS65-MS67 in grade. I have organized them by strike. The top coin is the most weakly struck Peace Dollar I have ever encountered. The second coin is just a little bit better struck. The third coin has an average strike and the last two are fully struck.






    If strike is really an element of grade then how can all five of these coins be within 2 points of each other. In terms of luster and eye appeal, I think that all five coins are undeniably strong. There are subtle differences in the surface preservation which accounts for the difference in grades of the five coins, but it seems that the strike of the coins has been eliminated from the process.

    Have the TPG's adopted a process whereby they will ignore strike as an element of grade for coins that routinely are weakly struck? Are they saying that because Peace Dollars are routinely found weakly struck that we will not penalize the grade for being weakly struck?

    Peace Dollars are not the only coins that are afforded this kind of strike leniency. The TPG's also do this with regards to "O" mint Morgan Dollars. However, I contend that the strike range for "O" mint Morgan Dollars is much smaller than the range for Peace Dollars. What I mean is that I have never seen a fully struck "O" mint Morgan. They are all weakly struck and some are just worse than others. But the Peace Dollars as we can see from the photos above come both poorly struck and fully struck. Therefore, I contend that they should not ignore or downplay the role of strike with regards to grade

    The coins are shown in order from weakest strike to strongest strike. I contend that they are also show in order from lowest grade to highest. IMO, the first coin is an MS63, coins 2-4 are MS65, and the last coin is an MS66. Can you guess the assigned grades by the TPG's? For accuracy's sake, the marks on the cheek of coin #2 are on the holder. Additionally, some of the photos are taken by me and others by Heritage. Can you guess which photos are mine?

    I will send an uncirculated Peace Dollar to the first person who can do both.
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  3. FreakyGarrettC

    FreakyGarrettC Wise young snail

    1. MS66
    2. MS65
    3. MS67 Your picture
    4. MS65
    5. MS67
  4. skrilla

    skrilla That Guy

    That last one is suh-weet! (at least the photo shop pic:eek:)
  5. zaneman

    zaneman Former Moderator

    It depends on a lot of factors how the TPG's will grade it. For example, is it a 1924? If yes they are going to let a little more striking weakness slide than say a 1922, despite the fact that some 1924's come strongly struck. They are typically super strict on some of the S mints as far as striking weakness and what is acceptable for a 65 (for example 1928-s). They also tend to be stricter on granting gem status to 1927-p peace dollars. It more or less varies by date and mintmark.

    I'd grade the coins as follows:
    1. 65
    2. 64+ I could even see this coin as high as 66 if the marks on the cheek arent quite as pronounced as they appear in the photo, and also if the stained looking area on the obverse that goes from the rim up through God is lighter than it appears to be.
    3. 66
    4. 65. I don't know why but most of the nicely toned peace dollars I see are 1922-d.
    5. 66.
  6. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  7. Coinfreak~24

    Coinfreak~24 Active Member

    1. Ms65
    2. Ms64
    3. Ms66
    4. Ms65
    5. Ms66
  8. USS656

    USS656 Here to Learn Supporter

    Last three photos are yours
    1. 65
    2. 66
    3. 66
    4. 64
    5. 65
  9. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

  10. TheNoost

    TheNoost huldufolk


    # 1&3 are your pics
  11. USS656

    USS656 Here to Learn Supporter

    Sorry :eek:
  12. rzage

    rzage What Goes Around Comes Around .

    That 1925 is beautiful is the '25 #1 or # 5 , either way I say MS-66* FOR THE '25 AND COULD SEE IT AS A 67 .
  13. 900fine

    900fine doggone it people like me

    The coins differ by two full points. That's a fair spread - hardly negligible.

    How can one say the 2-point spread is due solely to surface preservation ? Particularly if the differences are "subtle" ?

    It's more reasonable to conclude that part of the 2-point spread is due to strike... maybe most of it.

    From these 5 coins alone, I certainly can't conclude that TPGs ignore strike on Peace dollars.

    Add to the 2-pts the possibility that (in the TPG's eyes) the best coin almost made the next grade up, while the lowest coin is low end, and it's possible the true difference in the TPG's eyes was really 3 points.
  14. 900fine

    900fine doggone it people like me

    Another thought...

    Let's take a look at a given series and find the best and worst strikes known. Let's call the difference the "strike spread".

    Now we take any coin in that series and see where it is in the sliding scale of strike spread (say 0-10).

    A poorly struck series has a small strike spread, since even the best coins aren't that good. A series known for strong strikes will have lemons, so the difference between best and worst is much larger - a larger strike spread.

    A series with small strike spread would have less of the total grade due to strike, since there is less strike variance. Peace dollars are in this category. Strike has less weight, but not zero weight.

    Anyway... I'm just thinking out loud. :loud::whistle: Any comments ?
  15. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    I think you are assuming that the coins with the worst strike have the lowest grades assigned by the TPG.

    My point is that is surface preservation shows only subtle differences and the eye appeal and luster are equal for all of the coins, then the determining factor in grade would have to be strike given that there is a huge disparity in the strike between the top two coins and bottom two coins.

    Now we can plainly see that the surfaces of the first coin are not as good as the other four and it definitely has the worst strike, therefore how can it grade the same as any of the other coins. I have no problem with the second coin which is also very weakly struck being market graded to gem because of its incredible surfaces and luster, but again, is it equal in grade to any of the bottom three? From the photos, one would expect that the last coin be the highest graded coin of the group. Is it?

    I do agree that it would be foolish to conclude that the TPG's ignore strike as an element of grading Peace Dollars after looking at five coins, but it is definitely something to consider and discuss.
  16. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    1 ms66
    2 ms65
    3 ms65 your pic
    4 ms66
    5 ms67 you pic

    now that i read it lol, there
  17. mrbrklyn

    mrbrklyn New Member

    As for the premise, strike is counted in the ANA guild above 65, as it says it should have a strong strike. So in theory anything 65 and above must consider the strike, but also within context of the year and mint of the coin.

    That being said, IMO, strike isn't emphasized enough and I find that quit puzzling. A coin born an ugly duckling should remain an ugly duckling. Strike to me is the single largest factor of a coins condition and attractiveness. Grading is so fixated on post mintage damage that they nearly forget about the strike, especially in the AU and below class. I also think the single number grading system is flawed. Its flawed in Ice Skating, it is flawed in coins.

    If I had my dithers we would have a triple number grading system: Strike, Wear, and Surface
  18. coleguy

    coleguy Coin Collector

    Good question. If it wasn't, there'd be no need for various points within MS. If strike were not an element, we might define every coin struck as MS 70...or the best a coin can be after struck, regardless of quality. Of course, depending on who's assigning the grade and what the value based on it's outcome may be, we've all seen this logic twisted and skewed beyond belief.
  19. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    I'm curious now who graded each coin, and what they say about how they graded it.
  20. CamaroDMD

    CamaroDMD [Insert Clever Title]

    OK, here are my thoughts:

    1. MS66
    2. MS65
    3. MS66 (Your Photo)
    4. MS67
    5. MS67 (Your Photo)
  21. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    I really like the term STRIKE SPREAD. However, I disagree that Peace dollars have a small strike spread. There is a huge difference between the top and bottom coin IMO. I don't think the strike spread is nearly as big as some other series, SLQ's, Lincolns, Jeffersons etc.

    My problem with the apparent exclusion of strike as an element of grading is that it is not done for the other elements. We hear all of the time that a coin has a grade limiting mark. In the case of the first two coins in this thread, would they not have grade limiting strikes? I just can't see the first coin grading as a gem with that combination of strikes and surface preservation. And the second coin should be limited to MS65 despite its other exemplary attributes.
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