Thoughts on cabinet friction from a professional grader.

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by TypeCoin971793, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    Very valid argument if you have a provenance to a collection that was stored in a cabinet. If you don’t, how do you differentiate between cabinet friction and wear?
     
    thomas mozzillo likes this.
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  3. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    We can always go the other direction...

    This coin was graded VF-38 when it is most clearly a VF-39! :rolleyes:
     
    gronnh20 likes this.
  4. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Hmm. Is a "cabinet" more like:
    • A mint bag?
    • A teller drawer?
    • A cash register?
    • A countertop?
    I mean, they're all "a place you put coins"... :troll:
     
  5. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    Cabinet friction dates back to when well financed collectors had their best coins in wood cabinets with felt or velvet cloth such as the Eliasburg collection
    [​IMG]
    photo from pinterest.

    Sliding the drawers in or out could allow the cloth fibers to repeatedly come in contact with the coins surfaces, but the softer metals and the larger coins would be most affected. Jim
     
    Paul M. and Kasia like this.
  6. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    Cabinet friction is used synonymously with roll friction. So while finding a coin with cabinet friction might be difficult, finding coins with roll friction is extremely easy, especially in some series that are plagued by it (eg Saints & SLQs).

    The TPGs differentiate between wear and roll friction by looking for some evidence of contact in the fields of the coins rather than isolated high point wear.

    I have had this argument at length with Doug several time in the past on this forum. I don't need to re-litigate it again, but the short version of my point is, do you want the following coins to have the same grade?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Both coins show friction on the knee and breast, but there is an undeniable difference in quality between the two coins. If you believe that "wear is wear" and that any coin with high point friction is relegated to AU, then both of these coins would be graded AU58. Under the TPG methodology that I agree with, the first coin would be graded either AU58 if they think there is field friction or low MS whereas the second coin would be graded premium gem.

    So my question to you is, do you think these coins should be the same grade?
     
    Paul M., calcol, Jaelus and 1 other person like this.
  7. okbustchaser

    okbustchaser Just plain busted

    Do I, personally? Yes, both show high point wear.

    Do I think that a TPG would grade them equally? No, that's not how they rate coins.

    Do I even think that a TPG SHOULD grade them equally? No, that's not what the average collector/dealer wants them to do. They want the TPG to price the coin for them rather than them having to do it on their own.
     
    micbraun likes this.
  8. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    Almost every single Saint shows high point wear on the knee/breast. How would a collector or dealer price the coins when they are all graded the same?

    You say that both of those coins are AU58. Two follow up questions. Do you think those two coins are the same quality, meaning would you price them the same? If not, how would you price them?
     
  9. okbustchaser

    okbustchaser Just plain busted

    No, I don't think the TPGs should label them the same. Nor should they be priced the same. But, grading coins is not their job. Their job is to label them based on how they would sell in the open market. Always has been dating back to their origins trying to create a commodities trading market for sight unseen coins.

    The name "third party grader" is a misnomer. Their purpose has never been to grade coins. They exist solely for the purpose of ranking them at specific pricing levels--REGARDLESS OF THE COIN'S ACTUAL GRADE.
     
    Insider likes this.
  10. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    Agreed, but IF they were both graded the same, at say AU58, how would a collector price these two coins which are vastly different in overall quality?
     
  11. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    Looks like they are in plastic holders in that picture.

    Based on the technical definitions of AU and MS (which are incidentally proudly displayed on the TPGs’ websites), it must have no wear to grade MS. It is a fundamental definition.

    Are they the same quality? No, most definitely not. The second one is far superior in quality.

    Should they be the same price? HELL naw. I’m not currently in the market for one, and nor have I studied the market for this issue, so I can’t quote prices.

    So we are at an impasse. By the fundamental definitions put in place decades ago and advertised by the TPGs, they are the same grade. But they are most definitely not the same quality and should not have the same value. Yet the holder (more like the Registry points) does not reflect this, and the mentality that lower-grade coins must be worth less than higher-grade coins prevents it from realizing its true value. This is a problem. I’m sure we both can agree.

    So how can this be fixed without resorting to overgrading? Publicly redefine the standard to something like “for an MS coin there must be no wear in the fields.” They have yet to do this. If they can set a standard for what they do instead of sweeping it under the rug, then I’d have much less of a problem with it.

    But you and Baseball have been arguing for a fluid grading system (or, more-accurately, pricing system) with no hard stops. There is nothing more fluid than letting the free market set the price of each individual coin without a “grade” holding it within a bracket of value, given that there is a baseline that it is genuine and problem-free (these standards can be mush more easily defined than say MS-64 vs 65). Each buyer looks at the coin to see if it has the condition and look that they want for their collection, and will determine if the price is what they want to pay. Each coin would hold its own in terms of its state of preservation, strike, and eye appeal. But that would be woefully inconvenient in a market where collectors need to be told whether or not their coin is a nice coin and whether or not it fits in their collection.
     
  12. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Morgandude11, posted: "I will simplify the issue greatly. Cabinet friction= storage. It is no different than Morgans making contact with each other, and causing marks. The coins haven’t circulated, therefore, they are MS. The whole spiel overcomplicstes what I see as a very straightforward issue."

    Sometimes "simple" is the same as "clueless" which you are not!

    "Cabinet Friction" was a term concocted by coin dealers to sell slightly circulated coins that were never near a cabinet. Cabinet friction is abrasive wear. When MS was defined as "no trace of wear," it allowed some "wiggle room."

    desertgem, posted: "Cabinet friction dates back to when well financed collectors had their best coins in wood cabinets with felt or velvet cloth such as the Eliasburg collection."

    The image shows his coins were in custom plastic holders.

    Lehigh96, posted: "Cabinet friction is used synonymously with roll friction. So while finding a coin with cabinet friction might be difficult, finding coins with roll friction is extremely easy, especially in some series that are plagued by it (eg Saints & SLQs)."

    :rolleyes::facepalm: Cabinet friction MAY BE used synonymously with roll friction, but ONLY by confused or uninformed folks who cannot tell the difference!

    "The TPGs differentiate between wear and roll friction by looking for some evidence of contact in the fields of the coins rather than isolated high point wear."

    Good in theory and many old-timers like to say "clean fields = BU." Unfortunately, large coin such as Morgan dollars can be worn down into the AU range and have full luster in their fields. See many hundreds of them a week like that.


    "I have had this argument at length with Doug several time in the past on this forum. I don't need to re-litigate it again, but the short version of my point is, do you want the following coins to have the same grade?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Both coins show friction on the knee and breast, but there is an undeniable difference in quality between the two coins. If you believe that "wear is wear" and that any coin with high point friction is relegated to AU, then both of these coins would be graded AU58. Under the TPG methodology that I agree with, the first coin would be graded either AU58 if they think there is field friction or low MS whereas the second coin would be graded premium gem.

    So my question to you is, do you think these coins should be the same grade?"

    This is a very silly choice of coins. The top coin is AU and IMO, it will be graded low MS by any TPGS.

    The bottom coin is FULL MS and the only crazy numismatists in the world who would call it AU are you, me, and Doug. :D Not, wishing to be called crazy, over this "gem," I'll go with the MS guys on this coin at any major TPGS. :p
     
  13. okbustchaser

    okbustchaser Just plain busted

    Here's a radical thought...How about that collector actually does a modicum of research and decides for himself what HE thinks it is worth to him and price it accordingly. Just like any other item being sold if he undervalues it the owner won't sell it. If, on the other hand, he overvalues it then he STILL got it for what it was worth to him--or less.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  14. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    I’m sorry, but that’s an absolute dodge of my question. If all of the Saints are graded AU58 because they all have high point friction, no amount of research will help them because all the coins will have the same grade and share the same price guide.

    The two coins I showed represent an AU58/low MS vs a premium gem. The difference in price is thousands of dollars, but only if the assigned grades actually reflect the difference in overall quality.
     
  15. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    It’s nice to see that you admit that the “wear is wear” philosophy occasionally creates a severe grading problem. As for how to address the problem, I’m fine with how the TPGs do it. They simply refer to high point friction with the absence of field friction for certain series as “roll friction” instead of classifying it as wear.

    Having a few circulated coins grade as MS because they were mistaken for a coin with “roll friction” is far preferable than any Saint that looks like the second one I posted above grade as an AU coin.

    You seem to want a system that provides an avenue to achieve perfection. That doesn’t exist, and even if it did, the inherent subjectivity in grading would make grading perfection impossible. The best you can do is understand the TPG grading practices and then apply your more stringent grading philosophy to eliminate coins that you disagree with the assigned grade.
     
  16. okbustchaser

    okbustchaser Just plain busted

    How am I dodging the question? I have stated over and over that they would not be priced the same way. Nor should they be. Premium coins receive premium prices. Not all AU Saints are worth X dollars. Doesn't mean that they aren't the same grade, though. Some are worth less than book...some are worth considerably more. Some MS 66s are worth more than some other 66s, too. They can be worth less than strong 65s or more than weak 67s.
     
  17. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    What I was suggesting was that, since grading is imperfect and subjective, it would be best eliminate assigning a number grade altogether. The two main problems with the ancient coin market are tooling/doctoring and fakes. The rest of the market operates by the collector judging the condition and price for themselves and buying accordingly. Having an authority which would certify that a coin is authentic and has no deceptive doctoring would go a long way in boosting confidence in the hobby and protecting the collectors, which is why the TPGs were formed in the first place.

    There is only one grade in ancient coins which has any standards whatsoever: FDC, or Fleur de Coin. For all other conditions, no one cares about the precise grade, and the prices realized naturally increase between basal and FDC. With the advent of the internet, it is really easy to compare one coin to others which have sold and get an idea as to how much they are worth.
     
    thomas mozzillo likes this.
  18. thomas mozzillo

    thomas mozzillo Well-Known Member

    A short quote from an article in Coin World (4/22/19 issue) written by Q. David Bowers. "...Official ANA grading standards are abandoned by the leading services......It seems that all of the circulated About Uncirculated 58 gold coins of yesteryear are now miraculously Mint State. What to do about this? Nothing? Something?". I sure don't have the answer to this. Maybe someone on this site does. IMO "cabinet friction" is nothing but a marketing ploy. I'll just stick to 'Buy the coin, not the holder"
     
    Paul M. likes this.
  19. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    You are living by the fallacy that a coin whose technical grade is AU-58, based on the established standards, can only be valued as an average AU-58. You have demonstrated that should be incorrect, and you have no one disagreeing with you. The market does not see it that way, and that is what is at fault here.

    If offered the two coins, with the second being significantly more expensive, I would not hesitate to pay more for the clearly-superior coin (If that is what I was looking for for my collection). How much more, I’d have to study the market and see what’s out there and how it compares with what’s available.
     
  20. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    That idea is a ridiculous fantasy. Go collect ancients if that’s what you like.
     
  21. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    It’s ridiculous only for those who are anal about whether a coin should be a 66 or 67. In the end, does it really matter?

    How do you think US coins were traded before the Sheldon system?
     
    Paul M. likes this.
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