Thoughts on condition of raw US gold coin pickups

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by dbc99, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. dbc99

    dbc99 Active Member

    Hello, I've been putting together a type set of US coins and picked up a few raw gold coins recently, and was curious to hear thoughts on their condition / grade, so that I can learn how to match up the coin shops' claims with the actual coin condition.
    1911 Indian Head Eagle -

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  3. dbc99

    dbc99 Active Member

    1853 1 dollar. Boy, this was hard to photograph, even with a macro lens, this coin is tiny

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  4. dbc99

    dbc99 Active Member

    1900 Liberty Half Eagle.

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  5. Rheingold

    Rheingold Well-Known Member

    Hi dbc99,
    your coins are perfect for a type set.
    All of them seem to be in AU condition.
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  6. dbc99

    dbc99 Active Member

    What bumps the half eagle down from an MS to an AU? The dealer had marked it CU, and I did pay a bit of a premium over a regular AU coin.
  7. Rheingold

    Rheingold Well-Known Member

    The dealer had marked it CU

    Do yo mean BU?
    Maybe it could grade low MS, too.
    But to tell for sure, I need to see the coin in hand.
  8. mill rat41

    mill rat41 Member

    $10 - au58. Might go 62 at a TPG

    $1 - MS62

    $5 - MS62
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  9. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    Huh? There’s only a single G$1 and it certainly won’t grade MS at any legit TPG. I’d grade it XF45 or XF cleaned. 1853 is one of the most common years, this coin won’t get a bump or a pass because of scarcity. Better pics would help of closures.
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  10. mill rat41

    mill rat41 Member

    Typo - $5.

    Well, it looks a lot like one I used to own that NGC called 62, a few hairlines and all. Better pics, who knows?
  11. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    Sorry, but it’s clearly not UNC. AU50/53 would be a generous grade for this coin. Better pics may help determine if it was cleaned or not.

    Attached is an 1853 in MS62... not a high grade, but an UNC coin.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  12. dbc99

    dbc99 Active Member

    Yeah, I had thought the dollar is AU 50/53.
    I thought the 5 might be a 62/63
  13. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    Sorry, it’s AU as well. None of the coins is uncirculated. And they seem to have some minor problems. Why do you think they’re all raw?
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  14. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    1853 Gold Dol O Cl.jpg 1853 Gold Dol R.jpg

    Your coins all appear to be high end AU or low end Mint State. Some of the photos are a bit dark for grading.

    I would warn you that buying raw gold carries a risk. There have been counterfeits on the market for decades, as long as I've been a collector, which dates back to the 1960s.

    Nothing jumps out at me with the coins you have although I would be careful of the 1853 gold dollar. That one has been counterfeited for decades, and it is the most common date for counterfeit gold dollars.

    If it's any help, here is a high grade certified example.
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  15. dbc99

    dbc99 Active Member

    How can you identify an MS coin from an AU in pictures? I'm looking to learn. The 5$ had this cartwheely luster in hand which I thought was only present in MS coins?

    Also, what are the problems to look for? It's not as if coins graded MS 62 don't have problems either right?

    By raw I meant ungraded. For my basic type set, I mostly wanted to get reasonably good condition coins which I could actually hold, and just wanted to learn enough so that I don't overpay. If I ever get to buying any of the rarer coins or higher grades, then I'll go for graded. (Cited from:

    Thanks John Milton, will keep that in mind!
  16. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    You should buy a copy of the ANA grading guide. You could even buy a ten year old one if you see it in a used book store. The principles are the same.

    The easiest way to tell an AU from a Mint State piece is to look at the high points of the design. If they are rubbed and a little of the design detail is missing (The really fine detail), it’s not Mint State.

    Beyond that, learning what mint luster looks like is an indispensable tool. The best way to learn that is to purchase a Morgan Dollar in MS-64 or better. When you swirl the coin under a strong light source, you will see that the coin's surfaces play with the light in a cartwheel type pattern.

    This exists on all mint state coins, but the Morgan Dollar is one of the places were it shows up best. If that luster pattern is broken, the coin is not truly Mint State. There are Mint State cerified coins that have broken luster. They are not Mint State, but services get away with calling them that.

    1878 Dollar 8 TF O.jpg 1878 Dollar 8 TF R.jpg

    Note the bright area on both sides of this Morgan Dollar. When you swirl this coin under a light that area will rotate around the piece in a unbroken pattern. There are little scraches and the like. Those don't make the piece less than the Mint State grade, but they do lower the grade in the MS-60 to 70 range.

    Mint luster results from the many tons of pressure it takes to strike a coin with the dies. I think it takes 100 tons of pressure to strike a silver dollar. During that brief period, the metal flows like a liquid which creates this "cartwheel effect."
  17. Mike Thorne

    Mike Thorne Well-Known Member

    If you're interested in buying used coin books, look on Amazon and eBay. You'll find most everything there.
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