Trade Dollar and PCGS question.

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by ldhair, Aug 8, 2022.

  1. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Years ago PCGS did not slab problem coins. They came back in what folks called a body bag. It was a flip with a label showing the problem.
    This coin came back as Altered Surfaces.
    Back in those days did PCGS bag all Trade Dollars with chop marks? I'm thinking they started straight grading them at some point. I could be wrong on this. Do you see another reason they called it Altered Surfaces?
    Image_0796.jpg Image_0806.jpg
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  3. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    yes, they used to body bag them.

    Now I believe they slab them & label them as chop mark
  4. mbogoman

    mbogoman Active Member

    Hard to tell from pics, but I see lots of micro hairlines, which may be evidence of a whizzing or something similar. That would definitely cause an "Altered Surfaces" determination. It's a little before I started collecting Trade Dollars, but I believe they called chop marks "Damage" and not "Altered Surfaces", but I could be wrong. For coins with multiple problems, they would often specify what they considered the worst problem on the label.
    ksparrow likes this.
  5. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Well-Known Member

    The more they slab,
    the more money they can make.
    Jack D. Young likes this.
  6. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    If it was the micro hairlines I would expect it to be in a "cleaned" body bag,
    I would still be worried that it might come back MS cleaned w/chop marks.

    Unless it has a thicker skin than photo'ed.
  7. Razz

    Razz Critical Thinker

    What is that big blob that looks like Patrick the starfish walking on water in front of liberty's leg? Is that altered? Doesn't look like a chop mark...
    AdamL likes this.
  8. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    That is probably why it had altered surfaces. They couldn’t identify it so it’s not like it should be and now it’s altered.
    AdamL and Razz like this.
  9. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    You pay the same price whether they slab it or body bag it. They actually make more money on a body bag since they dont have to use a slab for it
  10. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    They generally do now and have been for a while unless they think the chops are bogus
  11. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    I never thought of the chop mark being fake. Could be. Always figured PCGS was looking at something else. I may take the coin to Fun in January and pass it around.
  12. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Back then, and it's not much different today, Altered Surfaces was a kind of "catch all" term used to cover several different problems that weren't covered by their other problem designations. This is what they used to list -

    94|N-4 Altered Surface - Whizzed, harsh cleaning, thumbed over
    (using a pasty substance to cover defects or alter the appearance).

    - but that wasn't everything 94 covered, simply the ones they happened to list.

    And if you look at the whole list of designations -

    No Grades
    PCGS will not grade and encapsulate any coins with the following problems:

    82 Filed Rims Rim(s) and/or edge is filed.

    83 Peeling Lamination Potential for sealing damage.

    84 Holed and/or Plugged Any filled or non-filled hole.

    86 No Opinion – our experts are unable to determine a coin’s authenticity –
    fee not refunded

    87 Not Eligible For Service Selected – the coin is too valuable for the
    chosen service level – fee refunded

    90 Questionable Authenticity – the coin is most likely a counterfeit.

    91|N-1 Questionable/Artificial Toning (or Questionable Color for copper)

    92|N-2 Cleaned – surface damage due to a harsh, abrasive cleaning

    93|N-3 Planchet Flaw - Metal impurity or defect in the planchet –
    depends on severity

    94|N-4 Altered Surface - Whizzed, harsh cleaning, thumbed over
    (using a pasty substance to cover defects or alter the appearance).

    95|N-5 Scratch - depends on the severity of the scratch. Rim dent.

    96|N-6 No Service – coins we do not certify (i.e. medals, some privately
    made issues, etc.) or cannot certify (i.e. over-sized coins)

    97|N-7 Environmental Damage – i.e. corrosion, coating (lacquer),
    excessively heavy toning, etc.

    98|N-8 Damage – deliberate surface damage, i.e. graffiti, spot(s) removed,
    etc. – depends on severity

    99|N-9 PVC (Poly-Vinyl-Chloride) – a plasticizer used to produce vinyl that
    will leach out of the holder and onto the coin, eventually damaging the

    - you can see that nothing else really covers chop marks either. Though I do seem to remember them using 98 sometimes for chop marked coins. And you can also see that each designation usually covers numerous things, not just one.

    So it's likely that's why they used what they did with that coin.
  13. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    I see big, bright haloes around the stars from 2:00 to 4:00, and hairlines all over the fields.
  14. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    Thats all we need is more details...LOL
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