Featured What is a "CircCam", you ask? Look and see! And post yours!

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by lordmarcovan, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I've long been a fan of original grey-toned circulated silver with a "two-tone" look that provides contrast between darker fields and lighter devices. Most of you probably know what a "Cameo" proof coin is, right? A coin with deeply mirrored fields and frosty portrait or devices?

    Well, a "Circulation Cameo" is an entirely different thing, but the same principle, really. It is a darker toned coin that got lighter highlights as an effect of light rub on the higher portions of the design, giving it a sort of "cameo" contrast, though not in the same was a proof, of course, since we're talking about circulated coins.

    I wanted a good shorthand term to describe this look, so I came up with "Circulation Cameo", or "CircCam", for short. This term gained some acceptance on the PCGS/Collectors Universe boards, and I've seen members there adopt it and even use it in their eBay descriptions.

    Now, I could go on and on about this, but the best way to further describe the look is to post some examples.

    This is a CircCam. Rather dark, to be sure, but the coin was not that brown looking in hand after I bought it from these images. It was a perfect grey CircCam. A lot of this stuff might be too dark for some people's tastes, but I like me a good "black-n'-white" CircCam. I'm not a fan of completely-dark silver, but when you've got the contrast to make the design elements "pop", it's a good thing.


    A little more subtle, perhaps, but still a CircCam:


    Classic CircCam all the way. Not the best pictures, though (these are scans).


    A nice CircCam half.


    And a dollar.


    Though it's tougher to find them without straying into "environmental damage" territory, you can find copper CircCams, too.


    This Indian cent looks enviro-damaged and porous in the photos, but it had nice surfaces when examined in hand. I found it a totally acceptable CircCam for one of my old type sets, and it was cheap, too.


    In hand, this Trade dollar, despite a small rim nick, was as nice a CircCam as I had seen in a long time.


    An ancient bronze CircCam! (Actually struck in orichalcum, a sort of brass).


    And yes, there are gold CircCams, too, sometimes. This on a medieval hammered gold piece.


    I think you see what I'm talking about, now.

    Post some of yours!
    imrich, CircCam, Noah Finney and 23 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Bammed

    I own an 1849 seated dime that I got from some mysterious guy in Georgia once, he sent it with sharks teeth etc. It is a lovely dime but I never imaged it and it is in some bank vault somewhere.
  4. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    And then you have my spinoff term, applied to ancient bronze with "sandy", "earthen" or "desert" patina, that have a similar contrasting look between the fields and design devices (this usually as a result of the cleaning and conservation process after the coins were excavated). I affectionately refer to these as "DirtCams". :)

    Here is a Seleucid AE18 of Antiochus IX, featuring Eros and Nike. I am about to buy it from a forum member.


    I have had a lot of "DirtCams". I think I'll start a separate thread about them over on the Ancients board.

  5. Cascade

    Cascade The Blind VAMmer

  6. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator


    My old CU contacts are able to sneak up on me over here (after hiding in plain sight) when they've been incognito behind a different username! ;)
    scottishmoney likes this.
  7. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Bammed

    Here is one from Olbia with an interesting verdigris on it:

  8. Cascade

    Cascade The Blind VAMmer

    We're they Megalodon teeth?
    352sdeer likes this.
  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    @Cascade- I know how weird it sounds, but I actually prefer circulated Morgan dollars with that look to bright MS coins a lot of the time. I like 'em in VG-F-VF with CircCam contrast.

    Maybe. I don't remember. I just realized "Scottishmoney" must be a CU member I knew under a different username. We do find megalodon teeth here, and lots of other kinds.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
    Cascade likes this.
  10. okbustchaser

    okbustchaser Just plain busted

  11. paddyman98

    paddyman98 No Common Cents! Supporter

    1943 Steel CircCam?
    From my collection
    IMG_20161224_142920_8093.jpg IMG_20161224_142904_9417.jpg
  12. SuperDave

    SuperDave Free the Cartwheels!

  13. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Very cool. Not a "DirtCam" like the ones I posted, but it does sorta follow along the CircCam lines, in a different way.
  14. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    @okbustchaser- that's a classic black-n'-white CircCam!

    @paddyman98 - I never would have thought of a steel CircCam, but I suppose that could be considered one.

    @SuperDave - 'nother nice one!
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
    paddyman98 likes this.
  15. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes?

    Mmmm.... I am a huge fan of this look. Here are a few examples I own (just a bit of eye candy :) )

    JPA770 obverse.jpg JPA770 reverse.jpg JPA755 obverse.jpg JPA755 reverse.jpg JPA1011 obverse.jpg JPA1011 reverse.jpg

    Attached Files:

  16. Evan8

    Evan8 A Little Off Center

    This is the beginning of a little set I would like to complete. I love this contrast of this one

    Scratch on the slab
  17. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    @physics-fan3.14 - it is blatantly obvious to me that you totally "get it" when it comes to CircCams. Those are as nice as they come. I daresay they quickened my pulse a bit. I'm a World coin guy first and foremost, but when I do US coins, that's the sort of material which appeals most to me.

    @Evan8- that is a very handsome ZAR piece. I can tell in the second photo that it has that perfect look for a circulated piece of silver.
    Evan8 likes this.
  18. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

  19. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

  20. NSP

    NSP Well-Known Member

    Cool thread and cool coins! Here's a couple of mine that fit the bill.



    The 1819 is more CircCam on the reverse, but still cool. :happy:
  21. old49er

    old49er Well-Known Member

    Great thread, nice coins all. I love this type of toning. Here's a few I have. seatedlibertyhalf obv.jpg seatedlibertyhalf rev.jpg uscappedbustdime1835 obv.jpg uscappedbustdime1835 rev.jpg 1833 draped bust half dollar obverse.jpg 1833 draped bust half dollar reverse.jpg
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page