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 & Eccentric 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 way as 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!
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  3. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Buh bye

    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.
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  4. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric 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.

    ominus1, CygnusCC, kountryken and 8 others like this.
  5. Cascade

    Cascade The Blind VAMmer

  6. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric 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 Buh bye

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

  8. Cascade

    Cascade The Blind VAMmer

    We're they Megalodon teeth?
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  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric 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
  10. okbustchaser

    okbustchaser I may be old but I still appreciate a pretty bust Supporter

  11. paddyman98

    paddyman98 I'm a professional expert in specializing! 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 & Eccentric 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 & Eccentric 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
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  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 & Eccentric 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
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