What would need to be different for this Morgan to be a proof?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Kevin Farley, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Active Member

    I've looked up as much as I can and I'm still not sure what this coin would need for one to reasonably spend the money on getting it authenticated/graded as a Chapman or Zerbe. Any information would be greatly appreciated

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  3. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

  4. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Active Member

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
  5. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Active Member

  6. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    TPG's don't give an attribute to all varieties and special items.

    Maybe they can't.

    Maybe the items are in a category they choose not to.
    Look at all the Lincoln Memorials that are DDR's but are not attributed by the TPG's

    I know there are coins which the professionals don't agree on.
    Example: NGC does not view an S-3 IHC as a business strike so they grade it as PF, not MS.
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  7. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    It would need to have been struck from the correct dies for starters. It was not. It would also need to look like a proof strike. It does not.

    There are two different 1921 Morgans called proofs. The Chapman proofs are actual proof coins. There were about 20 made. The "Zerbe proofs" are not proof coins, just very nice business strikes that have a special look to them for some reason -- probably cherrypicked from a bank that got some nice ones.
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  8. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Active Member

    By "struck from the right die" do you mean the 17 berry reverse? Or something else thats not right? They look a lot alike to me but I know it takes more than just looking like one

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  9. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    There are many 17 berry (D1) reverse dies -- over 100, I think. One each was used for Chapman proofs and the "Zerbe proofs." They were most likely also used for business strikes. Yours is a 16 berry (D2) reverse. The berry is actually my least favorite way of telling the two reverses apart. The D1 reverse also has lots of scratches on the top arrowhead, while it is smooth on the D2. The D1 has the middle talon of the eagle's right (viewer's left) foot descending below the branch, the D2 lines it up with the bottom of the branch.
  10. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Active Member

    Awesome thanks for that. I never saw those differences anywhere else so thank you for explaining. Vamworld refers to the Chapman in the Smithsonian having 16 berries. Is that probably some kind of error like being struck through grease? Or can one only guess?
  11. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    I just took a look at this on the VAM 3BV page. It doesn't refer to the coin in the Smithsonian being a Chapman proof, but says that the obverse die matches the Chapman. Lots of funny stuff going on in 1921 surrounding some of these coins. The Smithsonian coin may have been made much later than the Chapman to fill another order for 1921 proof Morgans. The article mentioned (in VAMView 14) goes into a little more detail, but at the end of the day, is still speculative as to how the Chapman obverse and D2 reverse coin at the Smithsonian that appears to be a proof came to be.
    Kevin Farley likes this.
  12. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Active Member

    Yeah I agree, this is all so shady. Especially if PCGS and NGC are authenticating them and they go for possibly 6 figures. Weird
  13. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    The shady bits aren't so much that they're being authenticated, it's how they came to be in the first place. It doesn't rise to the level of the 1913 Liberty nickels, but abuses at the mint to benefit specific collectors were not an isolated incident. A rather thick book could probably be written on the subject, including some early proof coinage, making patterns to trade to collectors in the 19th century, the 1804 dollar restrikes, the 1913 Liberty nickel, 1921 proof dollars, error coins from SF in the early 70s, "lost" aluminum cents given to Congress, Mickley restrikes from old dies sold to a collector, ...
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  14. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    The coin does not appear to be proof like. Do not spend the money on a TPG. Any Morgan is a keeper in my opinion. Seal it, show it, keep it. Thanks for the post. Good luck
    Kevin Farley likes this.
  15. Jim Dale

    Jim Dale Well-Known Member

    I bought a set of 10 Uncirculated 1921 Morgans about 10 years ago. They have a few light scratches and nice luster. A few of them have toning on the edges (not the end of the coin) of the coins. Although I paid about $50 each, I thought they looked good, especially since I didn't know heads or tails about them. Now I know a little bit more (if that much) and I look at them and I like them more. Along the way, I got a 1921D and a 1921S, both look pretty good. I mentioned in another post that I want to learn how to take pictures so that I can take pictures of my coins. I just want to thank all of you for everything you tell novices like me.
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  16. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Active Member

    Yeah its sad. Better hope they don't kill the hobby and all the business that comes with it doing shady stuff like that. Anyway I did a lot of research into the 1921 proof subject and you explained better than anything I learned on my own. Its greatly appreciated
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