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Everything posted by marv

  1. I'd say 61 or 62 max. The face is very badly banged up.
  2. No one is perfect. Before PCGS/NGC, experts, even in Russia, were fooled by counterfeits. There is no reason to expect that it won't happen with reputable slabbing companies. The difference here is, if you buy the fake coin in the genuine slab, and you prove to PCGS/NGC that the coin is fake, they will pay you back your money. At least that 's what their guaranty says. Also, if you buy a coin in one of their slabs at a certain grade, and the coin is later downgraded by them, they will pay you the difference between the value at the old grade and the value at the new grade. I understand that PC
  3. I beg to differ. A house can be repaired, painted, fixed up and made to look almost like new (although it might be expensive). With a coin, one is generally stuck with it as it is, although some coins can have non-invasive contaminants removed to improve the appearance and make it more appealing to other buyers. This is done to ancient coins routinely. A naive or inexperienced buyer who might buy a coin for a high price that is bright and shiny thinking that it is new, only to learn later that the surfaces have been ruined by harsh or abrasive scouring, is stuck with the coin. There is no
  4. The reason people slab is more than just fashion. It's the same reason that people have diamonds graded by GIA, or that people have houses inspected prior to signing the purchase contract. It's unreasonable to expect everyone to be expert in everything they want to purchase. Just because someone appreciates fine art and would like to buy some for display at home doesn't mean that that person needs to become an old masters expert. It's easier to hire someone who has experience to perform the authentication or inspection or grading for the buyer and provide the confidence that what the buyer is
  5. I didn't mean to suggest that the coin was doctored. I just wanted to emphasize just how subjective grading can be. In this case, I personally think the coin is ugly and doesn't merit a '65 designation. To me, a 65 coin should have eye appeal, and, judging by the pictures, this coin does not. The toning is not attractive and obscures the detail, but that is again a personal opinion, and I would not buy the coin based on the pictures. Perhaps in person I would arrive at a different opinion. I have one of these pavillion dollars, and in my opinion, it is far superior in terms of eye appeal t
  6. When you have coins that are fairly scarce, it's easier to compare prices realized with the use of coinarchives.com. Case in point: a chinese republican dollar, minted for Chinese President Hsu Shih-Chang in 1921, the famouse pavillion dollar showing Hsu's bust in civilian dress, and a garden pavillion on the reverse. These are very scarce in nice condition. Here's a coin that was first sold in April, 2008, by Baldwin's Hong Kong as an AU coin for $1500 (+buyer's premium): Baldwin's Hong Kong April 2008 Sometime between April 2008 and January 2009, it may have been sent to NCS for
  7. Do you know the best reference for these French Colonies coins?
  8. Then novice collectors should visit a respected dealer to learn how and why coins are graded. I know in the US, at some of the large shows, there are also classes run by the American Numismatic Association that deal with grading concepts. I would imagine that there are similar events at your larger shows. These larger shows also attract many highly respected dealers who might allow one to spend some time looking at their offerings and discussing the reasons for their grades. The idea is to accumulate knowledge before you accumulate coins - not the other way around.
  9. It's impossible to accurately grade a coin from a picture. One has to take into account the quality of the coin's surfaces, not just the apparent wear or lack thereof on the devices, and an accurate evaluation of the surfaces cannot be made from a picture. Luster is one of the most important characteristics of an uncirculated coin. It is formed by the presence of microscopic metal flow lines caused by the pressure of the die upon the planchet. These lines are the most sensitive indicator of wear, and once gone in any particular spot, the coin cannot be considered to be uncirculated. In order t
  10. 1817 Pattern British crown by William Wyon, the "Incorrupta" (ex Willis collection). Mintage reported 18. Also have the other Wyon 1817 crown pattern, "Three Graces" (ex Wyon collection), mintage reported 50. These patterns were Wyon's attempts at designs for the 1818 "new" coinage for the British Empire. Pistrucci beat him out however for the 1818 coinage with his St. George design for the crown and his "bull head" for the half crown. Both heads on these Wyon patterns are similar, but in my opinion, the head on the Incorrupta is the finest rendering of George III on any coinage.
  11. I have the proof 1922AG NGC PF66 shown as my avatar. It was part of the complete 1922 proof set (AG & PL) owned by the famous violinist, Jasha Heifetz. There are no PF67 1922 roubles graded by either service. PCGS has graded one 1921AG PF66 (5 proofs graded total) and one 1922PL PF66 (2 proofs graded total). PCGS has not graded ANY 1922AG proofs at this time. I wish there were some data on the numbers of imperial proof coins minted, but I don't know of any. Robert Julian states that there is nothing published. However, I "think" that Bitkin provides rarity for proof strikes, is tha
  12. NGC has graded six proof 1921AG roubles: PF62: 3 PF64: 1 PF66: 1 PF67: 1 and, for comparison, six 1922AG roubles: PF63: 3 PF64: 1 PF65: 1 PF66: 1 (my avatar) and five 1922PL roubles: PF64: 4 PF65: 1
  13. I have a 10 centime 1843A bronze coin of the French Colonies. Krause lists mint state coins, but I believe my coin is a proof. It seems thicker than the coins I have seen, and it has proof fields. It is in pristine condition. Can anyone recommend a reference that would show whether proof examples of this coin exist as well as suggest a value for a proof example. It is not an essai, or at least I don't think it is as it does not have the word "essai" on the coin. Thanks, Marv Finnley
  14. Where did you see the price? I can't find a price yet on the mint's website.
  15. I don't have Bitkin, but the description says it's from a polished die (Von polierten Stempeln) if that's any help. Marv Finnley
  16. One of the strengths of a forum like this is the ability to exchange differing ideas. If everyone felt the same about collecting, there would be no reason to have this forum. However, I'm sorry that you feel threatened by my point of view. I wish you luck in your collecting endeavors. Marv Finnley
  17. Well, there are thoughtful, informed purchases, and then there are other types. I'll just repeat what I said previously: I do not look down on collectors who buy lower-end coins. It's their choice. I only advocate learning about coins and buying the nicest coins one can afford. I do believe that there are usually alternatives to harshly or abrasively cleaned coins that are also lower-end coins but much more attractive, and one can learn to differentiate. Personally, I would rather save my money to buy three or four attractive coins and have remaining "open holes" than spend the same amount to
  18. The point I am trying to get across is don't buy the first coin that comes along. There are always other coins, and those might be as inexpensive but nicer. I'm sure you've heard the adage, "buy the best coin that you can afford." The trick is to have an idea of the range of coins that are out there, and that involves study. Look at many coins to have some idea of which are the low end, and which are the higher end. In my opinion, buying a heavily cleaned coin is never a good idea, unless, of course, it's a very rare coin, and that is the only example that may come along in many years, and you
  19. Unless money is burning a hole in your pocket, why would you even consider buying this coin? It's ugly. Heavily cleaned and somewhat damaged on the reverse. Try to find a coin that is original even if worn, that shows its age gracefully, not one which someone has tried to brighten up in the mistaken idea that bright coins bring more money. I would not touch this coin no matter how cheap it was. In the end, you will not remember what you paid, but will be stuck looking at an ugly coin for as long as you own it, and when you inevitably sell, almost no one else will want it. Marv Finnley
  20. To me, the obverse is the most startlingly beautiful face of the coin, and, as such, represents the signature high relief of many of the earlier Greek coins. The reverse is less so. When you see the coin in person, the obverse simply pops out as no modern coin design has done, with the possible exception of the high-relief or ultra high-relief St. Gaudens $20 designs. This was obviously a powerful strike too, as some of the Ptolemy eagle coinage is not so well struck. Most of the 14 Ptolemys continued to portray the visage of Ptolomy I Soter on the coinage, as does this coin, almost to the tim
  21. That's 1887 not 1837. Victoria had been "on the throne" for 50 years. I hope she got off occasionally for some exercise. Also, I think you have a good idea, but I would like to see the images "clickable" so that one could get an enlargement by clicking on the thumbnail. That way, you wouldn't have to take up more space, and those that wanted to see a closeup could. Glad you like the crown. Those late Victoria proof crowns, both the 1887 and the 1893, were poorly cared for by the recipients, so it's almost impossible to find them without a lot of hairlines, and those are easy to find. T
  22. So nobody has any of these medals? Well I know they're rare.
  23. Don't use mechanical abrasion, i.e., don't polish it or rub it with anything. Use a dip. If it's very black, you may end up with something that is not very attractive after removing the toning, but, then it's not very attractive right now anyway. You can try dipping in a very diluted solution of dip, or use the concentrated stuff for a very short time. Either way, use successive dips with a rinsing in between with distilled water. Take a look, and if you want to remove more, then do it again. Rinse after each dip and decide if you want to continue or it looks like you want it to look. You
  24. This is becoming very interesting. I wonder if later date proofs exhibit the same effect? Why in the world would they let a proof go to collectors with such poor lettering alignment? Marv
  25. I am compiling a census of the oval copper Indian Peace medals, i.e., the medals of presidents Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, and Harrison. I include only those medals struck by the US Mint during the 19th century. These would normally have light brown, mahogany, or chocolate finishes with proof surfaces and sharply struck, very high relief devices. I exclude the modern yellow bronze restrikes mostly struck in the 20th century which have matte surfaces and less distinct, lower relief devices. Many of the round yellow bronze IP medals are still available from the mint for $38. However, the
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