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Grade this Lincoln


syzygy
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What grade is this coin?  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. What grade is this coin?

    • VF35
      0
    • EF40
      2
    • EF45
      1
    • AU50
      4
    • AU58
      3
    • MS60
      2
    • MS61
      1
    • MS62
      3
    • MS63
      3
    • MS64
      1
    • MS65
      0
    • MS66
      1


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I don't collect US coins any longer, but I did in the past. Help me understand the MS votes. What's the impact of the grinding marks at the temple, earlobe, cheek, beard, and shoulder? I can understand the weak strike and degraded hubs of the time leading to the overall softening of the image, but those contact marks surely knock this coin out of the MS category?

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... I can understand the weak strike and degraded hubs of the time leading to the overall softening of the image, but those contact marks surely knock this coin out of the MS category?

 

Not by understanding (but I'm not saying I grade this coin as MS). The MS designation holds as long as the coin has no circulation wear (i.e., is truly uncirculated). There is the assumption that the contact marks occurred at the mint, but their presence, no matter how extensive, should not disqualify it from an MS.

 

I have seen coins fresh out of bank rolls that looked pretty beaten up - particularly the Jeffalo nickels and also some Kennedy halves. I think this is why people say that AU coins can look a lot better than MS60 coins sometimes.

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Not by understanding (but I'm not saying I grade this coin as MS). The MS designation holds as long as the coin has no circulation wear (i.e., is truly uncirculated).  There is the assumption that the contact marks occurred at the mint, but their presence, no matter how extensive, should not disqualify it from an MS.

 

 

 

I agree to the point of looking at a uniform array of marks across the highest points of the obverse. I guess I would call that evidence of wear as opposed to contact marks. I could counter that argument with the reverse. It doesn't show a comparable pattern, although the photograph leaves open the question (in my mind) was to whether the lower steps of the monument are weakly struck (as would be expected based on the overall soft quality of this piece absent wear) or exhibit a trace of wear.

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I agree to the point of looking at a uniform array of marks across the highest points of the obverse. I guess I would call that evidence of wear as opposed to contact marks. I could counter that argument with the reverse. It doesn't show a comparable pattern, although the photograph leaves open the question (in my mind) was to whether the lower steps of the monument are weakly struck (as would be expected based on the overall soft quality of this piece absent wear) or exhibit a trace of wear.

 

For me, the issue of weak strike versus wear that you mention is a very difficult one to resolve and I think it is a very good point. Seems like an issue where many years of experience with particular coins may be where the expertise lies. I don't have that many years and it's a challenging issue for me, to say the least.

 

Certain years of coins have some known weak strike characteristics that I know to expect (or at least look up). So that's one point I look at.

 

Another is the continuity of luster. That is, no interruptions in the brilliance as you rotate the coin back and forth.

 

The diagrams showing the high points of coins are helpful to look at for the first points of wear versus weak strike. The reasoning being that if the highpoints show no wear, but other features are soft, it suggests strike issues. One problem with this, however, is that I see circulated coins all the time that do not show even signs of wear - sometimes dramatically so.

 

Anyways, those are some of the ways I use to try and figure out if a coin is truly MS. I would like to hear from others.

 

 

(BTW: in my original post, "Not by understanding" should be "Not my understanding")

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I'd say MS63. I don't think that it's a particularly weak strike for a Lincoln of that era. They used the dies to death in the mid 60s. Coinage shortages and all that.

 

There are no indications of wear that I can see. The color is good and the baggie-ness is quite normal. I'd be very happy to have such an example in my Lincoln Unc set.

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I feel comfortable around the 62/63 area. Not an amazing strike, but not a horrible one either. With it in hand it may fall to the 60/61 area. Grading Lincolns from photographs is difficult for me.

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  • 1 year later...

Interesting case. I also thought the strike was somewhat weak for a 60s Lincoln, considering the deep strikes I've seen. "In God We Trust" seems rather close to the height of the top rim. Another way of looking at the MS issue is how many of these high-point nicks are a similar shape and direction. There's a possibility this could happen at the mint if the penny fell on an abrasive surface.

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