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PCGS finally gets a proof 1910 rouble in their census


marv
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Just back from PCGS: my proof 1910 rouble. I've had this for 20 years and vacillated many times over which service to use for grading. Having been disappointed lately by the results of an NGC world coin submission, I decided to try PCGS. It is their first such proof 1910 graded.

 

NGC has graded several proof 1910 roubles, but nothing higher than 65.

 

I've tracked proof roubles for years, and it's always puzzled me why the auction houses reference the circulation strike numbers when describing proofs as if those numbers somehow had a bearing on the scarcity (or lack thereof) of a particular proof date. Judging by the numbers graded at both companies, it seems to me that the proof mintages of all the Nicholas roubles are roughly the same.

 

It's also apparent to me that, when grading these proofs, both N... and P... give colorful toning a lot of weight, sometimes tipping a "5" to a "6" or a "6" to a "7."

 

 

PCGS pop listing for the 1910 proof rouble (showing a picture of my rouble as the only one listed) ==> http://images.pcgs.c...043544_2200.jpg

 

This picture doesn't show the reflectivity of the coin - but taking pictures of proof coins I believe is really tough. For example, their "secure plus" picture associated with the cert looks to me like a scan - lifeless ==> http://images.pcgs.com/SecurePlus/25043544_large.jpg The picture in the pop report, the previous link in this post, shows the coin in a much more realistic view, but still no mirrors.

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Congrats! Did you have the coin for 20 years or just flip-flop b/t services in general?

 

I have had the coin for 20 years but now I'm thinking more of beginning to sell, so for this coin, it had to be in a slab. But trying to find the appropriate venue for selling is much harder than buying, especially with this type of material. My feeling now is that European houses are getting more for high grade Russian than a house like Heritage or Markov.

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Congratulations, Marv! :bthumbsup: You neglected to mention that they gave you a PR-66.

It's really a spectacular coin, and a scarce year at that!

 

Thanks Bob. I know that 1910 is a scarce year for circulation strikes, but we don't know if it's any scarcer for proof strikes. I purposely avoid tying the known mintage for "business" strikes to proof issues. But you're right in that the circulation strike mintage seems to carry weight with prospective buyers when it comes to proofs. Why, I don't know.

 

It would seem like somewhere in the mint records there would be data on the proof strikes for each year. It's strange that it's never been reported - or perhaps records were destroyed during the revolution or during hectic times of the Leningrad siege. The yearly answers by the Russians to interrogatories from the US that the RNS journals so capably reported seemed never to carry any data on proof strikes.

 

On another subject, are you familiar with a Russian dealer named Barkovski or something like that? I have heard that he is the Sincona collection consignor. True?

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That secure plus picture is just awful, especially next to the pop listing photo!

They are very tricky to photograph... but I must agree that most of their pictures are not by much better that just simple scans... :)

Just back from PCGS: my proof 1910 rouble.

Congratulation, it's a nice looking coin you've got there!

 

The only Barkovski I know of is an actor (about 50 years old: Сергей Дмитриевич Барковский). By the way, about 11 years ago he played a role of a specialist in cultural valuables in TV show "Spetzotdel" (Special Section). He played Nicholay Dore, who worked for Russian special services, trying to stop cultural valuable (stolen or rare paintings, etc) to escape from Russia, and as a cover he was a head of a little firm for authentication cultural value of different objects. There was something 12 episodes and one of them was about а descendant of some Russian Duke who brought an exposition of his and his family collection of coins to Russia, that was partly stolen and Dore (played by Barkovski) found them and uncovered a set up by this descendant to steel his own coins and claim the insurance, as he spent his fortune betting on horses... Well, this Barkovski possibly a collector himself...

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Thank you all for your comments. Knowing that TPG (third party grading - for the uninitiated) affects ultimate selling price strongly, and aware that there is a certain amount of luck with any given submission, I was somewhat concerned about the grade this coin would achieve. So I was able to exhale finally when I saw the result. When I purchased the raw coin over 20 years ago, I looked at it reasonably closely and was convinced it was worth what I would be paying. I didn't have any thoughts of selling at the time, and the grading services were not yet grading foreign coins. Recently, when I started to think about disposing of my coins, I examined the rouble again, and my thought was that it was flawless and would come back 67 (or higher). Then I made the mistake of looking at it with my super sharp high power (200x) Meiji zoom stereo microscope. It's a wonderful experience to view a high quality coin that way. One sees in detail how the design is lifted from the raw metal blank and how each design element is crafted by the engraver. But at the same time, one sees a myriad of defects, magnified of course way beyond what the grader would see with his/her 5x loupe. After I looked through the microscope, I was convinced that it would come back only, at best, a 65. So I'm happy now. IMOP, the grade is spot-on as the toning hides a few tiny marks in the fields viewable with the standard loupe.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Marv:

 

There was a 1910 proof rouble in an NGC slab, but only PR-63 grade, which just sold at Gorny & Mosch in Munich (only four hours ago!) for €7,500 plus juice. The estimate was €3,000 (lot 5134).

 

It was a very interesting, yet somewhat disappointing auction as far as the Russian coins were concerned. Kind of slim pickings, and many of the better things didn't find an interested buyer (including the heavily-hyped, unlisted, presumably unique Paul I rouble, lot 5056 with an estimate of €200,000 -- talk about egg on one's face). Couple of pricey items were also withdrawn ... 1895 pattern gold 10 roubles (lot 5128 which must have been a very ambitious fantasy piece) and lot 5075 which had an erroneous description (so-called "Trubetzkoi rouble"). Lot 5132, an 1897 donative gold "Imperial" 10 rouble coin, did very well (€150,000 with an estimate of €100,000). A couple of Yefimoks were ex Hesselgesser; these also did quite well.

 

I'll post some more details in a separate thread. And no, I didn't win anything! :cry:

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I'll post some more details in a separate thread. And no, I didn't win anything! :cry:

 

Here is a link to my other post with some more details about my experience at the auction:

http://www.coinpeople.com/index.php?/topic/33447-5kop1760-mm-bitkin-r1-grading-u/page__view__findpost__p__585751

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