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How to determine higher grades of merc dimes?

Once it's clear that a coin has fully split bands, what are the factors determining grading after that?

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  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,384 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @matklang I use Grading Coins By Photographs by Bowers although it's not my only reference. It's also nice to have some TPG graded coins on hand to study. Peace Roy

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  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Full bands is a designation apart from numerical grade

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • Sorry, the link only took me back to this site!!

  • JWPJWP Posts: 14,520 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I used the ANA grading guide book that has pictures and descriptions of each type of Grade for that particular coin. It is really helpful.

    USN & USAF retired 1971-1993
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  • justindanjustindan Posts: 656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I inherited this Merc. I may choose to have it graded or sell as is. The pictures don't do the luster justice. Any thoughts on where it would land on the grading scale?


  • The cheek looks a little rough (could be toning) and some dings in the fields, but a beautiful, deep strike on the reverse. I'd guestimate it at an MS 62 FSB.

  • ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 7,998 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @justindan Better photos of the obverse are needed. The reverse seems fine but the obverse could cause it to grade anywhere from an AU-58 to MS-62. If it's AU it's not worth grading.

  • justindanjustindan Posts: 656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Tried two types of lighting. One in the mylar flip. One raw. It has some purplish toning that doesn't show in the pictures.

    Thanks! @ifthevamzarockin and @matklang

  • Looks better out of the mylar, though I just noticed the flat spot on the rim by the letter E and what appears to be light roughness by the nape of the neck. Looks like an MS 62 still more or less. The rev dings on the fasces concerned me somewhat. My guess is you'd net as much on ebay without certifying it. It's strongest point to me is the crispness of the rev strike: nice bands and ribbons.

  • justindanjustindan Posts: 656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks @matklang

  • ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 7,998 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 8, 2022 2:44PM

    Your photos are good and please don't think I'm being difficult. ;)

    You first photo shows a scuff on the neck and cheek you need to get a photo that shows that better.

    Your new photos don't show that as much as the first one but they are good photos and the coin looks better in your new photos.

  • justindanjustindan Posts: 656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not being difficult at all. I appreciate the help. I inherited many items and need advice on how to get a general idea of grade and what to look for. Taking pictures of coins that are high quality pictures is much harder than I thought. If you have any tips for capturing a better photo of the obv and rev I'm happy to try and can upload them. Thanks again.

  • ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 7,998 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The best thing I can tell you is take a bunch of photos with different light & angles until you get one that shows.
    Look through them and pick the best one (not a dozen) and post that. ;)

  • To get really nice pictures i recommend a digital microscope. I bought a Tomlov and connected it to an old 24" flatscreen tv. It makes a mercury dime mint mark look 5" tall and crystal clear. It also allows you to fine tune the focus with the remote control and records everything to a micro SD card at the push of a button on the remote. I also have a celestron digital but the Tomlov was cheaper, more functional and easier to use.

  • justindanjustindan Posts: 656 ✭✭✭✭✭
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