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Striations and Proof Grading

FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

This is a general question for anyone but mainly those who have had some grading experience at the TPGs (I think there are a few on these forums anyways). In Rick Tomaska's book on 1950-70s cameo proofs, he mentions striations and how they would be pre strike (deep) hairlines on the planchet, that when the coin was struck, would not be fully removed. They can be distinguished from hairlines by how they generally run under the devices, whereas hairlines would not. My question is that since striations are technically a mint made defect, do they count against a proof's grade or do the TPGs not take the time to distinguish the two? (I wouldn't blame them). My experience is rather limited in this field as proofs are notoriously hard to grade form pictures, and forget about distinguishing striations from hairlines. Thanks!


  • ModCrewmanModCrewman Posts: 4,025 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Can't say I've really ever tried to determine one from the other. In fact it's very likely, I've weeded out and not submitted a lot of coins that had striations having mistaken them for hairlines.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,723 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If it results in negative eye appeal it should count when grading whatever the cause.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 11,074 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 10, 2022 4:02PM

    I’d say it’s very (if not extremely) usual for mint made striations to have a negative impact on a Proof coin’s grade.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I thought they would generally impact the grade because they are almost identical to hairlines in how the detract from eye appeal, but it’s good to have confirmation. Thanks!

  • Eldorado9Eldorado9 Posts: 1,919 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Example from 1894 Proof 66+ Cam

  • RexfordRexford Posts: 1,008 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It depends what sort of striations you’re talking about. Raised die polish lines, which generally do not run over devices, do not affect grade. Incuse striations that are in the planchet prior to striking may run over the devices (as upon the Barber above), and may limit the grade if they result in negative eye appeal. Neither of these lines typically occur on proof coins. Neither are treated like hairlines, which are treated much more harshly than even the severest incuse planchet striations.

  • FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Rexford It would be the striations shown in the Barber above except that the lines would continue into the field and give almost the exact appearance of hairlines, where you can only tell the difference because they run over the devices. This is most common on 1950-1964 proofs, I really see them a lot on the Accented Hair halves that I have pulled from sets.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I believe that professional graders are sufficiently trained to determine the difference between striations and hairlines, and would not detract for the former. Cheers, RickO

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