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Can't decide... Cleaned or not?

spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,437 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 29, 2022 2:17PM in U.S. Coin Forum

I know, pictures aren't everything. It's a proof 1862 Seated Liberty Quarter. It has a very low mintage, so if it's not cleaned it could be worth hanging on to...

There are no obvious cleaning signs I can find (ie cloth scratch marks). There are die polish formations, and a lot of bag marks. In hand, some of the original luster still remains, both on the devices and in the field, however when observing the cartwheel effect, there is a definite break between the stars and Liberty, for instance, on the obverse. It does not break at any of the toning however.

On the reverse the cartwheel effect is only broken above the Eagle, but the bottom half seems to be fully in tact through the toning.

I have heard there are some acceptable old cleanings?

Appreciate the feedback on this one!

(Also note the shields are NOT flat as my images may make it appear)


Comments

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,168 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To me it looks like an old cleaning, but still pretty nice looking.

  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,062 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’m no expert with identifying cleaned coins, but that one doesn’t look very original to me. Hard to tell from the photos but the scratch at 4:00 looks to be a deep one as well.

  • VanHalenVanHalen Posts: 3,709 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 29, 2022 2:40PM

    Looks cleaned and retoning pretty well. The devices, and fields near the devices, appear improperly cleaned. That doesn't mean it wouldn't straight grade of course. On a given day, it could land in an PR53 holder just about anywhere.

    P.S. Don't know the die markers for a proof but I would not have guessed it to be a proof.

  • Stingray63Stingray63 Posts: 299 ✭✭✭

    Agree. Old cleaning.

    Pocket Change Inspector

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,274 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't think it's a proof and it is miles away from being original.

    This might read odd, but you may want to stop being a magnet for this type of coin.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 11,068 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The coin looks like a cleaned AU business strike to me. And based on a number of your posts and the coins you’ve shown, I think you’re looking for trouble, buying ungraded examples.

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

  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    I don't think it's a proof and it is miles away from being original.

    This might read odd, but you may want to stop being a magnet for this type of coin.

    I hear you, no offense taken. It's an interesting coin type and I haven't had much luck yet.

    Unfortunately I don't have anyone local (I live in the desert) to mentor under... I am minimizing my own risks though. What is it that clues you off to not being a proof?

    Thanks for the input.

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,274 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I didn't mean type as in "coin type". Rather, I meant type as in problem raw coins.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    I didn't mean type as in "coin type". Rather, I meant type as in problem raw coins.

    Gotcha. You know what they say... Live and learn. I am being careful about my risk tolerance.

  • HydrantHydrant Posts: 7,773 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 29, 2022 6:40PM

    Looks like it was polished...... Some time in the past...Oh, Well...

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with cleaned AU..... Not a proof.... There are better coins available at reasonable prices. Cheers, RickO

  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 11,068 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:

    @TomB said:
    I don't think it's a proof and it is miles away from being original.

    This might read odd, but you may want to stop being a magnet for this type of coin.

    I hear you, no offense taken. It's an interesting coin type and I haven't had much luck yet.

    Unfortunately I don't have anyone local (I live in the desert) to mentor under... I am minimizing my own risks though. What is it that clues you off to not being a proof?

    Thanks for the input.

    You’re clearly not minimizing your risks by buying ungraded coins.

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

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 10,858 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think it could probably straight grade at ~AU 53, accounting for some net grading for the surfaces. As such it’s around a $300 coin.
    If the seller is offering it at Proof money, run. If you are looking for a Proof 1862, buy one in a holder - they’re around.

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  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:

    You’re clearly not minimizing your risks by buying ungraded coins.

    You clearly don't know how I'm minimizing my risks. I appreciate your expertise Mfeld but I don't need you to tell me if I'm taking too much risk or not. Part of my risk reduction is that if I'm unsure of something, I know I can generally ask here and I'll get honest opinions and usually some very sound feedback. I've had a lot of good luck and some mixed results, but I don't share every purchase here (or even 10% of my purchases) so I can see why you'd be concerned since I only ask about the ones that I'm unsure of...

    I get that you guys don't want to see someone get discouraged from buying bad coins and whatnot but most of you should figure by now (that have been responding to me and watching me) I'm not a quitter and I've figured out how to minimize the risks to myself to a point where I'm comfortable with it by now to where I'm not going to get myself into trouble. And if I do I'd take it on the chin and learn and move on. I might even share it here to help others.

    I don't owe you an explanation of how I'm doing so, but in cases like this I make sure I have a good return policy if the coin doesn't match the description. The sellers pictures were not very good but offers unconditional return policy, and if it was a mint proof it would have been a good pick up. As such. As soon as I let him know I'm returning it, my risk goes back to zero.

    Again, I appreciate and thank you for sharing your expertise and take it serious.

  • gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,150 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with the polished low AU circulation strike. Might details grade due to the polishing.

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  • VicPortlandVicPortland Posts: 278 ✭✭✭

    A proof would have mirror-like fields. I think it is great that you ask for input here. Some of the old timers can seem gruff but hopefully, you get more good feedback than bad. It would be good for you to travel to a coin show sometime so you can physically look at many coins. There is no better way to be able to (mostly) tell how original a coin is. Good luck and best wishes.

  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,437 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 30, 2022 9:28AM

    @VicPortland said:
    A proof would have mirror-like fields. I think it is great that you ask for input here. Some of the old timers can seem gruff but hopefully, you get more good feedback than bad. It would be good for you to travel to a coin show sometime so you can physically look at many coins. There is no better way to be able to (mostly) tell how original a coin is. Good luck and best wishes.

    I missed the last one in long Beach but I wanted to go. I did go to the last private show in Vegas and it was immensely helpful as you said.

    As for the fields, I would describe them as mirror like. That could be my photography skills. I've attached a couple quick ones from my phone that hopefully show the reflective surfaces better.

    Nonetheless it seems the concensus is that it's au not ms at any rate.

    As for the feedback I do appreciate all feedback, good or bad. I may not like it but I know these guys know what they are talking about so I try to learn from it.


  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,458 ✭✭✭✭✭

    your first picture makes it looked polished - what does it look like under a loupe?

  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @davewesen said:
    your first picture makes it looked polished - what does it look like under a loupe?

    It looks like it has fairly intense die polish, but when I angle it at the light, attempting the cartwheel effect, the cartwheel is clearly broken between liberty and the stars, making it appear there may have been an old cleaning.

  • VicPortlandVicPortland Posts: 278 ✭✭✭

    One more thing: If you haven't already signed up for a free account with Heritage Coin, I highly recommend you do that so you can access the 'Auction Archives' where you can see thousands of photos of coins that they have auctioned over the years. I have personally spent many, many hours poring over photos and I think it has helped me. NOTE: Some of the older auctions have really crappy photos but that is to be expected as technology improves, and storage space gets cheaper.

  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,475 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:

    @TomB said:
    I didn't mean type as in "coin type". Rather, I meant type as in problem raw coins.

    Gotcha. You know what they say... Live and learn. I am being careful about my risk tolerance.

    Dude! I guess I don't live life quite so much on the edge any more but getting into raw Proof 19th C silver is courting disaster... granted, it's only money but I'd expect a steep "learning curve" if you're considering coins like this that haven't already been authenticated as being Proof... let alone surface assessment...

    Collecting: Dansco 7070; Middle Date Large Cents (VF-AU); Box of 20;

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  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lkenefic I'm not really living it on the edge that much when I can simply return something ;) but as you said it's only money. I never spend more than I'm willing to risk.

    Don't worry I am only taking calculated risks where my risk is at or near zero to see it in hand, to see if it's what they claim it is. Sometimes it's better sometimes its worse. I spend a lot of time comparing photos to Coinfacts photos before I make a decision if I want to see it in hand. I've even offered to pay shipping both ways to save the seller money in case I don't want to keep it (because it doesn't match description etc) and they always turn it down.

    Appreciate the concern though.

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 10,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 30, 2022 10:50AM

    @spyglassdesign said:

    @davewesen said:
    your first picture makes it looked polished - what does it look like under a loupe?

    It looks like it has fairly intense die polish, but when I angle it at the light, attempting the cartwheel effect, the cartwheel is clearly broken between liberty and the stars, making it appear there may have been an old cleaning.

    The images look like business strike mint luster. Also I wouldn’t expect to see evidence of intense die polish (as you mentioned) on a Proof. These were generally new dies that were barely, and presumably carefully, used. Die polishing is normally done on worn dies that have clashed or otherwise been damaged during extensive use. But @MFeld or others can correct me if my thinking is wrong.

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  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Walkerguy21D from what I understand proofs can definitely have polished dies, however they tend to be more rare.

  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,311 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:

    @davewesen said:
    your first picture makes it looked polished - what does it look like under a loupe?

    It looks like it has fairly intense die polish, but when I angle it at the light, attempting the cartwheel effect, the cartwheel is clearly broken between liberty and the stars, making it appear there may have been an old cleaning.

    .
    .
    A lot of 'lines' on this coin. I enlarged the OP photo below. What you see as die polish might be that. Lines, starting at the left and then going down to the right at about a 45 degree could be die polish as they also appear to possibly be raised. I don't know.

    However, looking first at the cheek there are horizontal lines and these can be seen below on the body and some in the fields. These look more like a wipe.

    Then there are multiple lines (some vertical) and contact marks that would appear to be from circulation wear.

    The break in the luster / cartwheel could be from a cleaning but circulation wear does this also.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2YNufnS_kf4 - Mama I'm coming home ...................................................................................................................................................................... RLJ 1958 - 2023

  • conrad99conrad99 Posts: 300 ✭✭✭

    A proof would have mirror-like fields.

    Should the first word be replaced with 'many' or 'most'?

    Certainly most modern proofs anyway.

  • RexfordRexford Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Agree with Mr. Feld here. If you are not in a position where you can readily differentiate on this coin type:
    1) proofs from business strikes
    2) cleaned surfaces from original luster
    3) AU from MS wear
    then you are not minimizing your risks in attempting to purchase a raw proof of the type. It is important to remember that generally if a “valuable” vintage US coin is raw, it is raw for a reason. I also wouldn’t rely on forums or return policies for rescue. It would be better for you to view a LOT more graded coins in hand, at coin shows or auction previews for example, before trying to buy coins like these raw. Of course, if you don’t mind the potential monetary loss then it doesn’t matter.

  • blitzdudeblitzdude Posts: 5,039 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Absolutely cleaned.....and artificially nasty'd (toned) to boot.

    The whole worlds off its rocker, buy Gold™.

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Rexford said:
    It is important to remember that generally if a “valuable” vintage US coin is raw, it is raw for a reason.

    Yes and no. There are still lots of collections out there with raw coins that have never been sent in for grading. That doesn't automatically mean there's something wrong with them.

  • RexfordRexford Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:

    @Rexford said:
    It is important to remember that generally if a “valuable” vintage US coin is raw, it is raw for a reason.

    Yes and no. There are still lots of collections out there with raw coins that have never been sent in for grading. That doesn't automatically mean there's something wrong with them.

    Yes, but keyword, “generally”.

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ok. I understand your point but still... I think there are a lot more raw coins out there that the TPGs have never seen than many people are assuming.

  • Eldorado9Eldorado9 Posts: 1,914 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Harsh cleaning at one time that unfortunately stripped the luster off, and then possibly artificially toned to look like original album toning. I'd pass on this one.

  • gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,150 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:

    @Rexford said:
    It is important to remember that generally if a “valuable” vintage US coin is raw, it is raw for a reason.

    Yes and no. There are still lots of collections out there with raw coins that have never been sent in for grading. That doesn't automatically mean there's something wrong with them.

    Also many collectors crack out coins that have been certified for an album. Raw coins are not necessarily raw because something is wrong with the coin.

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  • BarberianBarberian Posts: 2,709 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 31, 2022 3:10PM

    What is it that clues you off to not being a proof?

    Thanks for the input.

    Well, several things you mentioned in your opening post, such as "there are die polish formations" and your discussion of how the coin cartwheels. Most Proof coins shouldn't show these effects. The mint properly polishes the dies and planchets so that are aren't die lines, and proof coins typically have mirror-like surfaces.

    I gather this has been pointed out already. Repetition, repetition, repetition.

    3 rim nicks away from Good

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