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Grade advice: Neu-Guinea 1 mark / post-PCGS Restoration update

ParadisaeaParadisaea Posts: 25
edited January 21, 2024 2:59AM in World & Ancient Coins Forum

I find that where my perception of a grade differs from that of a TPG service, the disagreement presumably arose from how I scaled the severity of hairlines, bagmarks, or a rim nick. I am not particularly bothered if my judgement errors +/- a point of the grade received. When the error exceeds a point difference, however, I take it as a sign that I need some advice!

Thus, I would like to present the below coin for commentary. In grading this coin, I arrived at 65, whereas PCGS arrived at 63. What did I miss? What do you think held it back from a higher grade?



  • neildrobertsonneildrobertson Posts: 1,168 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 28, 2022 8:09AM

    If you asked me to grade off of the photos (which is inherently flawed), I think I'd guess 63 or 64. You can see some rub at the high points, which is accentuated by the lack of toning which makes me double check if there are other signs of wear to go along with it. There don't appear to be as the fields don't show signs of circulation. My guess is that the luster is not full on this coin due to the black splotchy areas and and overall toning inconsitencies. I suspect high point rub and toning hold it back.

    IG: DeCourcyCoinsEbay: neilrobertson
    "Numismatic categorizations, if left unconstrained, will increase spontaneously over time." -me

  • scubafuelscubafuel Posts: 1,709 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 28, 2022 8:35AM

    I think the staining/darker toning may affect the surfaces and interrupt the luster in hand (can’t tell for sure from the pics). Usually a 65 has full luster or very close.

    That said, that’s a very attractive example!

  • Thanks for the feedback, and I appreciate the limitations of grading via photos.

    Relative to how the coin appears in hand, the TrueView is a bit saturated and darker. The coin appeared (unslabbed) in a Gorny & Mosch auction a few years ago and I think their photos are a bit more representative of the in-hand appearance.

    Photo link: https://numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=2719&lot=2280
    I stopped short of securing the coin in this sale, which I came to regret, and was glad to have a second chance to purchase it more recently. While I find the uniqueness of the tone appealing, I can understand how the inconsistency might not be well received - perhaps this is where I went wrong in my appraisal.

  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,194 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 28, 2022 4:45PM

    On a coin where the eye appeal is there (as it certainly is in this case), the numerical grade is usually an entirely secondary consideration to me.

    For my collection, as long as something has the eye appeal and straight-grades without going into a “details” holder with a problem, then it’s all good. Within a certain range, anyway. I’d be content with that one at 63.

    You might need to widen your +/- 1 point tolerance, because that’s pretty narrow, and can lead to disappointments.

    It’s all good. I think it’s fair to say that’s an MS63 coin with MS65 or better eye appeal.

    I think it looks better (if oranger) in the first set of pics.

    Explore collections of lordmarcovan on CollecOnline, management, safe-keeping, sharing and valuation solution for art piece and collectibles.
  • jdmernjdmern Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    Beautiful piece, my guess is that the spotting is what limited it to a 63.

    Justin Meunier

    Boardwalk Numismatics

  • Bob13Bob13 Posts: 1,411 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have no real experience with this type - other than thinking it is a real cool design that looks great when toned. I like you coin a lot. But guessing the blotchiness kept it at a 63. Got any in hand pics?

    My current "Box of 20"

  • @Bob13 said:
    Got any in hand pics?

    Yes, certainly, but can't manage anything better than iPhone pics under LED lighting, at present.

  • 7Jaguars7Jaguars Posts: 7,171 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow, looks different than your first pictures! What did it grade - no that it matters?

    Love that Milled British (1830-1960)
    Well, just Love coins, period.
  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,653 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Once we are at a certain grade level, one needs to see the coin in hand. These are beautiful coins- I have never owned one. My suspicion is the spots on the reverse at the wreath hurt the cause. Consider going into the PCGS pop report and looking at the images as well as those that have been auctioned to see how your coin measures up.

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

  • ZwiggyZwiggy Posts: 36 ✭✭✭

    That is a lovely coin! Higher end in the strike quality for the issue, but from I’ve experienced, the grading services really hit you if the toning is uneven and “splotchy” every time- which is it here (especially the toning/stain on the left tail feathers, it’s just black, which would be considered negative eye appeal even if the the overall toning is nice). 63 would be pretty fair

  • UPDATE – 21 Jan 2024

    For the better part of a year, I debated whether the black splotches were the result of some contaminant and merited concern. Those who saw the coin in-hand expressed similar views.

    I eventually decided to submit the coin to PCGS under their Restoration service. Having seen several before-and-after threads for this service, I felt the coin was a good candidate.

    My ideal outcome was to achieve a similar result to that depicted in another thread (link). But even if PCGS assessed the coin and concluded there wasn’t a problem, I was happy to pay the no-service fee for piece-of-mind.

    Below is a screenshot of the submission form:

    Now let me share the result:

    From my perspective, there is only regret and disappointment. I had not anticipated a complete removal of toning to result from a request to remove PVC / haze.

    Prior to submitting, I had read on the website that “PCGS Restoration will not remove original toning simply to make a coin white. […] In cases where PCGS determines that removing toning is necessary and desirable and will not detract from the coin, it may be done”.

    Perhaps it was determined necessary to remove all toning. But was it desirable to do so? Was it what the customer requested?

    You are welcome to share your thoughts.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,805 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21, 2024 4:12AM

    That is reprehensible. Submitting for restoration at either PCGS or NGC is always a gamble and this is an example of losing based on their poor judgement in handling the coin. Sorry for your experience.

    Edited to add: that is not a coin that I would have expected to significantly improve with just an acetone dip for PVC. Those black spots in the upper reverse do not appear to be sitting on the coin but rather deeply into the patina.

  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,653 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 22, 2024 2:44PM

    Not going to dogpile on this one...

    Edited to add:

    I use the term dog piling for threads where everyone chimes in even though what has been written previously is adequate or even more than adequate. It happens frequently in the US forum with various questions with the most common answer being PMD to the wide scope of coins that sustained damage.

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

  • 7Jaguars7Jaguars Posts: 7,171 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Gaaak! That coin was quite nice and sad on the net result to coin surfaces.Such splotches, if you will, are not all that problematic. I suppose this unfortunately is another case of "tuition" courtesy of the TPGs.

    Love that Milled British (1830-1960)
    Well, just Love coins, period.
  • I suppose this unfortunately is another case of "tuition" courtesy of the TPGs.

    Very much true. One, of several, "lessons learned" from the experience was what Boosibri articulated:

    Submitting for restoration at either PCGS or NGC is always a gamble

    I certainly did not appreciate the extent to which I was gambling with this submission. My limited prior experience with PCGS Restoration had only been positive.

    Evidently there is an element of risk that a request to remove PVC / haze becomes interpreted as something more.

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,589 ✭✭✭✭✭

    OMG! I don't know what to write other than it is a shame...

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

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

  • tcollectstcollects Posts: 731 ✭✭✭✭

    taco bell napkin

  • 7Jaguars7Jaguars Posts: 7,171 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Never had my Taco Bell napkin toners to look like that! LOL

    Love that Milled British (1830-1960)
    Well, just Love coins, period.
  • tcollectstcollects Posts: 731 ✭✭✭✭

    pcgs restoration should use more taco bell napkins than dip

  • Project NumismaticsProject Numismatics Posts: 1,267 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Maybe I am a bit of a contrarian - I think it’s still a lovely coin - just different. In the larger scheme of things, it may be for the better if the staining was not stable and was progressing further. But 100% understand the disappointment.

  • 7Jaguars7Jaguars Posts: 7,171 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Which is alright EXCEPT there appeared to be a lovely toned and in all likelihood coin with a stable surface. When oxidants themselves are then further oxidized, more than just the metal oxidant is removed & in fact some metal on surface is lost. There is then a relatively "nude" surface that would be actually increasingly likely to oxidize and perhaps not so pleasantly with further loss of lustre.

    Love that Milled British (1830-1960)
    Well, just Love coins, period.
  • clarkbar04clarkbar04 Posts: 4,916 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 24, 2024 2:10PM

    Sometimes, toning IS organic... what I call "colorful storage crud".
    If they used MS70 (non-acidic) it would strip that kind of toning off.
    Silver sulfide (rainbow toning) will not come off with MS70 - but will remove any PVC /other haze.

    MS66 taste on an MS63 budget.
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