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Critique the Grade - 1895-O Morgans - Reverses Posted

ColonelKlinckColonelKlinck Posts: 371 ✭✭✭
edited December 9, 2022 2:48PM in U.S. Coin Forum

I have 2 1895-O Morgan dollars; my PCGS XF45 and my uncertified example. Based on the PCGS XF45, I'm leaning toward AU53 on my raw coin. What say you?



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    jclovescoinsjclovescoins Posts: 1,853 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ColonelKlinck said:
    I have 2 1895-O Morgan dollars; my PCGS XF45 and my uncertified example. Based on the PCGS XF45, I'm leaning toward AU53 on my raw coin. What say you?


    These both look cleaned - and harshly cleaned from those pics!

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    telephoto1telephoto1 Posts: 4,742 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Similar grade and both cleaned imo.


    RIP Mom- 1932-2012
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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    HOOOGAAAAAN

    Sorry... not seeing a straight grade with what you have posted.

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

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    ColonelKlinckColonelKlinck Posts: 371 ✭✭✭

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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2022 2:15PM

    What is sad is that this date in the Morgan series has been the poster coin for what is wrong with the hobby. It clearly is exhibit B - I am not going to do a search for the the other one that was posted years ago that serves as exhibit A. Sorry but this is a train wreck and never should have been straight graded to begin with - if I am banned for being that candid man speaking "writing what he thinks" so be it...

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

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    ColonelKlinckColonelKlinck Posts: 371 ✭✭✭

    @coinkat said:
    What is sad is that this date in the Morgan series has been the poster coin for what is wrong with the hobby. It clearly is exhibit B - I am not going to do a search for the the other one that was posted years ago that serves as exhibit A. Sorry but this is a train wreck and never should have been straight graded to begin with - if I am banned for being that candid man speaking "writing what he thinks" so be it...

    Why would you be "banned" for expressing your opinion on the grade of a coin? I appreciate your candor and I am thinking twice before submitting my raw coin for grading, which is why I initiated the post.

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    TPRCTPRC Posts: 3,739 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I had a full set of Morgan's, for me, the 95-O was the toughest coin to find in XF+ or better. In fact, I never did find one I liked before I sold the set. They are just rough to find nice. I don't really like either of yours though I think your assessment of AU-50 or AU-53 sounds pretty accurate. However, I am surprised the 45 graded and I think the AU piece will not straight grade.

    Tom

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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I will just simply respond with... think about my reply and the image and the forum we are currently on.

    And in my defense I will simply write that there are no right or wrong answers with respect to grading. Grades are opinions and some opinions are better than others. And let's leave at that.

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

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    ColonelKlinckColonelKlinck Posts: 371 ✭✭✭

    So.....
    1893-S and 1895-O are routinely straight graded even though slightly cleaned?

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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,457 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Determining the line on market acceptable is a little tough and it does vary some just like grading does.

    Here is a sort of HA past auctions for 1895 O grades 40 through 55. It might help in figuring out if it might straight grade or not.

    https://coins.ha.com/c/search-results.zx?N=51+790+231+382+1585&Nf=Grade Number|BTWN+40+55|US+Coin+Year|BTWN+1895+1895&limitTo=all

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

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    DollarAfterDollarDollarAfterDollar Posts: 3,214 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Clearly the ungraded coin is brighter than the graded example, (polished up), I agree it's AU 50 (probably) but getting it into a holder might be a bridge too far, sadly. I'd carry it as a pocket piece for a while but I'd also make damn sure I didn't lose it.

    If you do what you always did, you get what you always got.
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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2022 6:10PM

    @ColonelKlinck

    Actually the enhancement of key date Morgan Dollars (besides the 95-o and 93-s) extends to several dates where there is a significant spread in grades between EF-low end AU-AU-and high end AU. Look at the pop reports for the 1883-s, 1884-s, 1886-o, 1892-s, 1896-o, 1897-o and the 1901. The numbers that exist at this level suggests that there is a reasonable surviving population. The key is to find one that does not look dipped out and stripped of the natural patina a silver coin that is over 100 years that actually circulated should retain. The look is critical and the coins you have posted have basically been stripped of that look.

    There original surviving population for these dates in the AU spectrum is likely a fraction of what has been graded. This has been an ongoing problem for decades. I have posted about this issue on this forum for over 15-20 years. No one cares and it is a lost cause.

    The sad reality is once a coin has been enhanced like the one you have posted, one cannot set the clock back... it is done and that surface has been lost. Turning the coin into a pocket piece does not magically restore 120 years of age on a coin.

    edited to add- the 1893-o should be included within the group I referenced above

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

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    blitzdudeblitzdude Posts: 5,443 ✭✭✭✭✭

    AU details. RGDS!

    The whole worlds off its rocker, buy Gold™.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,035 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LeeBone said:
    By the looks of your coins, I see how you're receiving the "cleaned" and/or "polished" comments on both.
    The graded coin is "Gold Shield" which means it's been put through the "Sniffer Test" which should eliminate any doubt of a cleaning or polishing. Am I missing something here?

    Posting my 95-O for reference
    XF45

    I believe that you are missing something. As far as I know, the PCGS “Gold Shield” label has nothing to do with whether a coin has been “cleaned and/or polished”.

    See here, where there’s not even a mention of the “sniffer test”: https://www.pcgs.com/goldshield

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

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    LeeBoneLeeBone Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:

    @LeeBone said:
    By the looks of your coins, I see how you're receiving the "cleaned" and/or "polished" comments on both.
    The graded coin is "Gold Shield" which means it's been put through the "Sniffer Test" which should eliminate any doubt of a cleaning or polishing. Am I missing something here?

    Posting my 95-O for reference
    XF45

    I believe that you are missing something. As far as I know, the PCGS “Gold Shield” label has nothing to do with whether a coin has been “cleaned and/or polished”.

    See here, where there’s not even a mention of the “sniffer test”: https://www.pcgs.com/goldshield

    Thanks for the info. I was going by memory, which has dwindled over time :D

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would give the raw coin an AU50 grade, but likely get 'details cleaned' label. Cheers, RickO

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,876 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:

    @LeeBone said:
    By the looks of your coins, I see how you're receiving the "cleaned" and/or "polished" comments on both.
    The graded coin is "Gold Shield" which means it's been put through the "Sniffer Test" which should eliminate any doubt of a cleaning or polishing. Am I missing something here?

    Posting my 95-O for reference
    XF45

    >

    Now that one looks original.

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    Here is the TrueView of mine for comparison.

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    pursuitoflibertypursuitofliberty Posts: 6,592 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ColonelKlinck said:
    So.....
    1893-S and 1895-O are routinely straight graded even though slightly cleaned?

    First ... IMO, based on the images, both coins have been cleaned. Again, that's my opinion, based only on images.

    I think what some of the posters were trying to say is that some coins are more likely to get straight graded when in fact, they may not be the best candidates for receiving that. It seems that this happens with rarer coins to many observers, myself included. Maybe the degree of cleaning is "acceptable" to the graders that day. I don't neccessarily agree with t, but we know it happens.

    Would a 81-S or 83-O that looked that get that grade? Well, it probably wouldn't get submitted as much, so we may never know ... but my guess is "no way".

    That said, I think I would still submit the raw one, unless you are going to put it in an album. That way it's authenticated, protected, and you never know ... it might get a straight grade too.


    “We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”

    Todd - BHNC #242
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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,275 ✭✭✭✭✭

    With the new TV photos compare the OP's coin to the following 3 from coinfacts. What do you think of the set of 4 coins as to cleaned or not. Cameras, photographer and lighting make all the difference in the world. JMO
    Jim

    OP's coin:

    3 XF 45 from CoinFacts:




    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

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    Bigbuck1975Bigbuck1975 Posts: 1,249 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think you got a gift on the straight graded XF45

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    braddickbraddick Posts: 23,106 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was told once at the Long Beach coin show if a Morgan dollar is bright and circulated, it'll receive a straight grade if the cleaning did not cause any post-mint "evidence." In other words, no cleaning lines or 'damage' caused by the cleaning.
    The grade may well be a point under (call it market graded or net graded).
    It appears the above coin may show AU attributes yet received the XF straight grade as, other than being too bright; it doesn't exhibit evidence of cleaning.
    Please take all of this with a grain of salt (I did), yet the dealer who explained this to me is respected and deals primarily with circulated-type coins.

    peacockcoins

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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 10, 2022 11:41AM

    Sadly braddick I am at a loss for words to write- If coins that have been scrubbed to the point of what we see here and get a free pass- well it is time for retirement.

    edited to add- Well this is why CAC exists

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

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    braddickbraddick Posts: 23,106 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Please take all of this with a grain of salt (I did), yet the dealer who explained this to me is respected and deals primarily with circulated-type coins.> @coinkat said:

    Sadly braddick I am at a loss for words to write- If coins that have been scrubbed to the point of what we see here and get a free pass- well it is time for retirement.

    edited to add- Well this is why CAC exists

    A couple of thoughts.
    In spirit, I agree with you.
    In the real world, if the coin had been "scrubbed to death" it would show strong evidence of such and be deemed "cleaned" and placed in a genuine holder (per the dealer).
    I don't think the above Morgan was scrubbed to death. It looks overly-dipped instead.

    peacockcoins

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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is exhibit B and literally nothing has changed in 15-20 years.

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

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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    And nothing has changed other than the pop reports

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

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    ashelandasheland Posts: 22,681 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ColonelKlinck said:
    So.....
    1893-S and 1895-O are routinely straight graded even though slightly cleaned?

    Indeed many coins are straight graded when slightly cleaned. It’s a matter or the severity of the cleaning.

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    braddickbraddick Posts: 23,106 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The 1895-O Morgan featured two posts above mine has the exact look of a Morgan gently cleaned with baking soda back in the 60s. A common act. Not harshly nor offensively- yet cleaned nonetheless.

    It all goes to severity. Otherwise, many coins now slabbed problem-free wouldn't be.

    peacockcoins

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    124Spider124Spider Posts: 847 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 10, 2022 2:35PM

    @braddick said:
    The 1895-O Morgan featured two posts above mine has the exact look of a Morgan gently cleaned with baking soda back in the 60s. A common act. Not harshly nor offensively- yet cleaned nonetheless.

    It all goes to severity. Otherwise, many coins now slabbed problem-free wouldn't be.

    I am under the impression (and I agree with that concept) that "cleaning" is a mortal sin only if it results in a distraction to the look of the coin. IMO, if the "cleaning" (regardless of when or how done) needs a microscope and a panel of experts to determine, it should be "no harm, no foul."

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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So in this instance we have an 1895-O Morgan that may have been enhanced with baking soda in the 1960's and there are those that choose to look the other way and give this a free pass... despite what it looks like . Now and without question I know it is time to retire.

    Best wishes

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

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    al410al410 Posts: 2,403 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 10, 2022 4:51PM

    I have looked at many, many circulated 95 o's and many are straight graded that have very obvious cleanings and my opinion this is one of them, however it is not unusual and some look better and less obvious. Trying to determine cleaning method to me is very difficult but to determine them being cleaned is not difficult here.
    JMO
    Al
    PS- We all know that the way pictures are taken can be very misleading

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    124Spider124Spider Posts: 847 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 10, 2022 4:02PM

    @coinkat said:
    So in this instance we have an 1895-O Morgan that may have been enhanced with baking soda in the 1960's and there are those that choose to look the other way and give this a free pass... despite what it looks like . Now and without question I know it is time to retire.

    Best wishes

    Not trying to be argumentative, but I'm curious.

    At the end of the day, shouldn't the market be about coins people want to buy, and not about whether the majority of a panel of experts, using a microscope, feels that the coin has been "cleaned" (given that a "cleaned" label is the kiss of death)?

    The TPGs provide "conservation" cleaning, and somehow that's ok. But if an amateur, 60 years ago, did something to a coin that doesn't materially detract from the attractiveness of the coin, somehow that should kill the coin? Not in my opinion. This whole issue causes a great deal of uncertainty and stress in this hobby, IMO. For instance, I won't buy a raw coin, even from a reputable dealer, that is expensive, because I don't trust that I am going to be able to identify a subtle "cleaning." I think it would be far preferable if, instead, my only decision were whether I consider the coin attractive, taking my chances that someone else in the future, when I (or my heirs) want to sell it, will find it attractive.

    There are very ugly coins that are straight graded, but they're ugly. And the market considers that in valuing the coin. I agree that coins that are cleaned in harsh ways should not receive a straight grade, but I have no idea why it is not left purely to the market (as opposed to some "expert" somewhere) to value coins that have been cleaned in a way that does not distract, a "process" that can (and does) end up with two identical-appearing coins being "valued" completely differently, because one was deemed "cleaned" and the other wasn't.

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    LeeBoneLeeBone Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @124Spider
    Nice 53

    A couple of different angles of my XF45



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    justindanjustindan Posts: 697 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Here is my AU 55. Always wondered about the difference in color OBV/REV.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,035 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @124Spider said:

    @braddick said:
    The 1895-O Morgan featured two posts above mine has the exact look of a Morgan gently cleaned with baking soda back in the 60s. A common act. Not harshly nor offensively- yet cleaned nonetheless.

    It all goes to severity. Otherwise, many coins now slabbed problem-free wouldn't be.

    I am under the impression (and I agree with that concept) that "cleaning" is a mortal sin only if it results in a distraction to the look of the coin. IMO, if the "cleaning" (regardless of when or how done) needs a microscope and a panel of experts to determine, it should be "no harm, no foul."

    No microscope (or even a magnifier) is needed in order to see that some of the coins posted to this thread have been cleaned. And to at least some or us, the cleaning is “a distraction to the look of the coin”.

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

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    124Spider124Spider Posts: 847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:

    @124Spider said:

    @braddick said:
    The 1895-O Morgan featured two posts above mine has the exact look of a Morgan gently cleaned with baking soda back in the 60s. A common act. Not harshly nor offensively- yet cleaned nonetheless.

    It all goes to severity. Otherwise, many coins now slabbed problem-free wouldn't be.

    I am under the impression (and I agree with that concept) that "cleaning" is a mortal sin only if it results in a distraction to the look of the coin. IMO, if the "cleaning" (regardless of when or how done) needs a microscope and a panel of experts to determine, it should be "no harm, no foul."

    No microscope (or even a magnifier) is needed in order to see that some of the coins posted to this thread have been cleaned. And to at least some or us, the cleaning is “a distraction to the look of the coin”.

    I understand that cleaning often is obvious. And when it is obvious, I have no problem with consigning it to a "details" purgatory. My point is that, when it is far more subtle--so that there is legitimate disagreement among knowledgeable people over whether a coin has been cleaned--why not, instead of putting it in a body bag of "details," just grade it and let the market decide how much it's worth (after all, we all claim that we "buy the coin, not the holder")? I strongly suspect that there are many, many serious collectors who completely avoid coins with "details" grades, who might be happy to own a coin that's been subtlely cleaned, if it weren't wearing a scarlet letter. How is this any different from an ugly coin getting a straight grade, which certainly is a common occurrence?

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,035 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 11, 2022 5:32AM

    The cleaning is obvious on some of these coins. And when grading companies choose to straight grade them, some market participants are OK with it, while others aren’t.

    It’s very different from ugly coins getting straight grades. That’s because grading companies don’t state that they give details grades to them, as they do in the case of cleaned coins.

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

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    BigAlBigAl Posts: 1,139 ✭✭✭

    @braddick said:
    I was told once at the Long Beach coin show if a Morgan dollar is bright and circulated, it'll receive a straight grade if the cleaning did not cause any post-mint "evidence." In other words, no cleaning lines or 'damage' caused by the cleaning.
    The grade may well be a point under (call it market graded or net graded).
    It appears the above coin may show AU attributes yet received the XF straight grade as, other than being too bright; it doesn't exhibit evidence of cleaning.
    Please take all of this with a grain of salt (I did), yet the dealer who explained this to me is respected and deals primarily with circulated-type coins.

    I tend to agree with what you were told - ie, cleaned but not damaged. I have an 89cc that falls in this category. However there is likely a lot of grader discretion that determines grade vs. net. I would not feel comfortable cracking it out and resubmitting, especially since the coin was slabbed prior to pcgs net grading.

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    :) Beauty is in the Eyes of the Reholder! :)

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    airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,908 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Lots of replies already which I've only skimmed, so I'm probably just restating what's already been said, but both of the OP's coins look cleaned, and, in my opinion, are not attractive examples. That PCGS graded one of them is neither here nor there.

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @124Spider

    What an amateur did 60 years go to coin needs to be identified for what it is and was. If folks want coins that have been scrubbed that is their right... but it seems that there are enough of those coins to go around... look at the pop reports for key date Morgans such as the 1884-s, 1893-o, 95-o, 96-o, 1901 just within the AU spectrum (50-58) and for each of these dates if you add up the total graded for each in the AU50-58 range, I suspect the total number... spoiler alert...will exceed 1,000. Now out of that number, what is the existing original population? I suspect, optimistically, it is between 25-30% if we are lucky.

    The coin which is the subject of this thread in part impacts how the date is valued and why the grey sheet places a lower than anticipated value for these dates at certain grades.

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

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