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A question for half dime collectors

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
edited January 2, 2023 9:14AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I have recently purchased a beautiful half dime of the bust variety.. It was purchased as BU from a coin dealer and I believe this one is. It is different from the half dime I purchased on ebay, in case your aware of that debacle.
My question for you is this, do these coins typically have light hairlines in the fields. I am trying to take some good images but finding it difficult. Eventually I will succeed.
I want to submit this coin for grading and hope for a high grade better than AU. I also need to learn to grade these coins better and what to look for when I am searching for them. In the light at certain angles it looks like a high end coin at other angles I see hairlines in the fields. Remeber this coin is tiney so its relative to say a morgan where hairlines are obvious as to what they are. I am thinking these are polish lines. In the future I would like to know how to decipher these coins when self grading.
I don't belive it has been cleaned because the devices don't have that look.
So if you happen to have good images showing the fields of uncirculated half dime of the bust variety showing the obverse in good reflective light even if it isn't "favorable" or especially if it isn't favorable I would appreciate it.
I have looked at plenty of them online in auction results but they are always dressed in their best attire.
I want to learn as much as I can so I can add to my collection and spend my collecting budget wisely.
I believe that this forum has the best of the best in all areas of collecting and the majority are here willing to help new collectors. I'm one if them and I could use your help and insight on this topic of bust half dimes and bust dimes as well. These are my choice and the set I want to build.
Thank you I look forward to some good conversation on these little gems.

Comments

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    DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think It’s going to be really difficult for anyone to be able help you without images, unfortunately

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    Dan I appreciate your response but I believe they can help me. In my post I am asking of we can discuss these coins. Grading and different attributes in the way they look. I also asked if collectors in this area could post images of their coins. I will get images of my coin up but if you could read my post again you will notice more about the discussion I am hoping to have. I am saying this in a kind way and I am not trying to slight you in any way.

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    DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,720 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I hope you are not trying to buy raw BU coins hoping for a score. The best way to protect yourself is to only buy coins that have a CAC sticker. It takes years to develop grading expertise and even then there are other issues that can be missed.

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    DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭✭✭

    And you’ve made the determination that they are indeed hairlines, and not die Polish lines?

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    [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited January 2, 2023 9:17AM

    I am not looking for a score at all I am looking to collect. I agree that it takes years. I think we need to start somewhere so where is a better place to begin then of the pcgs forum for coin collectors right?
    I agree with you about buying graded coin completely. I don't want to cut to many corners though. I'd like to learn from seasoned collectors what they are willing to share about this subject.
    Disney and Dan do you guys collect half dimes?
    Can you show me some images and discuss with me some of the things you look for when purchasing them. The good and the bad?
    I'd appreciate it.
    Thank you.

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    DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,720 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I thought this was a nice looking half dime. I wasn't concerned about the grade (MS64) and it had a CAC. So I bought it.

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    @DeplorableDan said:
    And you’ve made the determination that they are indeed hairlines, and not die Polish lines?

    I just edited my post to add that. As soon as I came back you asked that question. Wild coincidence. To answer your question. I have made no determination due to limited knowledge. I am being honest and teachable. I need a few mentors in this area of dimes and half dimes. I know they are here for sure.

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    DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 9:19AM

    I don’t collect half dimes, so I will be of little service in that regard. I was just going over some basics. Hopefully someone else is able to provide some useful information without images, but in my experience on the forum most people refrain from giving feedback without them.

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    [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited January 2, 2023 9:19AM

    No problem at all sir. I appreciate your insight and taking the time to respond to me. I'm hoping a few collectors of this type will chime in and can help me out with a little coaching and share some of their experience and expertise.

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    P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,259 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is my seated half dime type coin—it's in a 58 holder and CAC approved. Mostly I thought the color was attractive and the grade provided a good value vs. lower MS coins, so I went for it. It has a little rim ding but that didn't seem to bother PCGS or CAC, and the rest of the coin outweighs that minor issue for me.



    As far as hairlines in general, the best thing you can do is spend time looking at a lot of coins—ideally, ones that are straight graded and ones that are in details holders. It does take time to train your eye if you are new to the hobby.

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

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    [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited January 2, 2023 10:03AM

    I need to figure out a good way to take pictures of coins. I've seen a setup using a sheet of glass at a 45 degree angle with a light. I'm going to build one.
    This coin is super clean and the devices don't appear to have been cleaned. It has great luster as well.
    I love this coin.
    In the meantime I have a microscope. You cannot get more honest pictures than this. You can also see how tough it is taking a picture of a coin this small with just a phone camera.
    Just for kicks-











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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower said:
    Dan I appreciate your response but I believe they can help me. In my post I am asking of we can discuss these coins. Grading and different attributes in the way they look. I also asked if collectors in this area could post images of their coins. I will get images of my coin up but if you could read my post again you will notice more about the discussion I am hoping to have. I am saying this in a kind way and I am not trying to slight you in any way.

    There are countless on-line images you can view of professionally graded AU and uncirculated examples, both straight-graded and details-graded.

    No matter how many images forum members post or what we or you write, we won’t be able to provide meaningful information about your coin, without seeing pictures of it. For all we know, it might have hairlines and/or die polish lines, it might be cleaned, it might be uncirculated, it might be circulated. It might have altered surfaces. And if it’s toned it might be naturally toned or artificially toned.

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

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    DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 10:47AM

    @Watchtower

    From the images posted above, it’s difficult to make a determination about hairlines which don’t seem to be visible in the grainy photos. With that being said, the coin looks awful “silvery” for a 200 year old somewhat circulated coin, with little contrast in color between the devices and the fields. I believe I see dirt in the recesses of the 3 & 4 in the date. In the close ups of the bust, her cheek looks pretty abraded. If I had to wager based on those photos only and the things I have observed from them, with the addition of your observation of hairlines, I would wager the coin is AU and has been harshly improperly cleaned.

    Edited for clarity

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    Dive chianti your post was definitely helpful. My coin has a lot of similarities to yours. I agree about the dipping. I would say most have been. Those are exactly the hairlines I am talking about. I don't believe this coin has been harshly cleaned. I MFeld 100% I need to take good images before anyone could guess at what my coin is. I'll work on it. I bought this from a local dealer and he is very fair and reputable so I am not concerned. If their is an issue he will take it back. I'm want to keep this fun and learn and I am absolutely positive plenty of people here are willing to help out and not make me feel bad.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 10:36AM

    @Watchtower said:
    I need to figure out a good way to take pictures of coins. I've seen a setup using a sheet of glass at a 45 degree angle with a light. I'm going to build one.
    This coin is super clean and the devices don't appear to have been cleaned. It has great luster as well.
    I love this coin.
    In the meantime I have a microscope. You cannot get more honest pictures than this. You can also see how tough it is taking a picture of a coin this small with just a phone camera.
    Just for kicks-

    I can’t tell if the coin is AU or uncirculated. But if I had to guess, based on the flatness of the upper-left portions of Liberty’s cap, I’d go with AU. Also, at the very least, it’s been dipped and sure wouldn’t bet on an uncirculated grade or a straight grade.

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

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    TomBTomB Posts: 20,735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't "collect" half dimes, but I have owned myriad examples of high grade half dimes over the years and have imaged them, as well. It appears that you have already posted images of the coin in question, but due to lack of focus and/or strange angle or enlargement, I have a very difficult time interpreting them.

    For your coin specifically, it has been dipped at least once (likely more than once) and each proper dip and rinse will reduce the luster a tiny bit. An improper dip and/or rinse can really do a number in killing luster. It may help us all greatly if you could tell us where you are seeing what you might consider hairlines. Grading and evaluating the surfaces of half dimes is really no different than doing it for any other coin, but of course these pieces are relatively tiny compared to most other issues so there is little open field. I realize others have written this advice and I realize that for whatever reason you may or may not want to follow the advice, but if you don't have much experience in the niche you may want to purchase half dimes already certified by NGC and/or PCGS and then use them as a teaching tool.

    Good luck!

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

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

    image
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    [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited January 3, 2023 7:46AM

    Here are a couple of more images. I took them inside a box because it seemed like decent lighting. I'm going to build myself a proper lighting box. I have seen them done with great success.
    Thanks for the responses guys. They are helpful.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower said:
    Here are a couple of more images. I took them inside a box because it seemed like decent lighting. I'm going to build myself a proper lighting box. I have seen them done with great success.
    Thanks for the responses guys. They are helpful and educational.

    If there are as many marks as there appear to be on the reverse rim, I think it’s unlikely that the coin is uncirculated. Rims aren’t typically the determining factor, but they can serve as an important clue in many cases.

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

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    The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Half Dimes are damn tricky to photograph, even with a decent camera. Just as with grading, it will take a lot of trial and error to get it right.

    I don't know if I see any hairlines, but the coin does look dipped. At the least, it will be a good teaching tool for you browsing future purchases.

    Custom album maker and numismatic photographer, see my portfolio here: (http://www.donahuenumismatics.com/).

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    I'm sure it was dipped and your right about photography for sure. Man what a pain. What frustrates me the most is trying to show you guys the luster this has because it is booming. I do know what luter looks like. Ive learned that much. I also have a few half dimes to compare this coin to and its very nice. It beautiful in hand and I probably made a mistake trying to post it but in response to my initial post it was mentioned that this post is no good without pictures. I knew if I tried to take them it wouldn't work out.

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I only have one seated half dime. It was graded long ago and I will crack it out and submit for grading. I feel it definitely got undergraded because of die polish.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    I did the right thing today. I brought it to a dealer. I was surprised he was open but he was. I showed him the coin. He did comment on how bright it was but he did agree that it has full luster and looks totally legit. I asked him his opinion. He recommended sending it in for grading. He said the worst thing that will happen is it will detail. It's definitely uncirculated. So we will see what happens.
    While I was there I spent a couple of dollars. I'm pretty happy with what I bought and yes I bought graded some graded coins along with two very special standing liberty quarters!
    It was a great day indeed.

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    P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,259 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower said:
    I did the right thing today. I brought it to a dealer. I was surprised he was open but he was. I showed him the coin. He did comment on how bright it was but he did agree that it has full luster and looks totally legit. I asked him his opinion. He recommended sending it in for grading. He said the worst thing that will happen is it will detail. It's definitely uncirculated. So we will see what happens.
    While I was there I spent a couple of dollars. I'm pretty happy with what I bought and yes I bought graded some graded coins along with two very special standing liberty quarters!
    It was a great day indeed.

    If you can build a solid trusting relationship with a local dealer, that may really help speed up your learning curve. Just make sure it’s mutually beneficial, as it sounds like it was given your purchases from him.

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

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    oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 11,905 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @P0CKETCHANGE said:
    This is my seated half dime type coin—it's in a 58 holder and CAC approved. Mostly I thought the color was attractive and the grade provided a good value vs. lower MS coins, so I went for it. It has a little rim ding but that didn't seem to bother PCGS or CAC, and the rest of the coin outweighs that minor issue for me.



    As far as hairlines in general, the best thing you can do is spend time looking at a lot of coins—ideally, ones that are straight graded and ones that are in details holders. It does take time to train your eye if you are new to the hobby.

    Hmmm...that one looks soooo familiar 🤔

    oih82w8 = Oh I Hate To Wait _defectus patientia_aka...Dr. Defecto - Curator of RMO's

    BST transactions: dbldie55, jayPem, 78saen, UltraHighRelief, nibanny, liefgold, FallGuy, lkeigwin, mbogoman, Sandman70gt, keets, joeykoins, ianrussell (@GC), EagleEye, ThePennyLady, GRANDAM, Ilikecolor, Gluggo, okiedude, Voyageur, LJenkins11, fastfreddie, ms70, pursuitofliberty, ZoidMeister,Coin Finder, GotTheBug, edwardjulio, Coinnmore...
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    jacrispiesjacrispies Posts: 718 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you aren't comfortable purchasing raw coins because you aren't efficient in grading, do not resort to buying only graded coins. You would be taking the easy route. Push the brakes and learn to grade consistently so you can be comfortable buying any coin. It will only do you good in the long run.

    I am not a bust half dime specialist, but I look at a lot of bust half dollars. I have never seen a coin with die polish lines as commonly seen on Morgan dollars or any later denomination. If a bust coin would have polish lines, it would be likely within one of the first dozen struck, IF the die had lines on it to begin with.

    I can say that your pictured coin has been cleaned and is all but original. A blast white bust coin is unnatural and should be viewed as messed with in one way or another. At best an UNC details or AU straight.

    "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23. Young fellow suffering from Bust Half fever.

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    jacrispiesjacrispies Posts: 718 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DeplorableDan said:

    @jacrispies said:
    If you aren't comfortable purchasing raw coins because you aren't efficient in grading, do not resort to buying only graded coins. You would be taking the easy route. Push the brakes and learn to grade consistently so you can be comfortable buying any coin. It will only do you good in the long run.

    I am not a bust half dime specialist, but I look at a lot of bust half dollars. I have never seen a coin with die polish lines as commonly seen on Morgan dollars or any later denomination. If a bust coin would have polish lines, it would be likely within one of the first dozen struck, IF the die had lines on it to begin with.

    I can say that your pictured coin has been cleaned and is all but original. A blast white bust coin is unnatural and should be viewed as messed with in one way or another. At best an UNC details or AU straight.

    Respectfully, I completely disagree with that advice. Purchasing and looking at sale records of professionally graded coins is one of the most practical (and cost effective) ways for someone to practice their grading skills and get aquainted with the system.

    You just affirmed that a collector should learn to grade. Whether to look at graded examples, look at raw coins, or to study books, everybody should learn to grade. My point being that someone who isn't proficient in grading is not doing themselves a favor, and is severely handicapped in the coin trading market.

    "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23. Young fellow suffering from Bust Half fever.

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    yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,599 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 8:07PM


    Your 1834 half dime has "die polish lines" (file marks?) left of Ms. Liberty's mouth, visible in your USB microscope photos.
    These are raised and they occur on several die states of capped bust half dimes.

    As for getting a good photograph of potential hairline scratches, it takes point source lighting at a low angle and at a 90 degree angle to the scratch or die line, plus a decent camera. A typical USB microscope can't do this, as it uses a ring of LEDs at a 0 degree angle relative to the shot.

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    DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jacrispies said:

    @DeplorableDan said:

    @jacrispies said:
    If you aren't comfortable purchasing raw coins because you aren't efficient in grading, do not resort to buying only graded coins. You would be taking the easy route. Push the brakes and learn to grade consistently so you can be comfortable buying any coin. It will only do you good in the long run.

    I am not a bust half dime specialist, but I look at a lot of bust half dollars. I have never seen a coin with die polish lines as commonly seen on Morgan dollars or any later denomination. If a bust coin would have polish lines, it would be likely within one of the first dozen struck, IF the die had lines on it to begin with.

    I can say that your pictured coin has been cleaned and is all but original. A blast white bust coin is unnatural and should be viewed as messed with in one way or another. At best an UNC details or AU straight.

    Respectfully, I completely disagree with that advice. Purchasing and looking at sale records of professionally graded coins is one of the most practical (and cost effective) ways for someone to practice their grading skills and get aquainted with the system.

    You just affirmed that a collector should learn to grade. Whether to look at graded examples, look at raw coins, or to study books, everybody should learn to grade. My point being that someone who isn't proficient in grading is not doing themselves a favor, and is severely handicapped in the coin trading market.

    While we both agree that a collector should learn how to grade, I just don’t think that not buying coins is the answer. OP clearly likes the series of coin, and it evidently was within his budget. It’s an effective strategy for an inexperienced grader is to pay for the experience of others on the front end. Sure, op could invest in books and watch videos about grading, but other than that how do you really get grading experience without the actual coins? If one had a local mentor or was part of a coin club where learning is encouraged that’s one thing, but other than that what is a better or more fun alternative to hunting for a coin to add add your collection?

    By viewing a variety of different examples in hand, at coin shows, and in quality photographs online, one can learn a lot about grading in a short time. Unless you’re suggesting op collect coins out of circulation or buy bullion Morgans and practice, but even then he would want to send a group in to a tpg at some point to test his skills. Then down the line when more experience is gained, one can try their luck with raw coins.

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    CladiatorCladiator Posts: 17,920 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Your coin is an LM2 (V1a). There is nothing in any way uncommon about this die marriage but it's still a fun one nevertheless.

    It is a pretty late die state as evidenced by the nearly non-existent berries in the olive branch and the whisper thin arrow shafts. I can't really tell with your photos but there should be a neat die crack from the rim to the cap, through S7. The obverse die flow lines and die clash are something I always find fun on these little beauties.

    As to your specific questions I can't offer anything that hasn't been said. With these pics and without seeing it in hand there's no way to tell if this one is MS or AU. Dipped, almost assuredly. Cleaned, very likely but again without seeing it in hand impossible to determine to what degree and by what method(s).

    If you get it slabbed pop the extra couple bucks to have them put the LM2 on the label. Just because I like to see it on the labels of all of them. ;)

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    @jacrispies thank you for your post it was helpful and definitely a positive contribution to how I am feeling. I will never post an image of a raw coin again for opinions again unless I can post an image that represents the coin itself. It's to much of a rollercoaster ride and definitely takes the fun out of collecting for me. Heritage has sold plenty of blast whit dimes and half dimes. Possibly enough to mislead me into thinking my coin is just as nice. I took the advice given and when compared in my hand to the coin from the fantastic images in front of me I saw the same attributes but what do I know. This isn't a competition. I just want to have fun and enjoy collecting these little gems. I paid good money for that coin from a reputable dealer. I did bring it on myself by asking about what I thought were hairlines which turn out to be die polish lines at the front of her face. I do thank most of you gentleman for your positive and helpful responses. I know that there is a remarkable amount of knowledge on this forum from many respected numismatics. Posting bad images is to misleading for everybody and a waste of time. Lesson learned. Let's move on to more positive discussions. At least that's what I'm doing.
    Thank you.

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    It does have the die crack you mentioned. It's totally vascular and present. I'll call the coins shop tomorrow and ask them to put it on the submission form. Btw the dealer did offer to buy me out of the coins if that helps!

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    CladiatorCladiator Posts: 17,920 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower said:
    It does have the die crack you mentioned. It's totally vascular and present. I'll call the coins shop tomorrow and ask them to put it on the submission form. Btw the dealer did offer to buy me out of the coins if that helps!

    Cool about the crack. If the coin doesn't make you smile then definitely think about letting that dealer live up to his word. Coins in our collections should make us happy and if they don't why own them?

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    [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited January 2, 2023 9:56PM

    Trust me the coin makes me smile. I just don't like to run the gauntlet of posting bad pictures and casting a bad light on the purchase of a coin I like. I'm not a rich guy. When I spend a fair amount on a coin I like, I want to feel good about it. I think we all do. I don't like to rush to judgement and I certainly don't want to provoke anyone else to. Like I said lesson learned. I can tell you this much, I got a lot out of this string of conversation. It was very resourceful thats for sure.

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    DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @watchtower, I apologize if my comments came off as brash and/or cast your coin in a negative light. It happens nearly every day on this forum where newer members post recent purchases only to learn from other collectors here that their purchase has hidden issues that they were unaware of, which is why many members recommend buying slabbed examples of coins that have higher values. I had just given my unfiltered opinion (not fact) in the name of brevity, and I hadn't considered that my comments would take the wind out of your sails. For what its worth, my experience as a new collector was that when I posted a new purchase on here, I had asked for and welcomed all opinions from anyone that cared to share one. The comments that pointed out an issue that I hadn't noticed with my purchase taught me much more about what to look for in the future, than the positive affirmation comments.

    With that said, the fact that you bought the coin from a reputable dealer as you say, might be beneficial if the coin doesn't straight grade. Perhaps he would attempt to make it right if you did pay a fair sum for it, and he had no intention of misrepresenting the coin. I really hope that I'm completely wrong, the photos misrepresented the coin, and it comes back in a straight graded holder for you to enjoy thoroughly in your collection. Good luck, and keep us updated with the results!

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    👍

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower said:
    @jacrispies thank you for your post it was helpful and definitely a positive contribution to how I am feeling. I will never post an image of a raw coin again for opinions again unless I can post an image that represents the coin itself. It's to much of a rollercoaster ride and definitely takes the fun out of collecting for me. Heritage has sold plenty of blast whit dimes and half dimes. Possibly enough to mislead me into thinking my coin is just as nice. I took the advice given and when compared in my hand to the coin from the fantastic images in front of me I saw the same attributes but what do I know. This isn't a competition. I just want to have fun and enjoy collecting these little gems. I paid good money for that coin from a reputable dealer. I did bring it on myself by asking about what I thought were hairlines which turn out to be die polish lines at the front of her face. I do thank most of you gentleman for your positive and helpful responses. I know that there is a remarkable amount of knowledge on this forum from many respected numismatics. Posting bad images is to misleading for everybody and a waste of time. Lesson learned. Let's move on to more positive discussions. At least that's what I'm doing.
    Thank you.

    I feel your frustration. But let me tell you... Try to learn not to take anything here personally. This is a very impersonal medium and you can't see people's faces or mannerisms. Most of the time people here are just being honest about what they see, but it can come across as brash and blunt. It's just the nature of the medium. Sometimes members come off as overly protective... They don't want to see young numismatists get discouraged by spending hard earned cash on something that isn't a good investment, and sometimes that comes off way different than intended (again, impersonal format).

    I have gotten a lot of feedback that felt very off-putting here, and at times have felt exactly as you do, but realized that no one here is trying to sink my ship. They are actually trying to help, and taken in that manner, I have learned a LOT from the members here.

    In short don't take it personal, learn from what people are saying, and try to improve. Consider what is said here as food for thought, not judging you personally.

    Additionally, coin photography is hard. I've been practicing for 6 months and I feel like I do a pretty good job now, but I still can't quite capture coins as well as I'd like.

    Bottom line is learning is hard. But don't give up. No one here is intentionally trying to bust your bubble.

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    BikergeekBikergeek Posts: 210 ✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower, I'm deeply immersed in the capped bust half dimes and always love it when people express interest! What you have there is an 1834 LM-2 (rarity 1) - it's a very common marriage. Logan and McCloskey, who wrote the excellent book on the topic "Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837" say of the LM-2 obverse: "First use of Obverse 2. Strong dentils. Die flow lines form in front of mouth and chin. Die clash marks in front of face. Die crack forms from rim through S7 into cap." (S7 is of course Star 7, which is the topmost star on the left of Liberty).

    Your pics are, as you say, a bit fuzzy. But here's what I think: if you're concerned about lines right by the mouth and, to an even larger extent, below the chin - no worries, that's a mintmade feature of that die marriage. In addition, clash marks in the left field are not a problem (quite the contrary - they are interesting to most specialists). Turning the coin upside down (either as a mental exercise, or if you want to get geeky, with imaging software) can show how the eagle and devices on the reverse get clashed to the obverse when a clash occurs.

    I also think I see the die crack on your coin from star 7 to the cap, but I'm not positive that isn't a shadow on your pic. Also note the reverse - the upper loop of the second S in STATES is filled; that too is common with this marriage. (In fact, people would be interested to see an LM-2 that does NOT have the filled S).

    For grade, I think this looks like an AU. And since I like color (more than many folks, I think) and originality, I would avoid a coin that has this flat affect; the dipping seems strong. But if you like'em white, then that is something that is a personal choice and many of these old baby busties have been dipped (heck, they're almost 200 years old).

    To compare - you can take a look at my registry set (link is in my signature) and scroll down to 1834 LM-2.

    New website: Groovycoins.com Capped Bust Half Dime registry set: Bikergeek CBHD LM Set

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower If there is a coin series you are interested in diving into I suggest buying a book dedicated to that series. Full of useful information that will help inform you so that you can make good purchases. Also visit dealers and view as many slabbed coins that they have in that series. The more coins you see, the more you will learn how to grade them. It takes time, but the more you read and the more coins you look at the better off. Nobody starts learning trigonometry. They start with simple addition and subtraction.

    You will get there. Dont take anyone's comments here too harshly.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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