Home U.S. Coin Forum

Interesting Morgan here

I know I am a newbie so please go easy. This is a coin forum and I am definitely a coin enthusiast so please go easy on me if this is a stupid coin to be asking about. Right now I don't but I have been shown more than once that I am being educated.
If I don't show you these coins and ask questions I will never learn.
I looked at every VAM until my eyes glazed over and found no match. That's doesn't mean I didn't miss it though.
In my opinion this coin has many things going on and the devices are super sharp. The denticles are like steps. The S looks doubled or something. The 0 looks like it's over a different digit. I have no idea of what's going on with in God we trust and the detail above it.
Well I will show you the pictures and please share your thoughts.
I had to use my scope to really show some of these things.
I'll let the pictures do some talking. I think I'm getting a little better with my images!




Comments

  • gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 10, 2023 6:50PM

    Try to take some images that are in focus a bit more and maybe a bit less lighting. It appears to have been cleaned

    1880 S is one of the dates you can get that look amazing fairly easily. They are usually well struck and often have very nice PL fields on many.

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

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited January 10, 2023 7:43PM

    That's pretty low light I will try some other images tomorrow. Its time to cash in for the night.
    I did try several different light angles but the surfaces did not shop up as well as they do here. I don't want to be misleading in any way. I want honest feedback.
    I also think it may have been cleaned but I also considered that it could be from die polish. I'm still learning to spot the difference.
    What has me baffled is the lines do not go on top of the devices. Although I am not aware of what coin doctors can do. Why would they waste the effort on this coin?
    It's a really sharp coin with a thumpin strike.

  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower said:
    That's pretty low light I will try some other images tomorrow. Its time to cash in for the night.
    I did try several different light angles but the surfaces did not shop up as well as they do here. I don't want to be misleading in any way. I want honest feedback.
    I also think it may have been cleaned but I also considered that it could be from die polish. I'm still learning to spot the difference.
    What has me baffled is the lines do not go on top of the devices. Although I am not aware of what coin doctors can do. Why would they waste the effort on this coin?
    It's a really sharp coin with a thumpin strike.

    they do go on top of the devices, i can see them all over lady liberty.

    your coin, no offense, is in pretty rough shape. it is pretty close to what we call whizzed which is one step away from polished.

    that being said, we know nothing about what most people's goals are on these forums. it may be a dream just to own one's first morgan. so when we comment, we do so knowing virtually nothing about the next guy and it can be tough to be kind AND effective depending on what the thread(s) are about.

    stick around, read current and old threads, just start at page 1 and start reading/skimming, you will run out of brainpower, time, money etc before you run out of stuff to read here. the more you read and images you look at (professional ones) the quicker you will be brought up to speed, so to speak. :)

    learn how to use the search function sooner rather than later. :)

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

  • No problem at all. I appreciate the time you took to look at the coin. It is what it is. When I sell it I dont want to misrepresent it. In hand it looks amazing. But guess thats what coin doctors do. I'll show it around at the next visit to LCS or show. I'm going through all my Morgan's one by one and anything that stands out I ask questions here.
    I'm curious about the reverse areas of the coin along with what's going on with the 0 on the date.
    Either way I will mention the outcome in time.

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,725 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think your images are decent, though it is tough to figure out what is going on with the scope images, and I believe the way you formulated the post with a clear set of observations and questions was fantastic.

    The first image shows pretty severe hairlines across the obverse that don't look like die polish. I've taken your image and outlined where some of these lines appear as they go over Ms. Liberty. The lines in the obverse field behind the portrait are also from being cleaned, but I didn't notice them as obvious on the portrait so I didn't outline them.

    In my opinion, VAMs are a mysterious animal. I write this even though I routinely do die marriages for half dollars, but the sheer volume of possible VAMs has always left my head spinning. If you go off into this niche then more power to you as it has defeated more than one numismatist. I do see something within the lower serif of the S and perhaps in the upper serif, too, but can't give any insight into what it is other than perhaps a die chip, which would be a guess. I notice a couple of lines protruding from the base of the 0, but again can't give any other information on it.

    Good luck with the coin!

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

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

    image
  • Thanks Tom.
    I'm figuring out the lighting on coins. Playing with it a little. It takes some getting used to. I am not here to try to trick a good result from anyone. I don't even want all these Morgan's I have. I don't collect them. I now have it narrowed down to 65 uncirculated coins without any obvious issues. 25 or so need to be stabbed the remaining I will try to trade out for my walker and mercury collection. I have some pretty cool vams and several definite PL coins.
    These coin really had me going. I knew the obverse was questionable but the reverse is what made me want to post the coin. Along with the other idiosyncrasies.
    I just don't get why someone would mess with a perfectly good coin!!

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited January 10, 2023 9:49PM

    One last thing about this coin. It's frosty. That's what's really weird. I could almost intentionally bring out an area of sparkle like you see on her face and hair if you look for it.
    The denticals and all the devices are very sharp and even.
    I don't get it.
    I do get it but I don't get it if you know what I mean.

  • Different coin.
    Similar situation.
    I did not mess with the lighting and again this coin is also frosty with some sparkle here and there from a rub or whatever.
    Thoughts?

  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,488 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 10, 2023 10:31PM

    @Watchtower said:
    Different coin.
    Similar situation.
    I did not mess with the lighting and again this coin is also frosty with some sparkle here and there from a rub or whatever.
    Thoughts?

    Also cleaned. Notice how the toning goes around the stars but then disappears? That's often because the rag or whatever they used to wipe it can't get to the smaller areas as well. That's why the larger flat areas look different than the areas around the stars and busier areas. OTOH, sometimes coins can tone in a somewhat similar fashion, except not just around the stars and letters for instance. It's usually more consistent.

    The details however do look pretty crisp. Wherever you see an area (usually the most raised areas first) change tone, if you will, ie frosty to shiny, that usually can indicates wear, or sometimes called rub... Sliding across a counter, 2 coins rubbing together, etc. A 5x or 10x loupe will go a long way as well... As you will be able to see the changes in surface quality better.

    As to your question of why... Back in the day it was pretty common to clean coins. They didn't have any sense that it might be worth much more than a dollar 100 or 200 years later... It was just currency. That's why coins not cleaned are worth so much more.

    Side note, great start to your photography... Keep practicing and read the threads here about it. You will get better over time!

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,679 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1880-S is a difficult date to attribute. There hasn't been a rigorous die study of the date that would make it easier, although a couple people are working on it. First of all, almost all 1880 Morgans are repunched or overdates. The dies were repaired after being hubbed with a hub containing the full 1879 date to remove the 79, then an 1880 punch was applied. This is why the 18 usually looks stronger than the 80. I see what I refer to as "pincers" on the top of the 0, which are from repunching with the 1880 punch. The S mint mark may be repunched. I can't be certain from the picture. Another thing with 1880-S is that the leaves in the wreath above the N in ONE, as well as the "left inside upper" leaves in the clusters across from UNI are frequently hand-engraved. The SF mint did this now and then through 1885 to fix what they felt was missing detail.

    The coin itself is a cleaned AU. It has slight wear and not so slight hairlines.

  • My gut feeling was first that the coins were cleaned. Then my mind wonder off into the what ifs?
    These are important things for newbies to remember. If I were at a LCS or coins show and bought these and brought them home believing they were die polish lines which obviously crossed my mind I would have been upset with myself. Now I know better and the cost is minimal to me. The education basically free. It's a win win deal for me and I appreciate hearing what you have all old me. Alot to learn about coin collecting. Once I get rid of these Morgan's I can and will focus on my true passion which is Walkers and Mercury dimes.
    Thank you.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower.... You have a great perspective on the hobby and a good attitude. You will learn a lot here with that welcoming disposition. Also, remember to have fun. Cheers, RickO

  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    In my opinion, VAMs are a mysterious animal. I write this even though I routinely do die marriages for half dollars, but the sheer volume of possible VAMs has always left my head spinning. If you go off into this niche then more power to you as it has defeated more than one numismatist.



    haha

    i remember when i first started vamming, even with someone on the phone with me WELL versed in vams, being a die-marriage-brain-minded person, the concept of die classifications (there is another term) based on features, not dies (mostly) was a concept that took some doing to get my mind wrapped around. it took a while for sure. that was just step 1. :D

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,451 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower said:
    Thanks Tom.
    I'm figuring out the lighting on coins. Playing with it a little. It takes some getting used to. I am not here to try to trick a good result from anyone. I don't even want all these Morgan's I have. I don't collect them. I now have it narrowed down to 65 uncirculated coins without any obvious issues. 25 or so need to be stabbed the remaining I will try to trade out for my walker and mercury collection. I have some pretty cool vams and several definite PL coins.
    These coin really had me going. I knew the obverse was questionable but the reverse is what made me want to post the coin. Along with the other idiosyncrasies.
    I just don't get why someone would mess with a perfectly good coin!!

    Above states:
    " I now have it narrowed down to 65 uncirculated coins without any obvious issues. 25 or so need to be stabbed the remaining I will try to trade out for my walker and mercury collection."

    If the 25 or so need to be stabbed is a typo and meaning slabbed, then I would suggest that you might want to post some of these better ones to slab. You might get some help on if they are worth slabbing or not.

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

  • Yea stabbed is caused by the auto correct on my phone. Sometime it chooses a word for me and I don't notice. I try to proofread what I write but I don't always. You got me on that one. I'm not feeling the need to stab anything except maybe a 32oz ribeye;)
    Ill pick out a few of the choice coins and post them when I have time. It may be a several months before they are actually slabbed, see I wrote slabbed and auto corrected it to "stabbed" again.
    The only way to get the real money unfortunately is to play the numbers game. I really just want to wind these down to one Morgan in a high grade maybe a set of PR, Cam

  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,488 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower said:
    My gut feeling was first that the coins were cleaned. Then my mind wonder off into the what ifs?
    These are important things for newbies to remember. If I were at a LCS or coins show and bought these and brought them home believing they were die polish lines which obviously crossed my mind I would have been upset with myself. Now I know better and the cost is minimal to me. The education basically free. It's a win win deal for me and I appreciate hearing what you have all old me. Alot to learn about coin collecting. Once I get rid of these Morgan's I can and will focus on my true passion which is Walkers and Mercury dimes.
    Thank you.

    Here is a telltale sign of cleaning VS die polish... Notice how the hairlines end before the device (in this case the eagle). This is because whatever was used to clean it cannot reach into those small crevices.

    Typically (but not always), die polish will go up to the devices, and then continue onto the other side. Think of a die as the inverse of the coin, so the fields are the high point of the die. When you polish a die, the hairlines are etched into the field but generally not into the crevices (or devices of the coin) because they are lower, if you will, than the fields.

    Here is an extreme version of a die polished morgan. You will notice the hairlines end exactly where the devices start and continue onto the other side.

    Determining die polish from cleaning hairlines is no easy task, especially from images but there are a few telltale signs you can look for.

    Hope this helps!

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Watchtower

    I agree with much of what has been said. Your coins are fine, but they’ve been cleaned. No worries.

    I’d encourage you to save up (or sell these) and get a PCGS or NGC slabbed MS65 or 66 common-date Morgan. Better yet, get to a coin shop or show where you can look through several.

    I think you’ll quickly appreciate the vast difference in the quality of the surfaces.

  • Klif50Klif50 Posts: 662 ✭✭✭✭

    I want to address your question about why "coin doctors" would mess with cheap coins. I have been a collector since 1955 and worked in a coin shop from 1976 - 1981 buying and selling coins professionally. In the parlance of the time, a coin doctor, was someone who made coins look better or repaired imperfections or outright damage (filled holes, filed rims, tooled details or even whizzed coins in such a manner that many professionals were fooled.. The coins you are posting, are not the work of a coin doctor. They appear to be cleaned (i.e. dipped, rinsed, wiped).

    During my time at the coin shop it was common, there and in most other shops, to dip anything with any toning, be it Gem or be it poor, the coin hit the dip. Often the same container of jewel luster was used over and over so the first 100 or so coins got pretty much full strength dip and then the coins after that with more and more dilution. Most of the coins I dipped were held by the rims, dipped into the solution, held under running water and dried with a paper towel and at that time, that looked good and made the coin more saleable.

    During that period of time, any toning was looked on with disapproval, at least in the Laurel, Maryland market where I worked. Silver dollars were the most common dipped/cleaned coins and our shop was probably responsible for dipping over 10,000 coins. Some of them have retoned after 40+ years. I also dipped a whole lot of bust half dollars (at the time a nice VF to XF bust half with common date was purchased across the counter for $25 to $30 dollars and then dipped, put into a 2x2 and sold in the range of $40 to $45 with very little research on Overton number.

    Common silver dollars were bought in the range of $4 to $10, also dipped, 2x2'd and sold. VAM was a word kicked around but I only knew a couple of collectors who actively searched for them. Professional coin grading wasn't a thing until near the end of my stint as a dealer. The used of MS60 and MS65 also came into being with the Greysheet around the end of dealing and intermediate grades between 60 and 70 just didn't exist except for 65.

    You have a good start and you ask good questions. To be able to determine what has happened to a coin during its life you have to look back at the different mindsets that applied to collectors and dealers through out the life of the coin. Keep researching and keep asking questions and you'll do fine.

  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,488 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BryceM said:
    @Watchtower

    I agree with much of what has been said. Your coins are fine, but they’ve been cleaned. No worries.

    I’d encourage you to save up (or sell these) and get a PCGS or NGC slabbed MS65 or 66 common-date Morgan. Better yet, get to a coin shop or show where you can look through several.

    I think you’ll quickly appreciate the vast difference in the quality of the surfaces.

    And if you can find a reasonably priced one with CAC, then you will know it's been reviewed twice for the grade it's in. That's basically what I did. I have basically 63-66 coins for reference, but not all cac.

  • Really, really great feedback. I'm going to dig through the group tonight and try to pull out some of the nicer coins and post some images. Who knows maybe they are all AU. I haven't taken a deep dive on them really. Just a once or twice over. Now that I am getting a handle on imaging it will be a matter of fact situation. Not just a guess.
    Stay tuned if your interested.

  • PapiNEPapiNE Posts: 280 ✭✭✭

    Mint induced file/polishing lines in the field on Morgans almost always run North and South. Peace dollars too although they have more exceptions.

    USAF veteran 1984-2005

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file