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Is this 1851/81 Large Cent a candidate for Restoration?

RLSnapperRLSnapper Posts: 521 ✭✭✭✭✭


I have been looking for one of these for a while. This one is PCGS XF45. The obverse is exceptional. This EDS coin is just what I am looking for to show off the inverted undertype. My question concerns the white spot of debris or corrosion present on the reverse one the O in ONE. The coin straight graded so it must not be substantial. I have never used Restoration and would welcome some expert opinions. I can't bring myself to buy this coin with the white area. I would buy it in a heartbeat if there was a good chance it could be professionally removed.

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    The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The way the reverse is lit tricked my eyes into thinking the elements were all incuse. I like the coin as it is, despite that bit of corrosion. I'd be afraid to mess with it and cause further issues.

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    imo, when the reverse is blown up, the things on the O could be knocked off with a gentle prod of a q-tip or toothpick but probably do need to come off.

    i think the more active concern (although the tpgs have been grading them straight so may not as much of a concern) is the presence of what appears to be surface contaminants that may be leading to or have already led to active corrosion but looks like the kinda crud that can be removed through careful copper conservation and preservation but i cannot comment that the tpgs (pcgs specifically) does this kind of copper restoration but if done, this coin would surely look a lot better (not that it is bad) and surely be safer for the long-run.

    i really can't recall many or any copper restoration/conservation from the tpgs so i'll look forward to those that have and the results they received. (a search of the archives will probably yield a few results) sure seems like some have been posted with varying results.

    imo, you will probably be better off with a copper conservation specialist unless you don't want to risk a crackout and regrade.

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    telephoto1telephoto1 Posts: 4,746 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think the crud could be removed but there still will likely be a visible spot where it once resided. That said... there are other examples out there that are problem free for the grade. Your call depending on how badly you want this particular example.


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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Could be lint on the outside of the slab?

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    this probably isn't the place for this but it kinda looks like a totally 4 digit date punch inverted.

    there appears to be the top serif of a 1 under the first 1 which rotated counter-clockwise, would put the under-type 1 above the last 1, which we can see clearly. fwiw (this could be confirmed by those that know if these were 4 digit date punches or not) also, imo, you can see what appears to be part of an underlying 5 in the bottom loop of the 8. (a good overlay would probably line up here)

    @messydesk after all the variety work you've done, would you say that little spike at least looks like the possibility of an underlying 5 in the bottom loop?

    apologies to @RLSnapper but i wanted to put this down in a post while it is fresh in my mind. :)

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    Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,150 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If it were mine, as a raw coin, I’d flick that speck off with a thorn, then give both sides a careful brushing with Blue Ribbon.
    But it’s not.
    So I don’t think I’d buy it, then sink more into it getting professionally conserved then reholdered, unless the price was right and the coin sufficiently scarce that I wouldn’t find another anytime soon.

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The crusty looking black stuff at the top of the obv bothers me more.

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    TPRCTPRC Posts: 3,739 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have used them, and for removal of verdigris like this, I think you will do fine. To me, this verdigris could be easily removed with a Q-tip or thorn by you or my PCGS and I don't see it leaving much of mark, though that is always a possibility. I am a little more concerned with the smutz between noon and 2:00 o'clock on the obverse which could be a bit more problematic, and which could harbor some underlying corrosion. However, PCGS is not that picky on coins like this, so I think you will be OK. Still, if it was mine, I would be disinclined to crack it out myself. Instead, I would send to PCGS to get an opinion on whether it is a candidate for restoration. Originally, I thought I would suggest that you simply get a different one and I did look at some other pieces that have been auctioned in 45. However, most are a lot worse than yours so maybe you should restore it as it is a nice piece. In fact, if you look at most 45s auctioned, your posted coin is one the nicest, IMO. Now, as to whether it is worth the cost, I have no idea.

    Tom

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,484 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The pitting above Ms. Liberty’s head is into the coin. You can’t fix that.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,701 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The bit on the O is probably removable. The crust on the obverse is more troublesome and can probably be reduced a bit, but not totally removed.

    Regarding @LanceNewmanOCC 's question, it is long known as an inverted date. I did some quick measurements, and the spike inside the lower loop of the first 8 is plausibly from the upright of the 5, as it lines up with it quite nicely. Grellman doesn't mention the spike there, only the obvious "81", and that the digits fade with die wear. The bit under the first 1 is probably a fat die polishing line.

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    Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,150 ✭✭✭✭✭

    ** The crust on the obverse is more troublesome and can probably be reduced a bit, but not totally removed.**

    Yes, that’s what I figured my light Blue Ribbon brushing would accomplish. There looks to be some corrosion, and pitting, as Bill mentioned. That isn’t going anywhere. But conservation can clean up some of the surface stuff, and more importantly neutralize the area.

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,942 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just leave it alone. If it really bothers you, sell it while the market is hot. It is a problem coin and it is just going to cost you money if you attempt to fix the problems ... perhaps with no positive result.

    All glory is fleeting.
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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The white stuff on the O in ONE looks as if it will come off without leaving much evidence. Almost looks like lint in the picture. The issue on the obverse is there permanently. Your decision.... If you send it for restoration, be sure to post the results so people can learn. Cheers, RickO

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    WilliamFWilliamF Posts: 832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like it as is, heres mine, bought raw pretty cheap :)

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    ok i waited for the thread to sort of, run its' course, before posting this. fwiw

    other than a little rotation in paint.net, did the rest in the older version of ms paint. windows 10 i think came out with a newer version that i didn't take to. tough having to learn all the ins-and-outs of all the things i do, kinda wear thin and gotta just use ol reliables sometimes.

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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,435 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That white stuff appears to be a piece of slab plastic debris laying on the surface of the O. If that's the case, I wouldn't worry about it. It looks like a very attractive coin.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    RLSnapperRLSnapper Posts: 521 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for all the input. I passed on the coin but someone just bought it this morning. Patience is a virtue but I have the buying itch! Maybe reach for a coin next month as a birthday present to myself. Save my resources and keep the powder dry as they say.

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