Home U.S. Coin Forum

Reflective 1836 Classic Head $5 Gold Coin

Brought this coin in an NGC VF holder last year on EBAY. I think the die variety is McCloskey 3-C. What struck me when I received it is its mirror surface and sharpness of detail. Even though it has wear and light circulation marks on its surface, it still retains its reflective nature. The coin must have been struck with a fresh polished die as detail are super sharp. To me this coin is reminiscent of those late 19th century circulated gold proofs. Is it rare to find a reflective Classic Head $5?

Comments

  • SiriusBlackSiriusBlack Posts: 1,120 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm not an expert on gold, but to answer your question, sometimes yes you can still see the luster hiding in recessed areas that give it that shine. Sometimes with gold a lot of little marks from regular wear can cause it to sort of sparkle as well, not luster, but it kind of simulates the reflective look.

    @PerryHall Maybe be a little more helpful to a brand new member who's asking good questions and trying to learn instead of joking with them when they don't know you and have no idea if you're being mean or not?

    Collector of randomness. Photographer at PCGS. Lover of Harry Potter.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CoinCollector2023.... Welcome aboard. Good pictures, however, I do not see a 'mirror' surface there.... a mirror surface would reflect an image of something held close, and reflectivity is usually measured in how far the object is away from the coin surface, in inches. Perhaps you mean luster? Cheers, RickO

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,725 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld beat me to it, but I also think that your coin was spiffed up a little bit by someone in its history, but that it still feel within the market acceptable range for NGC (and probably PCGS, as well). Better images might possibly go a long way toward making me change my mind, but from what I can see I'd imagine the coin has been worked on lightly.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

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

    image
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,471 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have an 1836 $5 gold in PCGS MS-61 that has very bright surfaces. It was struck from a new die. The coin is really a super slider, but it would have been stunner when it was struck.

    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 ... ?
  • Some new pictures

  • scubafuelscubafuel Posts: 1,732 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's possible to have a mid-grade circulated coin with much better than normal surfaces, usually because it was a pocket piece or something similar. The best way to show it is to take a video with your phone in good light and rotate the coin. In pictures it may just look like a shined up coin.

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,370 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SiriusBlack said:
    @PerryHall Maybe be a little more helpful to a brand new member who's asking good questions and trying to learn instead of joking with them when they don't know you and have no idea if you're being mean or not?

    Calm down. I was obviously joking. Didn't you see the winky emoji?

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

  • ChrisH821ChrisH821 Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think I see what you are talking about... in the protected areas around the devices. Seems odd that reflectivity would survive and be visible on a VF coin. You didn't mention, is this a straight graded VF with a numeric grade or a VF Details?

    Collector, occasional seller

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,370 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't see the mirrored surfaces in your pics but that doesn't mean they aren't visible in hand under good lighting while holding the coin at the right angle to the light source. In any event, that's a very neat coin with a lot of history having been struck during the year the Alamo fell during the war for Texas independence. For a VF, that coin still has a lot of detail and no heavy marks. B)

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

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Reflectivity on a VF coin generally is not left over from the mint. Nice old coin though. Did it straight grade?

  • NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,767 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 8, 2023 1:57PM

    I highly recommend United States Classic Gold Coins of 1834-1839 by Daryl Haynor. The die marriage is the old 1989 JM 1836 3-C, and the new HM-4 with dies 3-G. Haynor says for the date 1836 "there are but a handful of fully original coins...the coins are usually found with a more satiny or subdued look. often a result of prior cleaning or dipping."

    The coin could be an early die stage with satiny or slightly reflective surfaces, but it is hard to determine in VF grade where all surfaces have some wear. I used to collect CHG by die marriage, had some satiny but none reflective.

    HOWEVER, all 5 known 1836 $5 proof coins are from this die marriage. On proofs star 9 is flat with no radials, which can't be determined on a VF coin with all stars worn flat. Could be semi-prooflike, or ???

    Calling @Ronyahski

    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty - biography of US Mint's first chief engraver
  • CladiatorCladiator Posts: 17,919 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Is the coin straight graded VF or VF details graded?

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,370 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Can we see a pic of the whole slab or at least the label?

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

  • @scubafuel said:
    It's possible to have a mid-grade circulated coin with much better than normal surfaces, usually because it was a pocket piece or something similar. The best way to show it is to take a video with your phone in good light and rotate the coin. In pictures it may just look like a shined up coin.

    Sorry about the delay, I was very busy today. The coin is in a VF detail - Cleaned holder Cert 6439224-002. I filmed the video in the afternoon but had a problem with the file being too large. I made a Drive Folder, you can click the link to see it. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1AJNWrt_P6amau6RbUIv0xAcx92fbPZ3c?usp=sharing

  • CoinCollector2023CoinCollector2023 Posts: 11
    edited February 8, 2023 10:15PM

    Videos might need dowloading as I filmed it in 1080p

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,725 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CoinCollector2023 said:

    @scubafuel said:
    It's possible to have a mid-grade circulated coin with much better than normal surfaces, usually because it was a pocket piece or something similar. The best way to show it is to take a video with your phone in good light and rotate the coin. In pictures it may just look like a shined up coin.

    Sorry about the delay, I was very busy today. The coin is in a VF detail - Cleaned holder Cert 6439224-002. I filmed the video in the afternoon but had a problem with the file being too large. I made a Drive Folder, you can click the link to see it. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1AJNWrt_P6amau6RbUIv0xAcx92fbPZ3c?usp=sharing

    There you go. It looks so shiny to you because it was cleaned. That is what so many of us thought the coin looked like and it most likely explains the shine you see on the coin.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

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

    image
  • If I was the grader with only 30 seconds to grade, I would also grade it cleaned. This coin has been dipped in the past which might explain the unusual shine. But taking a closer look at protective areas like within the shield, claw, letters and beak there are still original proof like fields.

    Apart from the discussions of the nature of the field, I want to comment on this coin detail and strike. The main reason I bought this coin in the first place is because of the strong detail. The sharpness of feather and hair to me are the characteristics of an early strike.

    Personally speaking, I am more inclined to think this coin has been a pocket piece which explained the heavy wear yet a decent amount of reflective field left. I guess at this grade, it is very hard to distinguish a proof-like field from a polished field.

  • dcarrdcarr Posts: 7,972 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To me, this coin looks like it was polished at one time, and then received some circulation wear and handling on top of that, and/or was treated with "putty" to dull it down some. "Dipping" alone would not produce that look.

Leave a Comment

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