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A sad but true story (with pics) $10 1854 lib

Clackamas1Clackamas1 Posts: 760 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 15, 2023 1:52PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Back in the day, early Ebay days - 1998 I think someone posted this 1854 $10 lib for sale. The pics showed a crusty dirty old girl, kind of how I like them. In the pics you could see the fields with mint luster and I was like dang that is MS, low MS but MS. Acetone and she is a ten when I am intoxicated. It is an 1854 so in MS it is a valuable coin worth way more than melt. Gold was cheap then and we had escrow so for $250 I say WTF. It's probably what a dealer offered her. So I win the auction and get the coin. When I get it it's not the same coin, it is bright, clean and has a blue residue in the details. I almost cried. I email the seller, some older lady in the midwest and say WTF. She said she felt bad sending me a dirty coin so she cleaned it before sending it to me. My heart sank, I did the requisite MF'ing and to be honest I had a coin worth what I paid for it. So I have this obviously cleaned coin and at the time it is a body bag. So I put it up on the window sill for 25 years, occasionally turning it to bring back the older look. So finally, mostly due to the fact I don't have much time left, sent it into PCGS so my heirs won't get hosed. Low and behold I knew it was a details coin but for damage not a cleaning. There is a large ding on the edge, hence the damage. I guess 25 years of exposure can undo a cleaning. BTW _ knew this was going to be a details coin when I sent it in. No love lost I was just shocked at the reason. Thank God she did not use a brillow pad and just used silver polish.

Comments

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yep. Sad story indeed.

    Rare coins are rare for a reason. :(

  • JW77JW77 Posts: 460 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting story, sorry it did not work out, but at least the coin has a great look!

  • PhilLynottPhilLynott Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Could also be cleaned in PCGS opinion. If there are multiple problems they just pick one.

    Tough story but at least it was an innocent mistake from an old lady and not something shady like I was expecting to read.

  • Piano1Piano1 Posts: 233 ✭✭✭

    That's an interesting story Clackamus1. From the photos, it looks like a decent coin to me.

    Now my memory isn't that great, but I remember a trick to "restore toning" on old silver coins. It was posted on some bulletin board I belonged to way back in the dark ages.

    I tried it. ( Father, forgive me for I have sinned.) The trick was to wrap the poor specimen in tin foil and bake it in the toaster oven. I guess a regular oven would have done but even back then it seemed dumb to heat up a big oven for 1 little (or not so little) coin. It did "tone" the coin...but I would prefer to call it "HD...hideous discoloration". Not the prettiest worn Morgan $ I have ever seen after the deed. Still have that sucker somewhere but I am ashamed to bring it out for public viewing. :o

    Then there's the time I read that attaching alligator clips to a coin (very carefully I expect) and putting it in a bath of citric acid and salt water and then turning on the electrical source connected to the alligator clips would 'tone" a coin. I'm not quite sure what dingbat recommended that. I was equally dingbat-like for trying it)but it did "tone" the coin as well. Truly ugly! It was just a silver quarter but it hit the soda (pop) machine as soon as I could find one.

    I bet there are still a lot of "snake oil" treatments for toning coins. As for me, I'll take 'em dirty and original any day. :D

    Piano1

  • Clackamas1Clackamas1 Posts: 760 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Piano1 said:

    Piano1

    This old lady has been through enough. She had 25 great years watching the sun rise and set. It is what it is. She will never be MS again and AU details/genuine is not something anyone can improve upon. I will say she got that older look back which is the important factor.

  • dcarrdcarr Posts: 7,984 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is a shame. Regardless of what the holder says, the coin itself still appears to have been polished (fairly extensively).
    Nice piece of gold, anyway.

  • DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,668 ✭✭✭✭✭

    After all the warnings of DO NOT CLEAN YOUR COINS, I can't believe the cleaning happened to you. To my unsophisticated eye, the picture of the coin looks decent. I'm not good enough to tell of a cleaning.

    Is the ding on the reverse, above the left feather? No ding on the obverse? Were you aware of it when you sent it in to PCGS?

  • scubafuelscubafuel Posts: 1,734 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Once PCGS decides to mark a coin “details”, often they just seem to pick the first, or worst thing that jumps out. I’m sure they could see it was also cleaned.

    Tough story, especially because it was so close to being owned by someone who knew how to treat it well!

  • pmh1nicpmh1nic Posts: 3,142 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    It's always a challenge doing a coin deal with someone who doesn't know anything about coins. This reminds me of a story I heard several years ago. A stamp dealer got a call from some woman who had a mint $5 Columbian Expo commemorative stamp which is the key to the set and quite valuable. He made an offer which she accepted but he required that she send him the stamp before he would send payment. A couple of days later he got an envelope from her with half of the stamp and a note that said she didn't trust dealers and once she got paid, she would send the other half. She actually cut a rare stamp in half with a pair of scissors! :o:s

    😥

    The longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice is it possible for an empire to rise without His aid? Benjamin Franklin
  • burdellburdell Posts: 55 ✭✭✭✭

    I would venture a guess that the PCGS "damage" citation refers to the gouge on the obverse between stars 6 and 7. The rim on the reverse is not likely the issue. Below are 3 images. First is a PC53 offered in the upcoming SB auction. Second is a composite of $10 Libs with what I call test cuts. Third is a snippet of something I found long ago.



  • jt88jt88 Posts: 2,831 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 15, 2023 7:03PM

    Interesting story, thanks for sharing it.

  • DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,668 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    It's always a challenge doing a coin deal with someone who doesn't know anything about coins. This reminds me of a story I heard several years ago. A stamp dealer got a call from some woman who had a mint $5 Columbian Expo commemorative stamp which is the key to the set and quite valuable. He made an offer which she accepted but he required that she send him the stamp before he would send payment. A couple of days later he got an envelope from her with half of the stamp and a note that said she didn't trust dealers and once she got paid, she would send the other half. She actually cut a rare stamp in half with a pair of scissors!

    I hope it wasn't VF/XF-NH (very fine/extremely fine - never hinged).

  • ShurkeShurke Posts: 137 ✭✭✭

    That is a shame. Ruined out of the goodness of that lady’s heart.

  • No HeadlightsNo Headlights Posts: 2,036 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A true "estate find" on eBay. I wasn't sure they actually existed.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not an uncommon situation.... speaking in general (not just coins), many times, with the best intentions, people will totally mess up an item or a process. Lack of knowledge is not a crime, but it sure does hurt sometimes. Cheers, RickO

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