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Proof Quarter Grading Experts, Help Me Understand this 1938 Quarter Grade

ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,396 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited March 24, 2023 7:22AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I struggle with grading proof with most of my collection in the PR68/69/70 range, I don't know much about the lower proof grades that I'm starting to venture into.
I picked up this 1938 Proof Quarter graded PR64. It's beautiful in-hand. Nice and white, no toning, no significant marks. I'm having a hard time understanding why it is only PR64. The only thing I really notice is a soft strike and some hairlines on the forehead and neck, the spot on the wing on the reverse. What else am I missing or is that enough to knock it down to a 64?

https://d1htnxwo4o0jhw.cloudfront.net/pcgs/cert/46552779/large/252098891.jpg

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    davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

    hairlines - look at 45 degree angle with loupe towards light source

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    TomBTomB Posts: 20,730 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Modern proof coinage, and this includes mid-century proofs, derive the vast majority of their grade from the placement, severity and overall coverage of hairlines. Images like the TrueView you posted offer zero help in determining fine grading. The strike on your coin is not soft, it is just that the detail in a WQ is not there and I also doubt that the spot on the wing held it back.

    Look for hairlines.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

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

    image
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    ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,396 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks, that's a big help. I didn't realize the hairlines were that important. Clearly it is.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As mentioned, grading proof coins from a photograph is not feasible, from a TruView, even less. Hairlines are the proof killers usually.... Cheers, RickO

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    CoinscratchCoinscratch Posts: 7,909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Can anyone show us some hairlines from the particular angle needed to do so?

    Would these be hairlines here on this 1972 from Coinfacts? It's a business strike but they look like what I would consider a hairline to be.

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    CoinscratchCoinscratch Posts: 7,909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    More specifically, are hairlines the lines you see running from 10 to 4 o'clock across the obverse above?
    Or are they the short lines you see jetting outward across the entire coin that look like you about to enter warp speed in a Star Trek movie?

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    ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,396 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Coinscratch said:
    More specifically, are hairlines the lines you see running from 10 to 4 o'clock across the obverse above?
    Or are they the short lines you see jetting outward across the entire coin that look like you about to enter warp speed in a Star Trek movie?

    I think you need to post the link to the TV or the cert number because the forum shrinks to image too much.

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    CoinscratchCoinscratch Posts: 7,909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ProofCollection said:

    @Coinscratch said:
    More specifically, are hairlines the lines you see running from 10 to 4 o'clock across the obverse above?
    Or are they the short lines you see jetting outward across the entire coin that look like you about to enter warp speed in a Star Trek movie?

    I think you need to post the link to the TV or the cert number because the forum shrinks to image too much.

    See if this works. I just enlarge my touch screen and can see the details.
    the link: https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1972-d-25c/5890


    Then I just decided to Google "What are hairlines in a proof coin" and it took me to this link, here.
    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/787971/hairlines-on-proof-coins

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    ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,396 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Coinscratch said:

    @ProofCollection said:

    @Coinscratch said:
    More specifically, are hairlines the lines you see running from 10 to 4 o'clock across the obverse above?
    Or are they the short lines you see jetting outward across the entire coin that look like you about to enter warp speed in a Star Trek movie?

    I think you need to post the link to the TV or the cert number because the forum shrinks to image too much.

    See if this works. I just enlarge my touch screen and can see the details.
    the link: https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1972-d-25c/5890


    Then I just decided to Google "What are hairlines in a proof coin" and it took me to this link, here.
    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/787971/hairlines-on-proof-coins

    OK, thanks that was informative. For the record though, we are discussing proof coins in this thread.

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    WalkerloverWalkerlover Posts: 706 ✭✭✭✭

    The beauty of proof coins is to the naked eye a proof 65 doesn’t look much different than a proof 67 until you catch the hairlines at the right angle

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    CoinscratchCoinscratch Posts: 7,909 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 25, 2023 2:38PM

    @ProofCollection Agree were talking about proofs I was just using a coin that has visible lines even in a photo such as that '72. So apparently hairlines are the PMD lines (or in the case of the MS coin, die polish) and not the embedded metal flow lines similar in a PL business strike.

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