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Forum Thoughts/Opinions on PCGS Restoration on Steel Cents

ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,225 ✭✭✭✭✭

I don't know if anyone has a definitive answer here, but none of the PCGS information I can find addresses the restoration service for steel coins. Maybe someone understands the metallurgy or chemical process here and can answer based on that?

I have this 43-S Cent in a PCGS MS67 holder but I must have got a good deal on it long ago because it looks awful. Straight on, it's covered with white spots. At an angle, the spots look dark and unsightly.

I've already got a nice replacement for it, but I'm wondering if PCGS restoration might be able to fix/improve it? Otherwise the coins is a true 67 and free of significant surface damage. Restoration will cost about $50 all-in, which I believe that if treated I can recover in resale. These go for about $200 on ebay.

Any thoughts or experiences?

Comments

  • airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,845 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If the coin isn't otherwise special to you (sentimental value, for example) or rare, and you already have another (so you aren't keeping this one anyway), why worry about restoring it? Wouldn't the grade guarantee kick in and cover the coin? If so, I'd take a fair offer from PCGS over paying for them to restore this, hoping it comes out well, and then going to the effort and cost of selling.

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  • jerseybenjerseyben Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    A fairly common coin and not worth much even if completely spot free 67. IMO, not worthy of restoration. I would just take the "L" on this one.

  • ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 22, 2023 10:54AM

    How would PCGS "restore" this coin without stripping it down to bare steel (processed) which is done by some?

  • ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,225 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 22, 2023 11:30AM

    @ctf_error_coins said:
    How would PCGS "restore" this coin without stripping it down to bare steel (processed) which is done by some?

    Usually they dip it in something like e-Zest. I just don't know if that would work on a steel coin.

    @jerseyben said:
    A fairly common coin and not worth much even if completely spot free 67. IMO, not worthy of restoration. I would just take the "L" on this one.

    Well, it's worth $200 on ebay without problems, and would probably go for $50-80 in current state, so if I can spend $50 to make $120-150 I would do it as I can use the funds for more coins. $100 is still meaningful to me.

    @jerseyben said:
    A fairly common coin and not worth much even if completely spot free 67. IMO, not worthy of restoration. I would just take the "L" on this one.

    There's an idea. Do you think PCGS would make an offer on this one? I don't think it would get 67 if I submitted raw like this so you're probably onto something. Maybe I'll go that route.

  • DollarAfterDollarDollarAfterDollar Posts: 3,214 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Start with the premise that you would never have bought the coin in this condition. That can only mean it turned after encapsulation. Ship it to PCGS for the guarantee. Let them worry about it.

    If you do what you always did, you get what you always got.
  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,601 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Waste of time and resources to do anything with this coin, use the PCGS guarantee and don't look back.

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  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,354 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't know if this applies to the OP but thought it might be worth considering. From the pcgs guarantee page.
    .

    .
    The steel cents are zinc plated. So I looked for Zinc information. Here are a couple of links. First one discusses how zinc reacts (and corrodes). It appears it actually reacts but that reaction slows down further reactions or corrosion (if I understand it correctly).

    The second one says some of the same but adds a couple things and a picture of zinc after it has reacted.

    https://www.corrosionpedia.com/does-zinc-rust/7/7030

    https://nordicgalvanizers.com/corrosion-of-zinc-coatings/

    So I don't know if the OP has something floating on the surface that can be remove with acetone or similar. Or if it has reacted with something as indicated by the articles. Also if it has reacted, how deep is it and could it be removed similar to toning using a dip. From what I am reading if it has reacted it does not sound so go but I don't know.

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  • ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,225 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good points @lilolme! I was going to take the advice and submit under the guarantee and I think I probably will unless someone here thinks the spotting are "environmental deterioration." Clearly this is not rust, but I might consider it to be "spotting" but not like the spots you tend to see on copper or silver coins.

    Still, I think my path forward is to a) make a guarantee claim and if that fails b) try for restoration.

  • divecchiadivecchia Posts: 6,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good for PCGS doing the right thing.

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  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,601 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ProofCollection said:
    As a follow up, I did send this in for guarantee review and PCGS is going to buy the coin back which worked out better than any other option I was contemplating.

    Smart move.

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  • dlmtortsdlmtorts Posts: 719 ✭✭✭

    I actually dipped a steel cent in EZ est because it had rust spots. Glad I used a no value coin for the experiment. It was a disaster. The zinc reacted, sizzled and was stripped off. This was several years ago. The coin looked horrible afterwards. I don’t remember whether the rust remained or not. I suspect not.

  • Married2CoinsMarried2Coins Posts: 124 ✭✭✭

    I am shocket to here the out come. Good for PCGS that's why they are #1. Once I read about a 1936 1c that got a spot that they bought back; however, I thought all the TPGS do not guarantee spots appearing on coins anymore.

  • originalisbestoriginalisbest Posts: 5,896 ✭✭✭✭

    The zinc-coated steel cents are surprisingly fragile. Once as a "fun gift" to my mom I made a PDS set of just a few-bucks' worth coins, they were all decent BU, not processed (but not gems) and placed them into a little snaplock holder in (probably) cheep Chinese-sourced cardboard. When they went in, they were nice. Whatever was in that cardboard, the steelies did NOT like -- all three got rusted-solid edges within a matter of a month. Ouch!

    (Not exactly the same scenario, but for this reason I don't really trust BU coins in any holes and slides albums. I much prefer, if using an album, to have well-circulated "stable" pieces inside that I don't expect the appearance to change with normal care.)

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,170 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Married2Coins said:
    I am shocket to here the out come. Good for PCGS that's why they are #1. Once I read about a 1936 1c that got a spot that they bought back; however, I thought all the TPGS do not guarantee spots appearing on coins anymore.

    Not true. Milk spots, yes. Limited guarantees on red copper. Hint: their guarantees and limitations are posted online.

  • Married2CoinsMarried2Coins Posts: 124 ✭✭✭

    I am sorry to post misinformation. I never read the guarantee or I would not be so ignorant! I will be more careful with my opinions.

    PS I looked you up and see that you are one of the best members for good information. May I know if you are a coin dealer?

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