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Question: when is a top pop not a top pop.....learned this today.

RobertScotLoverRobertScotLover Posts: 518 ✭✭✭✭
edited October 3, 2023 5:24PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Ok hopefully I captured someone's attention.
Really 2 questions for discussion.

If you are in the market for a top pop coin what does that signify to you?

And would you rather own a so-called top pop coin or the next lower graded example with huge eye appeal and lets say better strike or some other significant qualifying trait?

Thank you for playing.

Comments

  • OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,494 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:
    Answer 1) A “top pop” coin should be THE highest graded or tied for the highest graded. And if it’s the latter, the seller should make that clear. Additionally, if the coin is a “top pop”, only with respect to a variety, that should also be made clear.

    Answer 2) It depends upon the individual coins and their prices.

    Edited to Add:
    With respect to copper coins, I’m OK with “top pop” referring to the specific color designation of the coin being offered. And with respect to Proof coins, I’m OK with “top pop” referring to the non-Cameo, Cameo or Deep Cameo designation of the coin being offered.

    With respect to varieties or I guess any coin for that matter.... The only coin listed, non higher/non lower. Seems a coin like that would have a more significant designator.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

  • FloridafacelifterFloridafacelifter Posts: 1,139 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You have to read the auction descriptions carefully and do your own research. While a 67CAM might be “top pop cameo” they might just neglect to mention the 68DCAM.

  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,401 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As MFeld stated if a non-standard top pop (variety or other), then it should be clarified. I would also include the PL and DMPL top pop along with those noted above and particularly for the Morgans. The PL on the other series are the same but a relatively recent grading change so there could be many others to come. These are however essentially stated or clarified by their grade designator (RB, CAM, DMPL...).

    Also often the top pop is relative to the population with respect to the slab / TPG company it is in. So if in a pcgs slab it is being noted from pcgs population perspective but there might be another grading company with one higher.

    Varieties are a little unclear. First some varieties are 'major' varieties and don't require variety attribution to get the designation. These have a separate population and not combined with a base variety. Examples the 1823 bust half with the various types of 3. Not a series I am involved in but the wheat cent has several double dies like this (the big one being 1955). Some of the 'major' varieties are not as 'major' as others.

    Continuing with varieties requiring paid attribution some are not so popular and many do not get attributed. So a top pop for an attributed variety may have some higher that are currently slabbed as a base / major variety. But they are the top pop for those that have been attributed. Sometimes the rarity rating can give a little insight on this.

    Then there is the registry sets. In these a top pop could be a 58+ for everyman's or a 64 for mint state everyman's. As previously noted by MFeld should make all these things clear.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2YNufnS_kf4 - Mama I'm coming home ...................................................................................................................................................................... RLJ 1958 - 2023

  • alefzeroalefzero Posts: 855 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The top pop attribution is generally problematic, as it does not necessarily mean the finest example. A case in point would be if one has an UNC Details lightly cleaned but superbly struck specimen of a rare die variety. Now if the highest straight-graded example is a mushy strike XF40, it is commonly called the top pop. Sure, for registry points it might be. And we all probably know plenty of AU58 examples that present far better than MS63. This purity test encroachment is a pet peeve for me in numismatics. Of course, for those who share my sensibilities, there are extraordinary bargains to be had.

  • AlanSkiAlanSki Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My top pop “For the Variety”

  • RobertScotLoverRobertScotLover Posts: 518 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 4, 2023 11:36PM

    Thank you all for replying and hitting all the points so succinctly.
    What I learned the other day while contemplating purchasing a so-called top pop from a dealer was that the term top pop is a misnomer and cannot be relied upon for any additional value added purpose ie its too loose a term and meaningless to rely on. To me it is akin to the Wild West of our hobby and in the end should be basically ignored for all the obvious and unobvious reasons that you all so intuitively opined.
    As to the term so-called finest compares to the term top pop I too agree with the forum members that I rather acquire the typicallylesser graded piece (often 1 grade lower or so) that has the best eye appeal and other pertinent characteristics that define the elements of grading rather than automatically or blindly pursuing the so-called top pop piece (for technical merit as in the registry domaine etc) that in truth really isn't mostly for the fact that the numeric grade is so subjective and can unfortunately be based on its often market acceptability reasoning nullifying in effect what the sum of the parts means to true & purist grading ie eye appeal, luster, strike, condition etc which should really rule as opposed to the diluting effect grade inflation and loose grading currently produces.

  • EastonCollectionEastonCollection Posts: 1,243 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting question - I have followed the principle that I prefer the coin with the highest eye appeal with original toning as opposed to highest grade. My registry set is no longer number #1 anymore and I don't worry about being number#1. Some coins in my set I prefer over higher graded coins putting aside the money factor. Just my 2 cents. Having said that I no longer list other sets on the registry sets because of my preference for eye appeal rather than grade.

    Easton Collection
  • OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,494 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To me, a real Top Pop or the ultimate Top Pop 1/0 would be the "ONLY" one graded. Non higher non lower, not just here by our host but out of "ALL" the TPG'ers! Anyone have one?

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,684 ✭✭✭✭✭

    there are some examples where top DCAM is 66 but top registry points is the PR69

  • wondercoinwondercoin Posts: 16,616 ✭✭✭✭✭

    ‘’Frankly, I cannot tell the difference between a PF69 and a PF70’’

    Many collectors and dealers apparently can not either. That’s too bad as for many years, I made a reasonable living being able to tell that relatively easy difference (once you see maybe 5,000 - 10,000 coins to “self” educate yourself).

    Wondercoin

    Please visit my website at www.wondercoins.com and my ebay auctions under my user name www.wondercoin.com.
  • RobertScotLoverRobertScotLover Posts: 518 ✭✭✭✭

    @EastonCollection said:
    Interesting question - I have followed the principle that I prefer the coin with the highest eye appeal with original toning as opposed to highest grade. My registry set is no longer number #1 anymore and I don't worry about being number#1. Some coins in my set I prefer over higher graded coins putting aside the money factor. Just my 2 cents. Having said that I no longer list other sets on the registry sets because of my preference for eye appeal rather than grade.

    Agreed

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