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Grading Peace dollars

I'm a new collector who is mainly interested in Morgan dollars at the moment. I have some raw Peace dollars that I inherited and would like to be able to at least distinguish an uncirculated coin from a circulated one. Ben the Coin Geek has a helpful video on evaluating luster, but doesn't talk about wear patterns. I'm having trouble with this, given the lower relief of the series as compared to Morgan dollars, where my eye immediately goes to the breast feathers and the hair above the ear. Also, a lot less seems to have been written about Peace dollars in general and I don't want to rely on sources like Spruce Crafts. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Below is a pretty standard 1922 which looks like it might be an MS 61 to me, but that's just a very uneducated guess. Thanks in advance.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,042 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think your guess is a very good one. I could see the coin as an MS62 at best, quite possibly, MS61 and worst case, AU58.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    Thank you. "Peace" looks worn to me, so I wasn't sure whether it was circulated or not.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,042 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 23, 2024 12:13PM

    @MojaveGhost said:
    Thank you. "Peace" looks worn to me, so I wasn't sure whether it was circulated or not.

    You’re welcome. You’ll probably get a good number of other opinions.
    “PEACE” is usually weak and it’s not an area I assess in looking for wear.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    JerseyBJerseyB Posts: 73 ✭✭✭

    For unc the luster should flow fully through the face of liberty. On the reverse you should see luster flow over the eagle.

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    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with both you and Mark that the coin appears to be in the MS-61/62 range. I don’t see any wear on the high points (hair by cheek on the obverse and where wing meets leg on the reverse).

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would lean towards 58 based on the wing shoulder. But the photos are not definitive. But certainly 58 to 62 would cover the range. So, since you landed in the middle, I think you have some idea.

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    @FlyingAl said:
    I agree with both you and Mark that the coin appears to be in the MS-61/62 range. I don’t see any wear on the high points (hair by cheek on the obverse and where wing meets leg on the reverse).

    Great. The location of the high points on the coin is exactly what I was hoping to learn. Thanks.

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    @jmlanzaf said:
    I would lean towards 58 based on the wing shoulder. But the photos are not definitive. But certainly 58 to 62 would cover the range. So, since you landed in the middle, I think you have some idea.

    The shine on the wing shoulder indicating wear, or the lack of definition? Thanks for helping.

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    fiftysevenerfiftysevener Posts: 896 ✭✭✭✭

    As far as relief goes I think that outside the '21 and a few others the typical Peace Dollar would have about the same relief as Morgans do. Correct me if I am off but I think Trades and Seated Dollars all use similar die relief.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MojaveGhost said:

    @jmlanzaf said:
    I would lean towards 58 based on the wing shoulder. But the photos are not definitive. But certainly 58 to 62 would cover the range. So, since you landed in the middle, I think you have some idea.

    The shine on the wing shoulder indicating wear, or the lack of definition? Thanks for helping.

    It could be friction rub. The photos are not definitive.

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    erwindocerwindoc Posts: 4,927 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like looking at photograde to refresh myself on high points of a certain series.

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    @erwindoc said:
    I like looking at photograde to refresh myself on high points of a certain series.

    Yes. That's how I hit on MS 61 for this coin was by using photograde. I have somewhat of an intuitive sense from looking at photos of the difference between circulated and UNC, so I wanted to get an opinion on whether I was headed in the right direction as well as some of the factors collectors consider when they evaluate Peace dollars that are borderline.

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    @jmlanzaf said:

    @MojaveGhost said:

    @jmlanzaf said:
    I would lean towards 58 based on the wing shoulder. But the photos are not definitive. But certainly 58 to 62 would cover the range. So, since you landed in the middle, I think you have some idea.

    The shine on the wing shoulder indicating wear, or the lack of definition? Thanks for helping.

    It could be friction rub. The photos are not definitive.

    Mediocre photos of a mediocre coin. I'm more interested in your thought process than the grade.

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    @fiftysevener said:
    As far as relief goes I think that outside the '21 and a few others the typical Peace Dollar would have about the same relief as Morgans do. Correct me if I am off but I think Trades and Seated Dollars all use similar die relief.

    I see a pretty big difference in relief between my Morgans and Peace dollars, but perhaps my Peace dollars are just garbage.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MojaveGhost said:

    @fiftysevener said:
    As far as relief goes I think that outside the '21 and a few others the typical Peace Dollar would have about the same relief as Morgans do. Correct me if I am off but I think Trades and Seated Dollars all use similar die relief.

    I see a pretty big difference in relief between my Morgans and Peace dollars, but perhaps my Peace dollars are just garbage.

    It's still a high point issue. So Eagle's wing and hair over ear. The hard part for most coins is the distinction between a weak strike and actual rub. So, it's a question of whether you can see fine lines or luster breaks or some definitive evidence of rub vs strike. That's my process.

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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Mega Red Book Volume 7 covers dollar coins.

    They show the high points in colorized reproductions.

    Multi volumes covering most series BTW... great resource!

    BST: KindaNewish (3/21/21), WQuarterFreddie (3/30/21), Meltdown (4/6/21), DBSTrader2 (5/5/21) AKA- unclemonkey on Blow Out

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    air4mdcair4mdc Posts: 797 ✭✭✭✭

    One of the toughest coins to grade. I’ve looked at thousands over the years ,always looking for the best of the best in MS65-67. To be honest, I’m having trouble with the photo quality, especially the reverse. It is slightly out of focus. Was this a camera phone or an DLSR camera? Tough call on the reverse. I wanted to say it’s a “slider “ at first, but then I started looking closer and observed a possibly lightly cleaned obverse and maybe the reverse as well, not sure there due to photo quality. The coin has some staining, maybe from left over dip residue or just a coin that was not properly stored. I’m thinking AU58, or maybe even a Details holder to the right eye. Hope I’m wrong on the cleaning.

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    CryptoCrypto Posts: 3,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Neck and field friction speak to AU58

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    @air4mdc said:
    One of the toughest coins to grade. I’ve looked at thousands over the years ,always looking for the best of the best in MS65-67. To be honest, I’m having trouble with the photo quality, especially the reverse. It is slightly out of focus. Was this a camera phone or an DLSR camera? Tough call on the reverse. I wanted to say it’s a “slider “ at first, but then I started looking closer and observed a possibly lightly cleaned obverse and maybe the reverse as well, not sure there due to photo quality. The coin has some staining, maybe from left over dip residue or just a coin that was not properly stored. I’m thinking AU58, or maybe even a Details holder to the right eye. Hope I’m wrong on the cleaning.

    Thank you for the detailed response. The photo was taken with a DLSR camera but without the benefit of a copy stand, so there is movement blur. You're only as good as your tools, unfortunately.

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