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Do You consider yourself a "coin doctor?"

Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 3, 2017 11:12AM in U.S. Coin Forum

In another thread, a coin was dipped to remove the toning. It was attractively toned and now it is "white." Most posters, including me, liked the coin better when it was toned. Do you consider the person who dipped it to be a "coin doctor?" At the least, some members here probably do. Oh my, I confess to being a coin doctor as I have dipped coins.

For educational purposes, in your opinion, when does a person become a "coin doctor?" Is it the first time he alters the surface of a coin as I have done or is it his expertise and ability to defy detection (at first)?

See "When Great Coins Get Dipped" thread.

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    epcjimi1epcjimi1 Posts: 3,489 ✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:

    For educational purposes, in your opinion, when does a person become a "coin doctor?"

    Putty, whizzing, cooking.

    I think dipping is a salvation for some coins, a disaster for others. Depends on the state of the coin. Coin toning usually isn't static.

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dogwood said:
    If you put some superglue on a loose shoe heal, do you consider yourself a cobbler?

    POST THIS on the thread about jokes! It's Great!

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    FairlanemanFairlaneman Posts: 10,408 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 3, 2017 1:53PM

    Doctors alter coins to cover up problems with the intent to deceive buyers into thinking the coin is better than it actually is. Dipping is just the opposite and sometimes uncovers problems. If a dipper then trys to cover up the problem that could be uncovered then the dipper becomes a doctor.

    I am a dipper. If I uncover a problem I have to live with it.

    Ken

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    1Mike11Mike1 Posts: 4,414 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dogwood said:
    If you put some superglue on a loose shoe heal, do you consider yourself a cobbler?

    You'd be an amateur, I use Hybond. :D

    "May the silver waves that bear you heavenward be filled with love’s whisperings"

    "A dog breaks your heart only one time and that is when they pass on". Unknown
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    1Mike11Mike1 Posts: 4,414 ✭✭✭✭✭

    At this time I believe (as opinions can change) if someone improves on a coin to create wealth for themselves it's doctoring.

    "May the silver waves that bear you heavenward be filled with love’s whisperings"

    "A dog breaks your heart only one time and that is when they pass on". Unknown
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    amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What! No amazing GOOP? :#

    @1Mike1 said:

    @dogwood said:
    If you put some superglue on a loose shoe heal, do you consider yourself a cobbler?

    You'd be an amateur, I use Hybond. :D

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    1Mike11Mike1 Posts: 4,414 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @amwldcoin said:
    What! No amazing GOOP? :#

    @1Mike1 said:

    @dogwood said:
    If you put some superglue on a loose shoe heal, do you consider yourself a cobbler?

    You'd be an amateur, I use Hybond. :D

    LOL had to look that up. Never heard of it.

    "May the silver waves that bear you heavenward be filled with love’s whisperings"

    "A dog breaks your heart only one time and that is when they pass on". Unknown
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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Taste is subjective and the line between conservation and “doctoring” can sometimes be blurry. Since there is no absolute “standard practice”, we are left with “intent to deceive” as our best measure of what’s OK and what’s naughty. Intent, of course, is hard to prove.

    I can’t imagine a coin that 100% of knowledgeable collectors would agree should be dipped or left alone.

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    PTVETTERPTVETTER Posts: 5,882 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A coin Doctor uses methods that are NOT acceptable to the hobbie.
    There are different ways to remove PVC most are acceptable while something like a wire brush would not.
    I have always said that PROPERTY dipping a coin is acceptable, but some can mess up a simple thing like this!

    Pat Vetter,Mercury Dime registry set,1938 Proof set registry,Pat & BJ Coins:724-325-7211


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    joebb21joebb21 Posts: 4,733 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had what I thought was a very dark 1878 7/8tf strong in an ngc ms63 old holder. It was nice but nobody looked at it since it wasnt white. I cracked it and dipped it in ezest. Now it looks nice white and in a 64 holder. A doctor? I think thats a little generous. Ill take it though :)

    may the fonz be with you...always...
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    cnncoinscnncoins Posts: 414 ✭✭✭✭

    I have always considered doctoring to be more associated with ADDING something to the coin or the surfaces. REMOVING something from the surfaces (in most cases dipping) IMO is not doctoring. The exception to this is removing something on the coin that is considered a detriment to the coin's grade (spots, etc.), then trying to cover it up somehow. Others may disagree and have their own opinion. Almost all "doctoring" is designed to get a higher grade from the grading services.
    The grading services and CAC are very good at detecting coins that have been doctored.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,639 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 3, 2017 4:44PM

    Not in the least bit. Dipping is a reality of the market place - hold a coin too long it will need a dip.

    Never cared for tarnished coins. Must buyers want coins that are brilliant with super luster, PQ.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This confirms my thoughts. Some folks are possibly convinced that dipping a coin is "doctoring."

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    amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fixed it for you! :#

    @Stork said:
    Going with the 'doctoring' concept:

    Beauty Spa--a nice clean up ie. ACETONE.

    Medical Spa--superficially taking away a bit of ugliness/dermabrasion type stuff ie. DIPPING/TPG conservation level of intervention, designed to show what's already there.

    Doctoring--moving things around (ie surgical interventions)/adding/taking away ie. putty/at/plugging holes/lasering etc. designed to fool. IE BOOB JOB!

    Kinda silly and basic, but it works for me.

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    amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 3, 2017 6:12PM

    Am I seeing a post from Ricko Jr.? ;)

    @Cougar1978 said:
    Not in the least bit. Dipping is a reality of the market place - hold a coin too long it will need a dip.

    Never cared for tarnished coins. Must buyers want coins that are brilliant with super luster, PQ.

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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,348 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm no coin doc but I used to run a hospital for copper. Just clean 'em and expose them to warm air for six months to five years and they'll eventually "heal" enough.

    Tempus fugit.
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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cnncoins. Removing something is not doctoring?????

    How bout mint marks on 1928 Peace dollars (and many other coins)? How about hairlines? Rim bumps?

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    ldhairldhair Posts: 7,124 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't see a dip or an acetone bath as doctoring.

    Larry

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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,062 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 3, 2017 8:26PM

    Yes, I consider dipping to be coin doctoring, but I think it is a market acceptable form of doctoring and may not involve the nefarious intent or ethical ramifications of other non-market acceptable types of doctoring.

    Much of the mainstream collecting community will disagree with me as it has grown accustomed to using terms tongue in cheek (like "uncirculated" coins with obvious wear) that are disingenuous and amount to nothing more than a selective marketing slant. If it proves profitable enough and use becomes widespread, the community will redefine or creatively define terms to normalize preferred behavior regardless of any logical contradiction that may exist. It all comes down to money. If it is profitable enough and it can be sugar coated, it may be normalized at some point.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cameonut2011 said...." If it is profitable enough and it can be sugar coated, it may be normalized at some point." So very true... just look at the market premiums for tarnish....It is a doctor's paradise.... the money just keeps on rolling in. Dipping to remove crud or unsightly tarnish is not doctoring and is accepted by the TPG'S and the hobby in general. Alterations or additions (i.e. metal movement, putty, adding MM's, AT..etc.) is coin doctoring. Cheers, RickO

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    KellenCoinKellenCoin Posts: 1,193 ✭✭✭✭

    I consider changing the coin beyond conservation to be doctoring.

    YN Member of the ANA, ANS, NBS, EAC, C4, MCA, PNNA, CSNS, ILNA, TEC, and more!
    Always buying numismatic literature and sample slabs.

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This discussions is not about_ ALTERED _COINS! While, I realize that some purists believe that running a coin under water (chemical _alteration_ :) ) or brushing a Large cent (mechanical _alteration_ :) ) is "Doctoring," this is the first time I have ever heard or read any one on earth call removing a mint mark - "doctoring."

    Additionally, I have always heard/read that fixing rim dings, scratches and holes on coins (by physically _altering _their surface :) ) were are called repairs.

    In view of this, I guess the poster who considers dipping a coin as doctoring may be part of a group of collectors that I formerly believed was much smaller. Oh my. :(

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    TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No. I consider myself a coin-tractor. It's like a contractor, only more denigrated.

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    ashelandasheland Posts: 22,694 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just dipping or acetone here. But never alteration.

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    cnncoinscnncoins Posts: 414 ✭✭✭✭

    Of course moving metal is "doctoring". There are no absolutes here; but generally speaking, adding something to the surfaces (rather than removing tarnish) would constitute some form of doctoring by most people's definition. Removing (or adding) mint marks, rim filing, etc., all fall under the definition of doctoring IMO.

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    ColonelJessupColonelJessup Posts: 6,442 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 4, 2017 10:50AM

    LOL, I remember when Magic Mark tried to turn himself for the $10,000 bounty when it was first offered >:)
    I love the smell of Jewel-Luster in the morning. It's the smell of Victory. B)
    Neither of us will move metal. ;)

    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - Geo. Orwell
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    AMRCAMRC Posts: 4,266 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Doctoring is when you do things to a coin that make it look like more than it is. Conservation is getting a coin back into the best possible shape it can be without moving metal and without any intent to hide or deceive any problems, perceived or otherwise.

    You can argue but it won't change anything in the industry,

    MLAeBayNumismatics: "The greatest hobby in the world!"
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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 4, 2017 11:16AM

    I see the problem. It is ME and all the long-time professionals who were in the business before many of you were born.

    In the "old days" - LOL... their was no such thing as a "coin doctor." It was a "new" word coined I suspect by the dealers and TPGS that came around in the mid-1980's.

    In the "old days," coins were dipped, cleaned, repaired, and "altered" - either by whizzing or as used in authentication. Rim files were not done by "coin doctors." Holes were not repaired by "coin doctors." Coins were not whizzed by "coin doctors." Mint marks were not removed by "coin doctors." Cup and saucer alterations, embossed mint marks, added mint marks, etc. were not done by "coin doctors." The coin shop owner who dipped his coins was not a "coin doctor."

    When this NEW TERM was coined, I learned that it was used exclusively to describe those individuals who chemically altered the surface of coins. I see that in the passing years, right or wrong (I don't give ...) the meaning of this term has become clouded. No, that's a selfish statement as I'm not the word police. In reality, the meaning of "coin doctor" as been "expanded" by many of the very informed posters here.

    Hopefully, any grading/authentication instructors who are old enough to remember the "old days" will teach the difference to their students. :)

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    TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Dipped a nickel yesterday, after receiving zero bids on the coin....at that famous site known as ebay.
    Full disclosure baby.
    Is it doctoring ?



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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 4, 2017 12:22PM

    Nice job, I've already posted my opinion. :)

    PS Looks like you used the wrong chemical. I learned that the chemical those no-good coin doctors at one of the professional conservation services use on nickel removes all the black spots.

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    RexfordRexford Posts: 1,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 4, 2017 12:44PM

    Unless I'm mistaken, dipping involves the removal of the top layer of metal from the coin - in other words, damaging the coin. A dipped coin is not returned to its natural state, but to a state that has not previously existed. Acetone and some other methods remove outside material from the surface of the coin, but do not remove any actual metal. Thus I would call dipping doctoring and acetone conserving.

    I also don't think the term "doctor" has become clouded. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, doctoring can be defined as:

    a :to adapt or modify for a desired end by alteration or special treatment
    b :to alter deceptively

    That's how I've always defined doctoring and that's how I think it always has been defined. It doesn't matter whether the method was chemical or physical or the exact methods used (or whom or how many people are using the method, or whether or not people are calling the method "doctoring"), if the material of the coin itself is altered in any way, it is doctoring. Cleaning a coin's surfaces with acetone is not doctoring because it does not alter the state of the actual coin, but instead that of the contaminants on the surface.

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    TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Unlike guys with the phD, I got a "P.U. D"

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    DoubleEagle59DoubleEagle59 Posts: 8,200 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've dipped plenty of coins in my day but |I don't consider this a qualifier for being a coin 'doctor'.

    "Gold is money, and nothing else" (JP Morgan, 1912)

    "“Those who sacrifice liberty for security/safety deserve neither.“(Benjamin Franklin)

    "I only golf on days that end in 'Y'" (DE59)
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    amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was manning a grading table at the Phillie ANA in 2002. A dealer brings up a group of Morgans wanting an opinion on what we would grade them. I pssed him off! I told him the cheeks are waxed. He says what? I showed him where it was uneven and other obvious signs and he says ha!. He had the audacity to apply some more wax as I watched! : That is certainly a form of coin doctoring!

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    SoCalBigMarkSoCalBigMark Posts: 2,786 ✭✭✭✭✭

    More like a registered nurse, i aspire to study under the surgeon general Dr. Jessup for my residency.

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    logger7logger7 Posts: 8,090 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 4, 2017 5:25PM

    First do no harm. I called PCGS and NGC on conservation on a coin I have, the first said up to 8 weeks, the second turns stuff around relatively fast. i couldn't get the spots off a silver Bust coin so sent to the second option.

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    ColonelJessupColonelJessup Posts: 6,442 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    Nice job, I've already posted my opinion. :)

    PS Looks like you used the wrong chemical. I learned that the chemical those no-good coin doctors at one of the professional conservation services use on nickel removes all the black spots.

    My pool-care guy has a solution for that ;)

    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - Geo. Orwell
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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 5, 2017 8:28AM

    @Rexford said: "I also don't think the term "doctor" has become clouded. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, doctoring can be defined as:

    a :to adapt or modify for a desired end by alteration or special treatment
    b :to alter deceptively

    "That's how I've always defined doctoring and that's how I think it always has been defined."

    Some things to consider:

    1. The Merriam-Webster dictionary is not specifically about numismatics. However, "b." is a perfect definition.
    2. If you have a copy, look up "doctoring" in a circa 1950's dictionary. What, no luck? You cannot find it?
    3. As to how you define doctoring (pretty good explanation) and what was always done, you may like to read my post again. Were you over fifteen in 1965?

    You see, we tend to judge just about everything based on our experience in our timeframe in history. For example, I can only read about what other numismatists said was going on before the 1950's. Additionally, I'll never know what will go on after say 2029. That's why I can only have a reasonable opinion about what goes on in our hobby from when I became involved as a YN (1955) to the present.

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    RexfordRexford Posts: 1,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 5, 2017 10:20AM

    @Insider2 said:
    @Rexford said: "I also don't think the term "doctor" has become clouded. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, doctoring can be defined as:

    a :to adapt or modify for a desired end by alteration or special treatment
    b :to alter deceptively

    "That's how I've always defined doctoring and that's how I think it always has been defined."

    Some things to consider:

    1. The Merriam-Webster dictionary is not specifically about numismatics. However, "b." is a perfect definition.
    2. If you have a copy, look up "doctoring" in a circa 1950's dictionary. What, no luck? You cannot find it?
    3. As to how you define doctoring (pretty good explanation) and what was always done, you may like to read my post again. Were you over fifteen in 1965?

    You see, we tend to judge just about everything based on our experience in our timeframe in history. For example, I can only read about what other numismatists said was going on before the 1950's. Additionally, I'll never know what will go on after say 2029. That's why I can only have a reasonable opinion about what goes on in our hobby from when I became involved as a YN (1955) to the present.

    I understand that position, but if numismatists were ever using the word "doctor" in a way that does not match the Merriam-Webster definition (which I'm sure has not changed since 1955, since the definition I quoted originated hundreds of years ago), then they were using the word incorrectly. The definition of doctoring does not change because coin doctors don't consider what they are doing to be doctoring. "Coin doctoring" is not a word in and of itself, but a combination of the words "coin" and "doctoring." "Doctoring" doesn't acquire a whole new meaning because of its attachment to the word "coin."

    It's also irrelevant how people view dipping or other methods - if they fall under the definition of doctoring, then they are doctoring. If in fifty years adding mintmarks somehow becomes commonplace and encouraged and people stop calling it doctoring coins, it doesn't make it not doctoring coins. Experience is inconsequential.

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 5, 2017 11:07AM

    Ok guys, out side of any authentication/grading seminar I plan to attend in the future, I'll join the modern "flat-earth" generation. Apparently, putting acetone on a coin is ALSO "doctoring" under the dictionary definition: a: to adapt or modify for a desired end by alteration or special treatment.

    You see, words mean something so IMHO, a person cannot have it both ways if they know what they are talking about. :smiley:

    PS "...if numismatists were ever using the word "doctor..." I think you may have missed something. At one time in the past, the words "coin doctor" NEVER EXISTED! I was there. You may not have been. :wink:

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    RexfordRexford Posts: 1,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 5, 2017 11:39AM

    .> @Insider2 said:

    Ok guys, out side of any authentication/grading seminar I plan to attend in the future, I'll join the modern "flat-earth" generation. Apparently, putting acetone on a coin is ALSO "doctoring" under the dictionary definition: a: to adapt or modify for a desired end by alteration or special treatment.

    You see, words mean something so IMHO, a person cannot have it both ways if they know what they are talking about. :smiley:

    PS "...if numismatists were ever using the word "doctor..." I think you may have missed something. At one time in the past, the words "coin doctor" NEVER EXISTED! I was there. You may not have been. :wink:

    Putting acetone on a coin is not coin doctoring as it does not alter the coin itself, but the external contaminants that have built up on the coin, as I said before.

    Also as I implied before, it doesn't matter if the term "coin doctor" did or didn't exist at any one time. The word "doctor" did, and "coin doctor" is not a word in and of itself, but a combination of "coin" and "doctor." The word "doctor" in "coin doctor" does not acquire any new meaning for having been attached to the word "coin."

    I can see that the main content of my position isn't being addressed, so I think I'll be moving on. Good discussion anyways.

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    AMRCAMRC Posts: 4,266 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Don't you love these boards when some of these old topics creep out of the woodwork and are rehashed all over again with absolutely no new color added for our education?

    MLAeBayNumismatics: "The greatest hobby in the world!"
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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Rexford said: "Putting acetone on a coin is not coin doctoring as it does not alter the coin itself, but the external contaminants that have built up on the coin, as I said before."

    a :to adapt or modify for a desired end by alteration or special treatment

    Thanks for providing this definition for all of us. As per the dictionary definition, you have educated me to consider a coin's surface and anything on it to be part of the coin UNTIL it's surface is modified for a desired end by treatment with acetone.

    @Rexford continued: "Also as I implied before, it doesn't matter if the term "coin doctor" did or didn't exist at any one time. The word "doctor" did, and "coin doctor" is not a word in and of itself, but a combination of "coin" and "doctor." The word "doctor" in "coin doctor" does not acquire any new meaning for having been attached to the word "coin."

    True, just as "flat" and "earth" both existed until a modern combination of the two was "coined" to describe or defend some malarkey!

    Unfortunately, @ Rexford is leaving: "I can see that the main content of my position isn't being addressed, so I think I'll be moving on. Good discussion anyways."

    I agree, good discussion...I find it very enjoyable to read opposing opinions from the different generations of collectors here. CU is one of the only ways I learn about what's being taught today in the real world. That's the difference between being in a classroom with an instructor and my peers and posting opinions on a chat board. I feel like my grading instructor just walked out of class and left me hanging. :(

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    TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Im a metal doctor. I can bend it , shape it, and torque nuts, too.

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TwoSides2aCoin said: "I'm a metal doctor. I can bend it , shape it, and torque nuts, too. "

    I wondered what a "coin-tractor" was or a P.U.D. Is that like a "metal contractor?"

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    TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, I learned too many trades. But working coins isn't working on them. It's working around the people who collect them, or with those who buy them and sell them to others who collect them. I don't contract out my skills (as a tradesman) for the hobby. I use them (skills) to manage my affairs. No coin doctor am I. :)

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh yes you are. I'll bet you "alter" the surface of coins in one way or another. Confess it as I did! :wink:

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    CascadeChrisCascadeChris Posts: 2,518 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Did someone say coin Doctors :)

    The more you VAM..

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