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Flexing my Grading Independence

TommyTypeTommyType Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭✭✭

(What good is a coin show if you can't tell stories about it?) :wink:

I've been looking for a 1950's dated Franklin Half to flesh out my "Tommy's version" of a Type Set. I have a nice 1948, and a nice 1963....I feel I need a 50's dated coin.

I figured just about anything from 1950 to 1959, MS-65FBL. That should be a pretty good looking coin, at a reasonable price, (if you get the "right" mint mark...or lack of).

Today at the Buena Park show, I saw what looked like a pretty nice 1954D in 65FBL. But I put it low on my list of "things to investigate further", since it is a lower priority for me.

After making a "big purchase", I went back to look at it, and maybe pick it up to close out my day. I ask to see it, and the dealer opens up the case. At his urging, I reached in and picked it out. After looking at it, I thought, "Yeah, that will do! Very few marks, nice strike, just what I'm looking for."

"How much?" Now, I'm thinking this: PCGS price guide is $110. If he comes back with anything under $100, I'll buy it.

He pulls out his Grey Sheet, does some thinking, and says, "$20 bucks."


"Yep. That'll do."

I looked at the coin again...and turns out I had inadvertently pulled out a coin in an MS-63FBL holder! "Oh...I thought it was a 65!"

"I have one of those too...want to see?"

"Um...Yeah! Sure!"

I look at the 65....and while it has the strike of the 63...there are 2 or 3 scattered marks....rather distracting marks...on it.

Now, I'm not going to claim I am a Franklin grading expert. Far from it, really. But looking at them side-by-side, there is no doubt in MY little head that the 63 is the better looking coin. I would have passed on the 65 as a 65....yet I was willing to buy the 63 as a 65 just moments ago!!

I said, "The hell with it....I'll take the 63 for $20!!" And I did.

There is no doubt in my mind that the 63 is under graded by at LEAST a point....but Is it worth sending in for re-grade? Probably not. Might never happen. But for $20, I got a sweet little coin, in my mind! But maybe, it was just a low quality 65 I'm really complaining about....whichever.

After typing this...I realized it was "useless without a picture!" I don't have a pic of the 65FBL, obviously...but below is my $20 63FBL taken with my crappy cell phone camera. Feel free to take shots...it cost $20!! :smiley:

Easily distracted Type Collector


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    DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 22,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice coin for 20 Bucks, :)

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    TommyTypeTommyType Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just realized it's a Generation 4.0 holder....the first one after the Green labels. And it still has a 7 digit serial number, unlike the 8 shown in the "PCGS Museum". Guessing that makes it a relatively early Gen 4.0....and nearly a OGH.

    Might explain some of the story.....

    Easily distracted Type Collector
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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent purchase.... Unless you are grade fixated, or plan on selling, I would keep it as is. Cheers, RickO

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    KkathylKkathyl Posts: 3,762 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good deal. Goes to show you have to buy the coin not the label.

    Best place to buy !
    Bronze Associate member

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    mannie graymannie gray Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice coin for $20.
    Lots of eye appeal.

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    amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My experience is anything better than a 64 FBL grade is a preferred customer grade!

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice coin. Now a word of warning...Usually, when you see a coin that looks like an MS-65 (as yours does) in an MS-63 slab, it has been "net graded." Take the coin into a dark room and use one lamp w/ 100W bulb. Tip the slab up at a 45 degree angle and slowly rotate it under the light while maintaining a 45 degree tilt. Look for continuous, parallel hairlines or a shiny wheel mark. Good luck and let's hope the coin is 100% original and that it was graded when standards were tighter.

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