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"Original" coins. Is that what collectors should prefer?

lkeigwinlkeigwin Posts: 16,887 ✭✭✭✭✭

"Original". We hear it all the time. What does it mean when it comes to 200 year old coins? Never been touched? Not wiped or dipped, never dusted or brushed?

Here are a few to critique...or criticize. What do you think? Have they been "improved"? Would you help them along or leave them alone? Would it make a difference if you had to sell them?
Lance.

P.S. A few are scarce varieties, FWIW. Some of you will spot them.







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    DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 22,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with Wildidea - These are all very nice just the way they are.

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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,062 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't see originality as a binary trait; I see it as a spectrum ranging from grossly altered/unnatural to truly unmolested pieces with everything in between. The holy grail for me when I was collecting was to find pieces that appeared to have never been manipulated (including a dip) and that were eye appealing but those were rare and virtually nonexistent for many issues. As a result each purchase was a trade off between finding the most eye appealing examples that had no or limited manipulation (e.g. old dip) within financial constraints.

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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,062 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would leave all of your coins alone. None strike me as offensive even the ones that have obviously had an old dip and retoned.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,640 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 27, 2017 5:05AM

    I don’t consider them original but sure many using that term sell theirs.

    Tarnish is damage to the coin. Over time the darker areas will tone black. I do think the 1810 rather attractive for a toned coin if that material is your preference.

    Original coins are bright, with super luster, as pristine as the day they left the mint. Eventually the market will bounce back to preferring this material as today’s toners get even more darker due to reaction with the atmosphere severely even more damaged / unsalvageable.

    I don’t think dipping would do much good. Get them graded / professionally conserved and then shop them around the bourse or sell yourself. You may be able get 90-95 pct CDN Bid.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    topstuftopstuf Posts: 14,803 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We'll know it's gone too far when detectorists will be told to leave the coins they find in the lump of dirt. :p

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    oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 11,905 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Some people like Coke and some Pepsi or Royal Crown colas. It really depends on the "attractiveness" of the coins. I have a few "blast white" coins but, mostly are circulated which should not be white or red (copper).

    oih82w8 = Oh I Hate To Wait _defectus patientia_aka...Dr. Defecto - Curator of RMO's

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    TPRCTPRC Posts: 3,740 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 27, 2017 5:57AM

    Great coins, Lance, and I particularly like the first 3, which have that grey dirt (or dirt grey) look. Then again, I have been accused of preferring crusty and darker, more original coins, over lighter ones.

    Bill, your twenty cent piece is very nice. It is not really my cup of tea as it is a bit too white for me, but then again, I don't own an unc and I think this one is an unc. and pretty. My last 75-s twenty center, which I really liked, was an original dirt grey au+ but with a weak strike. What makes your coin special to me is that strike, which, if I recall, is especially nice for a 75-s twenty cent piece. Yes, it's white, but it's very nice, with a very good strike.

    Tom

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,945 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The key is "original plus eye-appeal". Not all original coins have good eye-appeal.

    All glory is fleeting.
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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The term 'original' is, much like grades, an opinion..qualified by the knowledge of the individual. I prefer my coins without tarnish, though I certainly can appreciate coins that have seen commerce and wear. Many collectors look for certain attributes that appeal to their senses, that is why AT coins sell for a premium. I like the look of most of the coins in the OP and I would consider buying a couple of them. As far as the question in the OP...I do not think collectors 'should' prefer anything specific....it is a hobby. Dealers though, should prefer those coins that sell quickly and command premiums. This requires being attentive to the market. Cheers, RickO

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @panexpoguy ....That is an incredible '42S Merc.... very nice indeed.
    @BillJones ..... Actually, I like that 1876 coin...It looks as if it spent the better part of it's life in a coin cabinet.
    Cheers, RickO

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    TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,850 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I prefer unique , with character, as opposed to original, without it. Something about “as is” pleases me. Fix ‘em if you need.

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    No HeadlightsNo Headlights Posts: 2,039 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would be in the leave them as they are camp. Nothing to do but enjoy them as they are.

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    stevebensteveben Posts: 4,596 ✭✭✭✭✭

    i would leave all those coins alone.

    to me, the term "original" is ambiguous when used to solely to describe coin surfaces. it means the surfaces are "as is," due to circulation, environment, and time. it doesn't mean the coin is unmolested. certainly, circulated coins are subject all types of abuse that coin collectors would not inflict on a collectable coin!

    the only true original coin would be one just struck. however, a G graded coin could be described as original if the patina that exists on the coin is there because of circulation, environment, and time...BEFORE it was collected.

    this would mean that some original coins are not gradable. imagine an 1877 indian cent that circulated, was lost, and developed corrosion due to being in the ground. the surfaces are "as is" due to the same constraints. it's original, but sadly, not in the condition we want to collect.

    now, consider a proof coin. this coin was meant to be collected...so circulation is not really a factor, so long as it does not circulate, of course. suppose, the collector stores the coin improperly directly from the mint. it would still be original, but maybe the toning is hideous.

    so, original can be a good adjective for a coin, depending on whether or not that coin has nice eye appeal and can be assigned a grade. but original alone isn't necessarily positive.

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    StuartStuart Posts: 9,761 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LKeigwin Your CBH’s are always a pleasure to view. Those in your Registry Set all have the exact kind of eye appeal that I also appreciate.

    Did you intentionally post them in order of grade from lowest to highest?

    Out of the 7 for which you’ve posted photos on this thread the 1810 is the one that I couldn’t stop looking at — it’s gorgeous and IMO tops in that group strictly from an Eye Appeal perspective. — I’d love to see high resolution photos of it!


    I’d rank the 1828 as #2 for Eye Appeal in this grouping.



    Stuart

    Collect 18th & 19th Century US Type Coins, Silver Dollars, $20 Gold Double Eagles and World Crowns & Talers with High Eye Appeal

    "Luck is what happens when Preparation meets Opportunity"
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    Wabbit2313Wabbit2313 Posts: 7,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @panexpoguy said:

    I have posted coins on this forum for which I have received unsolicited opinions that they are ugly. Here are >three:

    If you post on a public forum, you are soliciting an opinion by default! :)

    Those are 3 ugly dimes! (And I am a Merc collector!)

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    Wabbit2313Wabbit2313 Posts: 7,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hey Lance: I don't think turning those coins white would make them better. They look great!

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    lkeigwinlkeigwin Posts: 16,887 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I started by selecting some especially dirty, crusty coins. And then I threw in a scarcity or two. Just to mix things up a little I added the 1810 at the end. It is neither dirty nor crusty and perhaps not even "original". But it is a favorite of mine, ex-Keith Davignon, AU58. I did some fast talking to convince the owner to sell it to me.

    Right, John, the 1819 is an O.103. Do you ever make mistakes?

    Of course I have no intention of messing with these or any other bust halves in my set. I liked a thread Stuart started a while back, which encouraged folks to discuss the aesthetics of coins -- strike, luster, eye appeal, etc. -- and not just grades. So I figured I'd contribute.

    Thanks, everyone, for chiming in. And for your "original" thoughts! It's always fun and educating to hear from our many experts.
    Lance.

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    WalkerfanWalkerfan Posts: 8,976 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 27, 2017 3:49PM

    I like original coins, if they are attractive and have nice eye appeal, but I would not hesitate in buying a white coin with great luster. Luster is key.

    “I may not believe in myself but I believe in what I’m doing” ~Jimmy Page~

    My Full Walker Registry Set (1916-1947)

    https://www.ngccoin.com/registry/competitive-sets/16292/

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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,062 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:
    Here is the other end of Twenty Cent Piece spectrum. I believe that this 1876 double dime has never been cleaned or dipped and is totally original. I’m sure that this coin would be too dark for Ricko ;) and some other collectors, but this is how a well preserved, never dipped 100+ year old coin can look. The grade is PCGS MS-65.


    I like it and would rather have this than the blast white dipped out examples that commonly appear at auction.

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    spacehaydukespacehayduke Posts: 5,476 ✭✭✭✭✭

    me loves tarnish....... But probably not original to get this way - they may have been cleaned in the past to get the resulting colors on the next tarnishing episode......... But CAC liked them so who am I to disagree?

    Best, SH


    Successful transactions with-Boosibri,lkeigwin,TomB,Broadstruck,coinsarefun,Type2,jom,ProfLiz, UltraHighRelief,Barndog,EXOJUNKIE,ldhair,fivecents,paesan,Crusty...
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    roadrunnerroadrunner Posts: 28,303 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 27, 2017 4:51PM

    Of the CBH's in the original post, I would consider at most 1 or 2 of them as possibly being in the never, ever messed with class. And who can be sure? All have nice eye appeal.

    Those 3 toned Merc dimes are gorgeous. The blast white MS67 does nothing for me.

    For those looking for blast white and fully original capped bust material.....well, good luck. I've only seen one 98% blast white choice unc CBH that I even considered as being possibly FULLY original. It was amazing and graded PCGS MS64. It had the finest luster "crust" I had ever seen on any CBH...including all the ones graded MS65 to MS68. If blast white/fully original is your game, plan on only dealing with 20th century "rolled" coinage or Morgan/Peace silver dollars directly from mint bags.

    Barbarous Relic No More, LSCC -GoldSeek--shadow stats--SafeHaven--321gold
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    panexpoguypanexpoguy Posts: 1,239 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Wabbit2313 said:

    @panexpoguy said:

    I have posted coins on this forum for which I have received unsolicited opinions that they are ugly. Here are >three:

    If you post on a public forum, you are soliciting an opinion by default! :)

    Those are 3 ugly dimes! (And I am a Merc collector!)

    The only thing ugly about those Mercs is your comment. And posting on a forum is not a solicitation of opinion by default. But I can understand how the uncouth would believe it to be the case.

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    mr1931Smr1931S Posts: 5,975 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My opinion is that all of the halves pictured in the OP qualify as original. None of them make my nose turn up for unoriginality. Who knows what might have been done to a coin 200 years ago? What I go for is a "look" of originality. Bright and shiny after 200 years of exposure to the atmosphere? I don't think so.

    A few years ago I posted a picture of an RB 1912 Lincoln that I had purchased. One poster opined that he didn't like the "look" of it. My reply was that the "look" he didn't like is exactly what I looked for back in the day,the early '60s as a kid, searching for early Lincolns in rolls. My 1912 was untampered with, totally original in my opinion. Other early Lincolns can be original and have a different look than my coin. I acknowledge that.

    But this hobby should not be rocket science. If you like the look buy the piece. Use the 50-year rule. Will anyone alive 50-years from now care what you liked your coins in your collection to look like? If you like bright and shiny 200 year old coins go for them. Just don't even to begin to call them original or guys like me who have been around the cape a time or two will have something to say about it.

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.-Albert Einstein

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,640 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Originality meaningless if coin unattractive, ruined by bad tarnish.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    mr1931Smr1931S Posts: 5,975 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Original but unattractive I will pass on every time. Dip that 200 year-old coin to bright and shiny that was once original but unattractive and I will pass on it too every time. It's the look that matters to me.

    All of the OP halves are attractive looking to me. Attractive enough to call original, in my opinion.

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.-Albert Einstein

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    Wabbit2313Wabbit2313 Posts: 7,268 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 28, 2017 11:11AM

    @panexpoguy said:

    @Wabbit2313 said:

    @panexpoguy said:

    I have posted coins on this forum for which I have received unsolicited opinions that they are ugly. Here are >three:

    If you post on a public forum, you are soliciting an opinion by default! :)

    Those are 3 ugly dimes! (And I am a Merc collector!)

    The only thing ugly about those Mercs is your comment. And posting on a forum is not a solicitation of opinion by default. But I can understand how the uncouth would believe it to be the case.

    Merriam Webster defines a forum as, "a public meeting place for open discussion".

    But I can understand how the uncouth Despots would believe it to NOT be the case.

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    panexpoguypanexpoguy Posts: 1,239 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Wabbit2313 said:

    @panexpoguy said:

    @Wabbit2313 said:

    @panexpoguy said:

    I have posted coins on this forum for which I have received unsolicited opinions that they are ugly. Here are >three:

    If you post on a public forum, you are soliciting an opinion by default! :)

    Those are 3 ugly dimes! (And I am a Merc collector!)

    The only thing ugly about those Mercs is your comment. And posting on a forum is not a solicitation of opinion by default. But I can understand how the uncouth would believe it to be the case.

    Merriam Webster defines a forum as, "a public meeting place for open discussion".

    But I can understand how the uncouth Despots would believe it to NOT be the case.

    @Wabbit2313 said:

    @panexpoguy said:

    @Wabbit2313 said:

    @panexpoguy said:

    I have posted coins on this forum for which I have received unsolicited opinions that they are ugly. Here are >three:

    If you post on a public forum, you are soliciting an opinion by default! :)

    Those are 3 ugly dimes! (And I am a Merc collector!)

    The only thing ugly about those Mercs is your comment. And posting on a forum is not a solicitation of opinion by default. But I can understand how the uncouth would believe it to be the case.

    Merriam Webster defines a forum as, "a public meeting place for open discussion".

    But I can understand how the uncouth Despots would believe it to NOT be the case.

    The rapier like thrust of an armless D'Artagnan.

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    BaleyBaley Posts: 22,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 28, 2017 2:03PM

    I generally mislike threads with the word 'should' in the title, but..

    Yes, a coin that is original, in my view, has clearly never had it's surfaces intentionally altered, and is most desirable. For modern and more common older coins, this is not that hard to find or discern.

    For rare old coins, true indisputable originality is exceedingly rare. Many coins represented as original looking are not, and some are obviouly not, but are given a pass because they are nonetheless attractive for the secondary or higher order toning.

    Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry

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    lavalava Posts: 3,286 ✭✭✭

    Lance, glad to hear your thread was merely a hypothetical and all coins will remain as is. Great eye. Agree with Stuart that the 1810 is beyond exceptional. These have more eye appeal than some higher graded coins, but that is a topic for another thread, where feathers might get ruffled.

    I brake for ear bars.
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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk said: "Original doesn't necessarily mean attractive. I think the term I like more, and have used it and seen it used, is "wholesome."

    I agree! The last "escort" they sent me was definitely not "original;" yet she was "wholesome." :p

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    BustDMsBustDMs Posts: 1,574 ✭✭✭✭✭

    KILLER Large Letters!

    Love at first sight.

    Q: When does a collector become a numismatist?



    A: The year they spend more on their library than their coin collection.



    A numismatist is judged more on the content of their library than the content of their cabinet.
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    keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    without knowing for certain what a coin's history is the best we can say internally is that it looks the way we might expect it to for its age, we "feel" that it is original. in truth, a large proportion of the coins we feel are original, including the OP's coins, have quite likely been cleaned at some time in the past. though many loathe the term "market acceptable" it probably applies well to coins like this.

    the current market-place sees coins like what the OP has posted and judges them to be original.

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    Dave99BDave99B Posts: 8,364 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cool Bust halves! Love the 1810 and 1814.

    Hard to say if they are truly original (not dipped, messed with, etc).

    All I can say is when I see a 200 year old coin that’s bright white, my advice is .... run the other way!!!

    Dave

    Always looking for original, better date VF20-VF35 Barber quarters and halves, and a quality beer.
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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,640 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 3, 2017 4:09AM

    The 1942-S MS67 FB 10c which is blast white with super luster is my preference vs the tarnished pieces shown. It is what I consider PQ and the toned pieces are average to slightly above average quality IMO. From over 25 years operating on the bourse most prefer coins which are PQ with super luster and lots of blast.

    Original is a subjective term. While I consider the blast white coin original I don’t consider the tarnished pieces such. Their damage from exposure to the atmosphere removes them from that description original lol. Toning on silver coins becomes darker over time.

    I know of many who consider toned coins original especially in pushing their own agenda but I reject this and so do many others. I have both brilliant and toners in my inventory and view brilliant vs toned as a preference. I am open minded but metals reacting with the atmosphere is a fact and no hype is going to get around this.

    Invest in what you enjoy / prefer. Try to hold to your risk limit for numismatic value (the amount u pay over BV) when purchasing numismatic related coins. I c many holding expensive toned coins they are buried in desperate to sell especially in the current market (decreasing number of collectors).

    In terms of the Bust Halves I like the 1810. Unless I am missing something, You need to communicate the grades / TPG on these coins. What is the TPG / grade for the 1810?

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,318 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Leave alone! Can get no better. Sorry ricko. Those are near perfect coins in my opinion. Love the color. Here is an 1875 S Twenty Cent piece I used to own. Sold to James Garcia. Love the toning. So sorry I ever sold this coin. Probably will never get another one.
    Jim


    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
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    astroratastrorat Posts: 9,221 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice coins, Lance ... no surprise. :smile:

    The only one of the group that would give me pause (and a brief one at that) is the 1827. From the toning pattern and surface appearance, it may have been wiped at one time, many moons ago (based on my interpretation of the image). Still an attractive coin, nonetheless.

    Coins I consider "original" are ones that have no evidence* of an intentional disruption of the coin's surface. "Original" coins can be attractive or ugly. They have done their job in commerce or as in the case with so many Morgan dollars, did their job sitting in a sealed bag for decades.

    I wouldn't try to "improve" any of those nice CBHs ... well, that's wrong. I would improve a few by placing them into MY set!

    *Lots of "white" Morgans, Walking Liberty halves, Franklin halves, etc have had an intentional disruption to their surfaces through "dipping." The key is "evidence" of said dipping. If done properly, those coins still appear "original" as struck.

    Numismatist Ordinaire
    See http://www.doubledimes.com for a free online reference for US twenty-cent pieces

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