11 Dec 2017

Guide Books For Grading Conder Tokens

Tokens | Mike Burns

Hi everyone I want to keep this as short as possible. I have stated in the past that third party graders make mistake with conder tokens. Yes they make many but it's not due to a lack of training or what tools were used or what grade of copper. It's not even due to a lack of books. You see people who do not collect conders wouldn't naturally have a clue of how to do it or even start. There are books third party graders have. Written by collectors in the nineteenth century  and even collectors in the eighteenth century. As time went on more research was done museum's studied planchets they studied the presses that were used. But the most important tools in grading or placing these correctly into an slab is just like a silver eagle. They look for the same mistakes that you find on regular modern coins. Even like civil war tokens are graded the same way. Logic plays a big part. There's no secret grading book. Grading is a judgement call. It doesn't matter if it's an ancient coin or modern coin. They get the same grade based on there condition. Some things are learned by experience. Not a book. There's a reason I own many many conder tokens in mint state. It's called experience. I know what to look for. Yes I have books but none on how to grade a conder token. Never heard of one. But then again I never heard of a book that will tell you how to grade any coin properly with the right grade. You would need a house just to keep them. There are books on grading but your not going to get a job reading them. You have to donate your time and experience. You don't take a course at the ANA and two weeks later wind up at NGC. That's not the real world. The real world according to a great author R.S. Yeoman when he was asked the question what makes a good grader. His response "A good magnifying glass, the right light and twenty years experience". Perfect answer. You can buy all the books ever written on grading coins but if you don't have logic or the experience or a method or the tools you need. You see you need more than a book. Just accept the grade and move on. Because if you don't have a sound argument you lose shutout. It's a cold business some graders will give the benefit of the doubt. Then there are those who believe it's this grade and that's it. And if you can't live with that don't bother on sending them in. Sorry to sound so cold but that's the business. They make the rules we live by them. We don't have to like it. Mike.

10 Dec 2017

Union Pacific token

Tokens | user_9894

Here is my Union Pacific token, I had three, but I donated 2 to an auction of railroad memorabilia. Mine is 1934, but there was a 1933. You can read about this token in the September issue of The Numismatist magazine. I have had the tokens for many years and didn't think anyone was interested in them, but they are making a comeback and at auction they sold for $20.00! Money went to the Division 4 MCR of the National Model Railroad Association.  You will notice the reverse, after flipping vertically that the reverse is rotated about 45 degrees on my token.

09 Dec 2017

*1783 Nova Constellatio Pattern*

Coins-United States | Kepi

I added this unique piece to my collection a few months ago when I won it at auction!   I think this coin is so cool!  It is a 1783 Nova Constellatio Pattern Coin.  Pointed Rays, Small US.   This one is graded by PCGS as Genuine with Environmental Damage-VF Detail.   I researched for more information on this piece, but didn't find out to much.   What I did learn was that it represents one of the first patterns for coinage in the United States.  It was designed by Benjamin Dudley for Gouverneur Morris to carry out his ideas for a decimal coinage system.  These pattern pieces were the first attempt at a decimal ratio and were the forerunners of our present system of money values.  Ultimately these coins never advanced beyond the pattern stage. These all had the date of 1783.  That's it folks...and most of that came from the Red Book.  All I know is that is beautiful and very old!  If anyone can add more information about this coin please feel free to do so.  Thanks for your comments!

09 Dec 2017

A complete gift

Coins-United States | CoinLady

When considering holiday gifts, there's nothing like a set of coins. No, I'm not thinking of a museum-quality collection, but a set of coins that a budding collector or history buff could find interesting.

08 Dec 2017

World’s Fair of Money Vacation (Show Pictures)

World's Fair of Money | FortWorthCollector

Here are the photos that I took at the show itself. These are the final photos from the trip but the National Money Show in Irving is coming very soon and I will get some more pictures there.

07 Dec 2017


Library | Longstrider

   This book is a must have for anybody that is interested in collecting or studying obsolete paper currency between the years 1782-1866. It is written by Q. David Bowers with a forward by the late Eric P. Newman. These men are two of the greatest numismatists to have lived, in my opinion. They both are personal heroes of mine. The passing of Mr. Newman was a sad day for our hobby. This book takes us back through a time when our country had more than 100,000 different combinations of denomination and design for circulating notes at one time. It was so bad, that banks and merchants handling money, had books and pamphlets with hundreds of pages telling them how to identify counterfeits and value guides of all the different currencies. The first chapter covers Early American Paper Money. It ends on chapter 21 with Obsolete Bank Notes: A State-by-State-Guide.


Blog Policy / Disclaimer

This is a community-sourced blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog post’s author, and do not represent the views or opinions of the American Numismatic Association, and may not represent the views or opinions of people, institutions or organizations that the author may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The American Numismatic Association (ANA) makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The ANA does not monitor the blog on a constant basis.

The ANA will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The ANA will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Downloadable Files and Images

Any downloadable file, including but not limited to pdfs, docs, jpegs, pngs, is provided at the user’s own risk. The ANA will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from a corrupted or damaged file.


Blogs and comments are encouraged. However, the ANA reserves the right to edit or delete any blog posts or comments submitted to this blog without notice due to :

  • Content deemed to be spam or questionable spam.
  • Content includes profanity.
  • Content contains language or concepts that could be deemed offensive.
  • Content contains hate speech, credible threats, or direct attacks on an individual or group.

The ANA is not responsible for the content in blog posts or comments.

This blog disclaimer is subject to change at anytime.