CentSearcher's Blog

13 Jan 2021

My plans for 2021

Coins-United States | CentSearcher

Greetings everyone! School started for me last week so I haven't had much time to write my usual weekly blogs, as well as stay up to date with what you guys are posting. Hopefully I can get my weekly article blog up on Saturday, but for now I thought I would just let you all know how things have been going.

26 Dec 2020

2020 Christmas Haul

Coins-United States | CentSearcher

Greetings everyone! This is my second writing this entire blog up because the first time there was an incident. I will be making this one shorter than the one in the first attempt, because it would be a pain to have to type the whole thing up again. Today I will be sharing with you the coins I received for Christmas. Without any further introduction, let's begin!

24 Dec 2020

Happy Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Date Of Christ's Birth!

Coins-United States | CentSearcher

I am sure most of you have heard me say that several times on multiple occasions. You also may be wondering why I say this variation of its simple form, Merry Christmas. Well, most people see Christmas as the holiday that is about Santa Claus and the gifts under the Christmas tree. But I know, and I hope most of you, that its true origin is from the "Celebration of the Anniversary of the Date of Christ's Birth". This variation uncovers the true meaning of Christmas, and will hopefully remind all of us of the ultimate gift given to us from God, and that is Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Dec 2020

Grading coins & graded coins

Coins-United States | CentSearcher

Greetings everyone! Today's topic is a long and complicated one so bare with me as I attempt to summarize everything into one readable blog. I will be discussing the creation and evolution of the grading scale, the general rules to the grading standards we use now, grading companies and certified coins, and finally registry sets. Let's see how this goes.I see Numismatics as a hobby in which the object is to preserve history, in the form of coins. But as time passes, these coins will wear down and further distance itself from its original state, aka mint state. A coin can get pulled from circulation at any point between a near flawless state, and a worn slick disk of metal. It would only make sense for a grading scale to be made to define the condition of a coin. This had been taken in mind, but no universal system had been constructed. With so many different grading scales out there, a lot of confusion followed. It wasn't until 1913 that H.O. Granberg, a prominent collector at the time, proposed a grading standard in the Numismatist. His suggestion included the grades proof, uncirculated, very fine, fine, very good, good, fair, and poor. You may notice that all of these terms are still used in the grading standards we use today. But you may of noticed that there are two neighboring grades not listed, and that is extremely fine and about uncirculated. Those grades have not come to pass yet, so just picture this scale with very fine just below uncirculated, fine following behind very fine, and etc. Several other side designations were also brought forward by Granberg, such as cleaned, corrosion, brilliant, weak, nicks, and several more.But just as before several alternate grading scales branched out from Granberg's suggestion and not much was immediately solved. It proved that inspection of the coin was still very crucial before bidding on the coin in an auction. But Granberg's general idea stuck, and would be used to create the grading standards we use now. But in the meantime, XF and AU slowly make there way into the proposal. In 1970, James Ruddy published a book called Photograde that used photographs of coins to demonstrate the description of a grade. Many companies followed in the footsteps of this idea, including the ANA in 1977. The ANA that year had put together a book called The Official ANA Grading Standard for United States Coins, which consisted of a scale from 1 to 70. This idea was adopted from the Early American Cents book published in 1949.When a coin is in Mint state wear is not what determines the value, but rather how many nicks and scratches are present. That makes sense, because a coin in mint state has not seen circulation or use, which leaves on primary form of damage, and that is nicks and scratches. These nicks and scratches come from colliding with other coins in the mint. These nicks are very small compared to circulated grades, so the intervals of the numeric grades must be small. Hence, every number from 60 to 70 is a grade. Not only that, but grading companies have a + designation if they think if the coin is better than one grade but not quite the next grade up. Since circulated grades are more based off of the general wear of the coin as well as what major scratches are present, the intervals are much larger. For example, very fine grades include VF-20, VF-25, VF-30, and VF-35. But AU does have slightly shorter intervals because of its proximity to uncirculated. These about uncirculated grades include AU-50, AU-53, AU-55, and AU-58. Before I continue on to the next section I want to point out that The Official ANA Grading Standards are still being made and is a helpful resource. Sometime soon I will make a review on my copy of the book, so keep an eye out for that. For those of you who want a reliable online resource check out the PCGS photograde.This has gone on for longer than I anticipated, so I will make this next section brief. Sometimes a coin dealer will have a mind of his own and give a coin a better grade than it actually is. The solution: grading companies. The ANA certification service, otherwise known as ANACS, offered to professionally grade a coin for a fee. Their buisness was developed in the 1970s. PCGS followed with the idea of encapsulating the coin in a plastic holder, which was adopted by all the grading companies, including the NGC. The only other grading company that I know about is the ICG. ANACS and the ICG is known as the budget grading companies, because while they are reliable to some degree, they aren't as respected in the coin community. NGC and PCGS are considered the "real deal" and is both respected and more popular among the coin collectors. A lot of people including myself recognize the fact that NGC tends to give slightly higher grades than the coin deserves, but this could be a result of a slightly different grading standard. If you study NGC graded coins enough, you will get the hang of what the designated grade is communicating. I prefer the NGC because they are the official grading service of the ANA, and so ANA members get to submit coins to them without having an NGC membership.There are a few designations to point out really quick, but most of them are negative. The only positive one is the star designation, which is given to coins with great eye appeal or toning. Artificial toning means the coin in question was unnaturally toned, and questionable color is for coins with a highly suspicious color to it. Environmental damage goes to coins with corrosion or pratically anything with heavy damage. Cleaned, as the name implies, signifies that coin has been cleaned. Improperly cleaned is also designation. I am pretty sure I missed one or two designations, so if you have any to add do so in the comments.To wrap things up, I will discuss set registries. A set registry can be a collection of coins for any particular series, either with proofs, without proofs, only proofs, with varieties, without varieties, etc. But.. the coin has to be professionally certified. The goal is to gain the highest grade example for each slot / year. Depending on how high grad the coin is, you will receive a certain amount of points. The points for all the coins you have represented in your set is added up, and you will get a ranking. As you fill in and upgrade your set, you will advance in the rankings, until you have the finest set of them all. The NGC and PGCS both have set registries that you can use for free, and the ANA Coin Registry will be coming out soon. I understand some of you may not want to have every year, mintmark, variety, and proof graded in your collection, because that would be expensive and space consuming. So I found an alternative solution. The NGC and PCGS both have Type Set registries for specific denominations, such as the Small Cent Type Set. These sets only require one of each type for the denomination. For example, the NGC small cent type set has only 10 slots for the 10 types of small cents.If you want to see what a set registry looks like, you can view mine here: https://www.ngccoin.com/registry/competitive-sets/298231/Hopefully I made that readable enough for your benefit. I have realized that most of my blogs state a lot of things that only new members and collectors don't know, so next time I will try to write one that is more geared to you experienced collectors. Anyways, thank you all for reading! Stay safe, and keep on collecting. Your fellow numismatist, CentSearcher

04 Dec 2020

1883 Liberty Nickel Varieties - and coin shop pickups

Coins-United States | CentSearcher

Good morning everyone and welcome to my weekly blog post. Today's main topic will be about the two varieties found in the Liberty V nickel in 1883. I will also show you what I did and picked up during my visit to my local coin shop yesterday. Let's begin!

02 Dec 2020

Lincoln Birthplace - The 2009 Log Cabin design

| CentSearcher

After Stumpy posted his blog on the 2009 bicentennial lincoln cents, I thought I should make a quick blog on my visit to the lincoln birthplace. On the end of this last July, my family made a last minute trip to Kentucky. The main destination was Mammoth Cave National Park, but that isn't what I will be showing you. I convinced my parents to stay an extra day to run by the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace NHP. I was pretty excited, because he was my favorite president and is on my preferred series, the lincoln cent. Naturally, we first stopped inside the museum / visitor center, and they had some pretty cool things on exhibit. One of the things was a portrait of lincoln made out of lincoln cents, which I posted a photo of. Also inside was his family bible and a part of the stump known as the "Boundary Oak", which marked the boundary of their property. Outside was the original lincoln memorial, which I uploaded a picture of. The 56 steps leading up to the memorial building represents the 56 years in lincoln's life. Inside of the memorial building is a replica of his log cabin (as seen on the 2009 bicentennial cent), but due to Covid we could only see part of it. We continued to walk around, stopping by signs and walking on paths. The spring in the picture I uploaded was his family's water source, called the Sinking Spring. Before we left the area we also stopped by the Lincoln Museum, which was also close by. It was a very cool experience, one that you should check out if you ever come by Kentucky. A few weeks later I visited the coin shop for my birthday, and they had a NGC 2009 lincoln cent with the log cabin reverse, so I picked it up for sentimental value / or as a late souvenir.

28 Nov 2020

The First Sparks of Numismatics

Coins-United States | CentSearcher

Happy thanksgiving everyone! I hope you had a great thanksgiving break, and plenty of new memories with your family. I was thinking about what my next topic will be for my weekly blog and with all the family history in mind right now it reminded me of how I started collecting. On both sides of the family I have grandparents who were devoted to the hobby, though I do not have much of a clear memory of them. I believe that most of the YNs out there were drawn in by a grandfathers collection, or I odd looking coin sitting in pocket change. These subtle encounters with coins plants a seed of interest into one's brain, that will continue to grow under the right circumstances. Today I'd like to take a look at how the "Hobby of Kings" came to being, as well as how I started it. Let's dive right in!

21 Nov 2020

World War II compositions - The Steel Cent

| CentSearcher

Greetings, devoted Numismatists. This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Thus now is an appropriate time to review the unique compositions and changes made in order to save much needed materials for war efforts. Before I begin let us take a moment and remember those who served in WW2 and sacrificed themselves for their country. If there is any veterans who served reading this article I want to thank you so much for your service. Now, let us begin!

15 Nov 2020

The United States Type Set

Coins-United States | CentSearcher

Hello everyone, I am sorry for the inactivity it has been a very busy week for me and I am just now having time to get caught up with the ANA. Today I will be discussing the United States Type Set. Let's get started!

29 Sep 2020

The making of the 1960 small date

Coins-United States | CentSearcher

Hello everyone! I recently acquired two of the semi key date 1960 small date in mint state, and was fascinated by them and there history. I have not posted in a while so I thought I would discuss what I know about this coin. So without any further introduction, let's get started!1960 was only the second year for the new memorial reverse design, yet a major variety already made its appearence. The lower minted small date variety was the original die for that year, though it was replaced before the end of February. The Philedelpia mint discovered that the zero in 1960 was too small, which can cause the interior to break away in the die, which will then result in the numeral to fill in. Certain 1930 D lincoln cents and 1960 Jefferson nickels were recongnized for this mint error. The large date quickly took the place of the original die and no word of the transition was said. But before long the difference was discovered and many small date varieties were hoarded. For that reason they are easy to obtain in mint state. The rush to collect the small date cents continued on to 1964. It was recorded that some $50 face value bags of the small dates sold upwards to $12,000. The Denver mint did not make the replacement until later in the year, so that the Denver minted small dates were almost just as common as the Denver minted large date.


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