World_Coin_Nut's Blog

01 Jul 2015

The Perfect Coin

Coins | World_Coin_Nut

I know this will probably offend some people but I do not like perfect coins. The MS70 and PF70 graded coins of the world. I can't understand the ridiculous (in my opinion) prices that individuals will pay for a label that says that there coin is perfect and none can be any better. Don't get me wrong, occasionally I do come across a modern coin with a subject matter that speaks to me (you know, the voice you can't ignore). For the most part modern coins just don't do it for me. The modern coins I do own are rarely graded.

Maybe it was the way I was raised and introduced to coin collecting. Growing up I would help my grandfather with his collection. He had a huge (at least it appeared that way to me) collection. There must have been a dozen Lincoln Cent books in some form of completion. There was a Liberty Nickel book with only one hole and anearly complete set of Buffalo Nickels. Everything was well circulated. Of course there was other stuff but this was the bulk of his collection. The thing that really amazed me was that he never purchased a coin in his life. He and I would sit for hours sorting jars of coins and looking thru change. When we found a wheat cent it was never not good enough to keep.

I spent the majority of my young adult life working on completing his sets. Along the way I inherited a nice set of well circulated Indian Cents that I was able to eventually complete. Now my collecting world has expanded to include world coins with my main focus being on pre 1900 pieces. I am more than happy with nice looking circulated coins. The picture attached is a 1694 Austria Thaler that is graded AU55. In my humble opinion it is a beautiful coin. It makes me wonder why after being in circulation for some time somebody decided to hold on to it. Who's hands did it pass through and how long had it been somebody's personal treasure before it found me.

One of the few times that my Indian Head Cent collection left the house I had taken it and some other pieces to a well regarded local dealer. The look of being completely unimpressed spoke volumes to me. Of course he felt that most of them needed to be upgraded. There was only one coin that "is a nice piece". I could tell that he wouldn't understand that I had no interest in "upgrading" any of them.

I guess what I am trying to say is only you can determine what a perfect coin is. I have a hard time believing that the current push to buy modern MS70 coins with an unlimited mintage limit will ever pay off. But if that is what you want, then buy it.



Level 5

I agree with you but if in the short time view u can make pretty nice profits


Level 7

I agree. Do you know how many coin's were graded by ngc and pcgs last year? I heard they spend less than 30 seconds grading coins. Grading is done by humans. They never had a bad day. Never had an attitude. Let's face it one says 70 another say's 69. And boy does that change the price. It seems to me large companies just happen to have a large amount of perfect coins. I believe an individual sending in five or six coins has a harder time getting higher grades. I'm not a fan of the prodigy. I was taught it's not what it say's on top but the coin in the holder. The next thing they will come out with is the exact time your coin was made! Take care Mike


Level 6

Your "perfect" coins are the ones from your Grandfather! Just my opinion, I could be wrong.


Level 5

The only perfect coin is the coin that is perfect for you!


Level 4

My favorite coin is an AU58 1915-S Pan-Pac. After that are the ten Morgan dollars Grandad left me from 1878-S. None are in great shape and only one is a rare VAM, but I like the "chocolate" coins as much or more than the blast-white ones, since you can dream about what history they may have seen. I still search my coins after buys in person and got started looking at my Dad's collection of Mercury dimes. Wheat pennies, and Buffalo Nickels all in their worn Whitman folders. The 70 coins are almost fantasy coins in comparison, and with Eagles and other Bullion coins grading seems weird at best. But maybe one day these slabbed and graded coins will take their place as the relics they may become, when knowledge is a computer screen away.


Level 5

Your position is a position I am slowly but surely coming to. For instance I started a collection of Morgan Dollars some time ago. At first my goal was to get the highest grade coin I could afford. Along the way I lost interest and now I am re-thinking this part of my collection. What I am discovering is that apart from the nice MS-65's and 66's there are not many uncirculated Morgans that I like apart from toners. In fact because of all the contact marks white Morgans grading MS-60 to MS-64 are quite ugly. Thus, I am thinking of selling the low grade MS coins and replacing them with affordable AU coins. I already own several AU's that I like.


Level 5

Collecting to me is about fun and friendship. As you point out the current focus on MS70 perfection is about money and bragging both of which take the fun out of it for me. And I agree a AU55 or AU58 set is almost always more beautiful to look at that a MS63 set.


Level 5

Congratulations on attending the Summer Seminar. Hopefully next year I can go. AU55 and AU58 are some of my favorite. Usually they ignored by the people that only want mint state coins.

Ian Fenn

Level 5

I agree with the sentiments in this blog. I buy the best I can afford and sometimes I buy a coin regardless of grade simply because its the first to come up for sale in years. Real rarity trumps grade in my experience. Last week I attended US coin grading 1 at the Summer Seminar . It was enlightening. I haven't been converted to US coin grading standards but I have a much better understanding. I had previously misinterpreted how the US grading system works. Assuming I learnt the grading system properly; an AU58 coin is actually a much more attractive coin than an MS 63 coin. an AU 58 coin is the best of the AUNC grade band while an MS 63 is the worst of the MS grade band. I had previously assumed a MS 63 coin was better than a AU 58

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