Coin Doctoring IS NOT OK in my Opinion...



But many of you know that every big dealer in this country has been guilty of doing just that. But me, I do not do that. Some of you may think otherwise, & that's your right.

Greetings Collectors,

I probably should not have posted that last journal, and will maybe delete it, now that Ive thought about it. Then again maybe I won't. Haven't decided yet.

To comment on what Joe said, I agree 110%. It's just that I have had so many nice, mostly gold coins that were in good slabs originally, but I felt that some of those already slabbed pieces were vastly under graded. So I then crack them out and send them in, without so much as even breathing on them before they enter the flip. Then paid my grading fees, waited a week or two and then got back the group and the third party grader found something wrong with every one of them but one. And this is out of a group of better than a half dozen gold coins. And top it off with the fact they were already in good graded slabs from the same grader I sent them in to. Three of the group if I remember correctly were in slabs from the same UN-named grader I was re-submitting them to.

It just made me angry and I shared that happening with several old timers, who have forgotten more about coins of every kind, than I will ever know about the couple series I do know about. Many of these very smart old timers shared the fact that this coin doctoring stuff has been going on for dozens of years by 90-100% of the big boys. And I'm not going to name any names. But these guys were doing things to coins that later would show up and hurt the person down the line that ended up with the pieces. Chemically treating and dipping and God knows what else. Some of you may remember some very renown individuals being arrested and sued by one of the premier TPG's.

As far as what I was trying to convey was primarily directed at gold coins. How many times do you think someone with gold coins in his pocket got in a fight in the old west, and out comes a group of coins into the mud. A couple of them gold coins. Then a blacksmith watching the fight picks up one of those scattered coins with his axle grease fingers and then puts it in his pocket. Then a collector 100 years later doesn't like the look of the dirt and grease around the date or the stars gently washes the piece, then dries it off. 20 years later an heir has the piece graded and it comes back cleaned. Now had that coin been left with the mud/dirt from the fight and then the grease from a person picking up or finding the piece. Years later its sent in for grading, and it an XF-40. That's OK with everyone. But then one sends in an untouched coin previously slabbed because a lite 100 year old rub did not bother a grader the first time around, and he or she didn't kick the coin under the bus, only to come out the other side in a purple holder. Then you or I buy that coin that looks way too good for the VF-30 or AU-50 on the slab, and we crack the piece out of that GOOD slab, then send it in again, only for it to come back in what was, use to be called a body bag. Which by the way a body bag to me is better than a purple slab or a details only grade. (you don't have to crack plastic and take a chance on harming the coin if it's in a body bag rather than a Purple Slab)

If a coin HAS been cleaned, it's been handled very gently until it's sent in and well, everyone knows small hairlines are now present. If you or someone else does that, then they are aiming for a purple slab piece, and if that's good with them, that's fine with me. But I would rather take the coin and let it ride in my pocket and maybe rub it now and then for luck, being very careful with the piece not to take three grades off the piece, by having it in a pocket with a folded piece of sandpaper or a bunch of other modern day change. Or rubbing out a tiny scratch that was fine with the previous grader, but not with Mr. Purple Head. My ears are not dirty and not orange or gross because I keep them clean. I've heard taking your thumb and index finger and putting a small dot of baby oil on one or the other and gently rub out tiny hairlines. I've never done that. But many have done even worse. Most times I've just paid more grading fees to have another set of eyes look at the piece that I see absolutely nothing wrong with.

Gold is a very soft metal. Even with 10% copper thrown in to toughen it up. A gold coin dropped in the sand years ago and kicked a few times by someone on an old west dirt or mud street, or buried in a Mason Jar, that ends up breaking later with a pile of other coins inside will cause those same lines in that soft metal. My take on all this is when a coin looks fine with nothing wrong, OR it has a few small hairlines in it that probably never came from any cleaning, I'm going to do something that would never hurt the piece or make it look different 10 years from now like many big time dealers do. But do this only as a last resort. I just can not see the logic that coins like I have just received and added to my sets & pictured below, are maybe cracked out and then resubmitted hoping for a higher grade, & they come back purple???. And for crying out loud, they're made of gold. And gold is soft and it scratches easy. But it's not like I tossed the coin across the table during a card game into a pile of silver dollars, paper money and other gold coins three dozen or more times. But it sure may have happened 125-150 years ago. And now the piece looks like someone treated it like a garbage can. I don't buy or try to save coins like that. When I act, It's a coin that from what I can see, has ZERO problems at all, and since I don't buy raw coins, or details graded coins. But is an already slabbed piece that I think, from my knowledge, in only one of a couple series of coins, I feel I have a degree in, that the piece looks under graded by a lot. Then I'm gonna crack it out and send it in for another look. But if some a--h--- kicks it back to me, when I haven't touched it, in an un-deserving purple slab, I'm gonna do something about it.

If earwax grosses you out, use Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, or motor oil or axle grease, baby oil etc. I'm telling you this is a last resort thing, AFTER being thrown under the bus without cause.

If someone has done something to a coin in the long ago past and it causes you to have a purple slab piece for no real reason, and what you do does not hurt the piece at all, but just maybe adds a little wear/circulation to the piece. I see nothing wrong there. IMO it's something that shouldn't have to be done in the first place, if the grader that spent 10 seconds looking at your coin did not have a built in thought that there's no way this coin should/could look this good, so they throw it under the bus and then run over it twice just to make sure they screw you real good, and call it "Improperly Cleaned or Lightly Cleaned".

Below are the two coins I mentioned in the post of controversy yesterday. And yes the 1896-S WILL be cracked out from its AU-58 slab and without even breathing on it, it will be re-submitted for a two bump upgrade. You see on this coin there is zero downside risk and potentially huge up-side potential. But if someone throws this piece, that I won't have even touched without gloves on, into a Purple Slab, well, you know what I'm gonna do then.

Happy Collecting,


P.S. Purple Slabs suck!




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