Yes, I was finally able to rid my 7070 Type set of no-grades with three coins totaling 9 cents in face value. Those coins are an Eric P Newman pedigreed 1859 AU-58 Indian Head Cent, an 1853 MS-62 half-dime with arrows, and a 1861 MS-64 silver three-cent piece.
For the better part of 2014, my 7070 typeset has been the primary focus of my new coin purchases. Of the 13 coins I purchased, there are seven new coins, two upgrades, and four details upgrades. Of course I made other purchases of note in 2014, but my passion has been for my typeset.
Towards the end of last year, I decided to focus on buying quality coins in the highest grade I could reasonably afford. For instance, if all I could afford was a VF, I would set my sights on what I believed was a VF with nice eye appeal for the grade. Next, if I was going to buy attractive coins, it made no sense to display them with crummy pictures. Consequently, I set about to re-image most of my coins.
At first, my plan was to complete the set, then go back and upgrade the no-grade coins. As a result, I purchased seven new coins for my set including a 1998-S SP-69 Kennedy Half-Dollar and an 1876 PF-62 CAMEO quarter-dollar. However, before long I just could not stand having three no-grades left to upgrade.
At that, my priority shifted from completing the set to getting rid of the no-grades before moving on. Therefore, just last week I purchased the remaining nine cents in three separate purchases. Two of the coins I purchased were from e-bay sellers and the other from Heritage.
In addition to coins with eye appeal, I try to look for coins with something unique. I found that extra something in an 1859 AU-58 CAC Indian Head Cent in that it is pedigreed to Edwin P Newman. Although I was looking for a coin in the MS-62 range, I thought this coin with a strong AU-58 grade gave me just about everything I would want in an MS-62.
Recently, I was debating on whether to go with a lower grade 1851-O silver three-cent piece or a higher-grade type coin. I posed this question to NGC Collectors Society user RichH who collects silver three-cent pieces. He suggested that while the 1851-O is appealing, that I should go with a higher-grade coin. The two dates he suggested were 1861 and 1862 for their string strikes. With that, I bought an 1861 MS-64 silver three-cent piece that is just dripping with luster. Now what about that something unique, well I found it in the coins date as the year the Civil War began.
Thank you Rich for your insightful advice, I now own a very attractive three-cent piece that I am never going to have to upgrade. A short time ago NGC Collectors Society user Jackson opined in a journal posting that he bought a coin, Just Because. I may yet buy that 1851-O silver three-cent piece Just Because.
The last coin of the three is an 1853 MS-62 half-dime with arrows. Though I did not find this coin as attractive as the others, it displays clash marks that I have never seen before.
Half-dimes are notorious for clashing but what makes this coin different is the tripling of the reverse bow around Libertys head. Perplexed at how this might occur, I posted the coin on the boards to see if someone could explain this. The answer seems to be that the dies rotated during subsequent clashings. Curiously, doubling from the obverse die also appears on the reverse.
The last two coins are regular upgrades of existing coins. The first coin was a small-date 1837 AU-55 no-stars half-dime. In this coin, I have attractive toning, a strong strike with no distracting surface marks, and the original Gobrecht design without having to buy the very pricey dollar. In other words, this coin has everything.
For one reason or another, I have found very few attractive Seated Liberty Dollars so you can imagine my excitement when I found that Just Right upgrade. That coin is an 1860-O XF-45 no-motto Seated Liberty Dollar with even toning and wear, and no distracting marks except for what appears to be a strike-through on the reverse.
Next year my focus for this set will be early coppers. I expect that many of them will be no better than VF. The challenge then is to find coins with clean surfaces and an even strike. That will be a tall order, but I am up to it if I get coins I will never have to upgrade!
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