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Further thoughts on grading world coins

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Whilst trawling a dealers inventory, looking for something else, I was very pleased to come across a 1809W 10 centimes (PCGS AU55 – main image), and I immediately bought this coin for my Napoleon collection as I was lacking an example from the Lille mint for this denomination.

Why the instant decision? Having, decided to assemble a graded set of 10 centimes in 2012 I later reviewed the population reports (2017, included in the introductory text to my Registry Set) which not only highlighted that this would be a real challenge but that there were no graded examples of the 1809W issue at either service, plus the few examples that I was aware of were in VF at best and usually much worse even though it has one of the higher mintages in the series at 1,160,351.

My journal article in January ‘If you wait long enough ….’ highlighted that I had been fortunate to acquire a newly graded 1808I example of the 10 centimes (the first at NGC, MS65 – there were already two at PCGS, both MS63). These two new discoveries prompted me to update my records for the Napoleon 10 centimes and this led to some interesting findings.

In less than 3 years the number of 10 centimes graded, across all dates (1808-1810) and mints, has not only risen by 32% (65 to 86, almost equally split between NGC and PCGS) but the first examples of 1808B and 1809W have been added to the population reports – the latter being my new acquisition. It is no surprise that the most common issue, 1808A, has seen the largest increase with 9 mint state examples being added! I have included a more detailed examination as an update in the introductory text to my Registry Set.

Although this study is only a miniscule, or even smaller, snapshot of the vast arena that is world coin collecting, the quality, ungraded coins appear to be out there waiting to be discovered. This surprising increase in graded examples coupled with the now routine appearance of graded world coins at auctions across the globe means that I am more than happy with my decision to transition my collection to this format.

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