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Questionable Grade



Judge for yourselves, 70 or something less.

NGC defines MS or PF-70 as having no post-production imperfections at 5-X magnification. I understand what imperfections at 5-X means, but I have always had a question as to what post-production means. By this definition, it seems that most any coin should be a 70 when it first comes off the dies and that imperfections come in the form of contact marks and hairlines as the coins are bagged and rolled. I also understand that collector coins receive special handling, which explains why a good portion of these coins grades either 69 or 70. Other instances of coins grading less than 70 can occur when the dies become worn and the imperfections on the dies are transferred to the coins. Furthermore, defects on the planchet visible after striking will also grade less than 70. Now I am not making the case for coins with defects caused by either of the two aforementioned instances to grade 70, but I am confused as to what is meant by the word ?Post?. It seems that defects on coins in these instances come ?During? production and therefore, are not ?Post? production imperfections.

This brings me to my coin in question. I recently purchased an Abigail Fillmore First Spouse coin from the mint. When I received the coin, I noticed small defects on the reverse of this otherwise well struck coin. On the heel of Abigail?s hand and the book she is holding are what appears to be a small crater and crevice. I wondered how these defects could have appeared. Perhaps the dies were dirty and there were small metal shavings on the dies harder than the gold that transferred to the coin. Certainly, these defects would disqualify the coin from receiving a 70 grade, and I bought another one previously graded for my collection with the intention of selling the one I bought from the mint. This was until I sent the so-called, ?Defective? coin to NGC for grading and subsequent re-sale. To my amazement, the coin cleared quality control with a PF-70 grade. Now what do I do? I am not complaining about my dilemma because having a 70 strengthens my hand when it comes time to re-sell, but I cannot sell a coin as a 70 when I think it is something less. Without second guessing NGC?s graders, I will probably add the so-called ?Perfect? coin to my registry and sell the other. It seems when you think you have something nailed down a monkey wrench gums up the works. Judge for yourselves based on the picture I am attaching on this post, 70 or not?

Perhaps I will ask NGC to clarify their position when I stop by their booth today at the Central States Numismatic Society convention in Milwaukee. This should be a lot of fun even though I do not have a lot of money to spend, but I do have coins I am willing to sell or trade to populate my registry sets. Until next time, happy collecting all!





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