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California Fractional Gold Opinion on grade please

6 posts in this topic



I stumbled upon this and was considering buying it, or at least making an offer, but I am thinking it may be over graded but I was hoping to get the opinion of some that are familiar with old gold and especially CFG.


It is graded in a MS PSGS problem free holder. If it would be better for me to tell you what the grade assigned first then I will edit to include but I thought I might get a more subjective opinion this way.








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The description says that this piece is a proof-like, which sometimes makes it very hard to grade the coin from a photo. The trouble is the camera might catch the piece at an angle that emphasizes every fault which would lead to under grading the piece. As it stands that might be the case here.


For example a photo from the 90 degree "dead on" position makes this Proof 64, 1862 dollar look like this.




But if you shoot it at an angle, it looks like this.




Having explained this I would say that this fractional California gold piece appears to be Mint State, probably in the MS-62 to 64 range. I do not think that it is a Gem MS-65 or better. If you were to press me, I guess I'd say MS-63. It is an extremely small coin, (almost like a mosquito), and therefore not prone to significant marks if the piece is in collectable condition. Therefore one should not expect to see any major marks on an item like this, but it does appear to have a fair number of surface disturbances.

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Thanks for that information Bill. Yes the grade is suppose to be a MS64 and I was thinking that the surface was somewhat disturbed as well but I am not familiar with the quality of strike that these fractional coins had. That helped me quite a bit in deciding.


The asking price, I believe would be be to high for me to make an offer that I felt comfortable with, and that they would even accept, on a piece that I would probably not be happy with so I will just pass and look for a better example that has been graded and in a problem free holder.


Thanks again,



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I really dislike PCGS "gasket" holders for small coins like this. The overlap of the gasket is a significant portion of the coin's rim. :(



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Here is one in an NGC holder. This thing has the diameter of cheap little pencil if that. It makes a gold dollar look large.


I'm not a big fan of these, but this one is was issued in the 1850s which means that there was a chance that pieces like this were actually used in circulation for a short while. The later ones were made to sell to tourists for the most part. This one also cost less than $300 in Mint State, which was another incentive to buy it. Some of these pieces are expensive.




I just compared this one with the piece at the top of the thread. They are the same variety, BG-222.

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In the $300.00 range I would be comfortable on the one I presented but the asking price is double that and it is extremely doubtful that they would consider an offer at 50% of the asking price so I think that one is definitely out of the question.



Brandon I agree and it makes it that much harder to compare to Bill's example, however I do believe that either bills photo is much better or the coin is a much better example. I suspect the latter.


So Bill, did I understand you correctly and you were wanting to offer that one to me for under $300.00? :baiting:



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