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I think I found another nice Indian posted by Leonard Family

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I don't see anything wrong in the photos

 

I just worked out a deal for this 1909 Indian Head Cent. The photos look great, with just a few little marks and tiny spots. The color looks original, and the strike is pretty strong. What do you think?

17475.jpg

 

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I'm assuming that you expect to see some toning on the edges? Or are you hoping for mint red like the rest of the surfaces?

 

the edges should look as brilliant and lustrous as the rest of the coin unless it is album toned, then you should at least see full luster there. When holding the coin flat and horizontal and looking at the edge through a 10X loupe, the vertical lines formed when the planchet was punched from the stock should be unabraded and look original, if they don't the coin is likely whizzed, or doctored to make an AU coin look uncirculated. If you see a lot of marks from hitting other coins but the obv & rev surfaces are clear of them, that is a good sign that something may be wrong.

 

In the old days, I remember a dealer who bought slider uncs, or really nice AU's, and then used various methods to whiz them into 'BU' coins. Indian cents were near the top of the list for these scummbags and their favorite tool was a very fine brass or copper wire wheel. You can still find their creations if you look for them- they are so finely done that the luster actually looked real to the untrained eye. Yours doesn't exhibit any signs of it so I think you're safe, but beware if you aren't sure, or be sure to get a long enough return privilege to have it professionally graded if you pay a lot for one.

 

Best advice I could give anyone just starting out spending big bucks on stuff like this is to learn how to grade. Buy a few books on the subject at first, add photos to queries here in the forums, and maybe even take the ANA grading course if that's possible. Only one thing I have found in 51 years of collecting that could possibly protect you and that is knowledge and experience. I hope you're well on your way.

 

It's a great hobby, but we're all just little red riding hoods in the minds of all the big bad wolves who prey on the unsuspecting...

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Buying raw is so hard now days. One thing I look at is the seller selling only raw or graded as well? If selling graded as well, I wonder why this one or any other nice coin the seller has, hasn't been graded by this seller. I tend to be skeptical of sellers.

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Buying raw is so hard now days. One thing I look at is the seller selling only raw or graded as well? If selling graded as well, I wonder why this one or any other nice coin the seller has, hasn't been graded by this seller. I tend to be skeptical of sellers.

 

I know what you mean. I put away a lot of gem singles over the years and have recently sold many off on ebay, raw but with return privilege. Most buyers are happy, many report the grades we sell them at or higher when submitted, so there are honest and competent sellers. (sorry, most of the high grade coins are gone)

 

As buyers we agree- there are more bad sellers of raw stuff on ebay than good sellers, and ebay has forced many marginal sellers to clean up their act recently but it is still a cesspool imho. Keep the skepticism, it worked for me for 51 years, can't hurt.

 

If you live in a big city, befriend a professional coin dealer with a good rep and use his/her experience to learn and build on. I was lucky growing up, all the coin dealers in my home city took me under their wing, and as a young adult a close friend let me moonlight in his shop on weekends to give me a good view from the other side of the counter. Those were the most valuable lessons I learned early on and it really gave me a good foundation to build on in my long stay in the hobby.

 

By the way- I have a lot of experience with slabbed stuff too, and I have seen a LOT of mistakes in top tier slabs, it happens, we're all human, and after I think 65 million coins graded by NGC and PCGS so far, you'd have to expect most of the mistakes are still out there and they would be numerous. Experience is the only way to protect yourself from a bad raw coin or a mistake in a slab, never trust the plastic, buy the coin...

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Based on the obverse image, my guess would be 64RD.

 

I just saw the reverse image in another thread - it would have been much better if they were in the same thread, The reverse doesn't look nearly as nice, due to the spots.

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