Roger Burdette's Saint Gaudens Double Eagles Book
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On 5/16/2022 at 8:57 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I honestly thought it was just referring to reflectivity and shinyness (is that a word ?xD) of light bouncing off the coin.

I had no idea that it was caused by deformation and microscopic changes in crystalline structure.  I've admittedly not read many books that might go into luster in-depth....but I've read tons of articles and even posts by "experts" and nobody ever explained it like that.

I know it wasn’t the FIRST place I ran into the information on what luster was, but it IS covered in the ANA’s correspondence course that was called “Grading Coins Today” when I took it in 1994. It is my opinion, AND ONLY THAT, that coin people who do not avail themselves of the educational resources that the ANA offers are leaving far too much education “on the table”. I am a HUUUUGE ANA fan. It’s the best investment I have ever made. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2022 at 8:57 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I honestly thought it was just referring to reflectivity and shinyness (is that a word ?xD) of light bouncing off the coin.

I had no idea that it was caused by deformation and microscopic changes in crystalline structure of the die.  I've admittedly not read many books that might go into luster in-depth....but I've read tons of articles and even posts by "experts" and nobody ever explained it like that.  In fact, it's kind of counter-intuitive:  the luster INCREASES as the die gets more worn and the crystalline structure changes.

If it was common knowledge, I sure didn't have it.xD

I wonder if we did a multiple-choice question how many on the site would guess the correct choice ? (thumbsu

If you dabble in the CoinTalk site, do NOT get into a conversation with Doug the head moderator over the cause of luster. He is utterly clueless on the subject and he regularly misinforms his members on the topic. On luster, or the ostentatious British spelling “lustre”, Roger is 100% right and Dougy-poo is 100% wrong. 

Edited by VKurtB
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On 5/16/2022 at 10:08 PM, VKurtB said:

If you dabble in the CoinTalk site, do NOT get into a conversation with Doug the head moderator over the cause of luster. He is utterly clueless on the subject and he regularly misinforms his members on the topic. On luster, or the ostentatious British spelling “lustre”, Roger is 100% right and Dougy-poo is 100% wrong. 

I would think that a microscopic close-up of a low-luster coin (i.e, 1908 NM) and a high-luster coin (1923-D) would show the ridges.

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Die states/luster have me confused sometimes.

Take the 1909 "PR" saints -vs- the terminal die states of a lot of 1921/1922 where the coins just look dead.

I'm thinking about flow lines & reflectivity.

1909.jpg

1922.jpg

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But the 1921/22's are NOT proofs.  And the 1909 may have been the last "liked" proof created as the Mint kept going back-and-forth between Satin and Sandblast.

So I'm not sure how surprising it is, Cat, that the 1909 Proof looks so much better than the 1922.

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On 5/17/2022 at 9:24 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

But the 1921/22's are NOT proofs.  And the 1909 may have been the last "liked" proof created as the Mint kept going back-and-forth between Satin and Sandblast.

So I'm not sure how surprising it is, Cat, that the 1909 Proof looks so much better than the 1922.

William Woodin "negotiated"  a deal with mint director Andrew to return to sandblast proof gold in 1911. (He begged for some dated 1910, but Andrew refused.) ANA members voted for this change during the 1910 convention. Gold proof collectors did not like the sandblast proofs of 1908, but they liked the satin proofs of 1909-10 even more. This was also the time period when Woodin and Andrew negotiated the transfer of thousands of pattern pieces to Woodin in exchange for returning the 2 $50 half union patterns that A.L.Snowden had bought in 1877 to prevent their being melted at director Linderman's orders.

The last date for sandblast proofs was 1915. No proof gold coins were made thereafter until the modern NCLT imitations.

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On 5/17/2022 at 9:24 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

But the 1921/22's are NOT proofs. 

Remember this one?

https://coins.ha.com/itm/proof-saint-gaudens-double-eagles/1921-20-pr64-ngc-cac-jd-1-r8-as-a-proof/a/1333-3499.s

Regardless, I was using the 1909PR saint as an example of a new die that didn't have flow lines in the discussion about luster.

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On 5/18/2022 at 2:39 AM, Cat Bath said:

Remember this one?  https://coins.ha.com/itm/proof-saint-gaudens-double-eagles/1921-20-pr64-ngc-cac-jd-1-r8-as-a-proof/a/1333-3499.s  Regardless, I was using the 1909PR saint as an example of a new die that didn't have flow lines in the discussion about luster.

I do remember it...this is the coin where there are 2 of them and 1 traces its origins to the Ghiraradelli Chocolate Family.  I believe Roger included them in his Saints book as a special item.

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On 5/17/2022 at 12:10 AM, Cat Bath said:

Die states/luster have me confused sometimes. Take the 1909 "PR" saints -vs- the terminal die states of a lot of 1921/1922 where the coins just look dead. I'm thinking about flow lines & reflectivity.

Other websites/posters have focused on metal flows as the cause of luster.

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"Die states" are usually determined by degradation of detail. Excessive metal flow and crystal distortion in the die are causes. There is no clear line between "outstanding luster" and "die deterioration."

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Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2022 at 12:25 PM, RWB said:

"Die states" are usually determined by degradation of detail. Excessive metal flow and crystal distortion in the die are causes. There is no clear line between "outstanding luster" and "die deterioration."

So you are saying that metal flow is a factor/contributor to luster besides the microscopic "ridges" outlined in your book ?

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Posted (edited)

The radial ridges are part of metal flow in the die that are transferred to coins on striking. It's a matter of scale. Once the microscopic ridges grow too large the deterioration rate increases, and a die can quickly become useless.

Edited by RWB
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On 5/21/2022 at 5:14 PM, RWB said:

The radial ridges are part of metal flow in the die that are transferred to coins on striking. It's a matter of scale. Once the microscopic ridges grow too large the deterioration rate increases, and a die can quickly become useless.

Die failure, die collapse.....right ?

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On 5/22/2022 at 11:13 AM, Alex in PA. said:

This has been one of the most interesting posts I have read on this forum.   ^^

You mean the debate on luster ?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2022 at 5:42 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Die failure, die collapse.....right ?

As the ridges increase in length and height, they also begin to slough off minute steel particles that embed in the die surface and act like tiny abrasives to further damage the die. (In 1913 this was identified as a problem in getting good die life from Fraser's nickel design. The fields were rough as was the bison's form, and flecks of steel crated by pressure in the rough areas caused early abrasion and deterioration of the  dies. See Renaissance of American Coinage 1909-1915 for details and a quote from C. Barber about this.)

Edited by RWB
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Posted (edited)

The microridges responsible for luster are usually stable for a long time. This is attributed to the character of crystals in properly tempered steel alloy. However, eventually the ridges expand and once this happens, it progresses rapidly from the "luster" stage to early "starburst" as shown on the photo below. Take notice of the irregularities and roughness of the ridges. Each rough point grinds away metal from planchet and die. The ridges and grooves expand and eventually most of the surface is a mass of radial steel, each ridge being part of a hard file-like cutting the die.

starburst.jpg

Edited by RWB
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Posted (edited)

Roger, why would some dies produce great luster (1923-D) and others lousy luster (1908 NM) ?  You would think that the striking and impact on the crystalline structure/ridges would be pretty much the same each year.

Unless the metal that determines the crystalline structure changed over the years, wouldn't you think luster would be pretty stable year-to-year ?  Maybe 20 years later, striking technology improves and dies act differently but even then I would think there's not much difference in the die or the equipment doing the striking.

I think of the 1908-S (one of the most beautiful coins) vs. the 1908 NM -- same time period, totally different luster appearances.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Die steel was better in the early 20th century than in 1850, but it remained an imperfect product. Hardening and tempering also had a substantial effect on how well and how long a die stood up to constant impact pressure. Even planchet hardness made a big difference. (Look at New Orleans dollars from the 1890s.) With almost all old dies having been destroyed, we can't analyzed steel from year to year.

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On 5/21/2022 at 4:14 PM, RWB said:

The radial ridges are part of metal flow in the die that are transferred to coins on striking.

Yup. Absolutely. 

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On 5/22/2022 at 11:13 AM, Alex in PA. said:

This has been one of the most interesting posts I have read on this forum.   ^^

I agree, and now that I have gotten over the fact that a complete unknown demolished me at the Kentucky Derby, I have an observation to make. "Ridges" of any kind when viewed with my frowned upon 30x loupe reveal, for lack of a better expression, lands and grooves, no? It stands to reason then that any reflectivity would vary at every interval when rotated horizontally and incrementally 360°. I have an MS-67 coin which exhibits this infliction marvelously but the luster has both its high and low points.

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Posted (edited)

QUINTUS !!!  xD Welcome back !!  (thumbsu

Please check out Pages 56-57 for our friend "Elite Collection"..... very interesting posts.

 

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 5/23/2022 at 7:02 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

I agree, and now that I have gotten over the fact that a complete unknown demolished me at the Kentucky Derby, I have an observation to make. "Ridges" of any kind when viewed with my frowned upon 30x loupe reveal, for lack of a better expression, lands and grooves, no? It stands to reason then that any reflectivity would vary at every interval when rotated horizontally and incrementally 360°. I have an MS-67 coin which exhibits this infliction marvelously but the luster has both its high and low points.

You ran in the Derby?😉

Welcome back.

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On 5/23/2022 at 8:30 PM, MarkFeld said:

You ran in the Derby?😉

Welcome back.

That reminds me of a famous "The Odd Couple" episode where Felix and Oscar go partners in a Greyhound race dog.  But the dog is washed up, though Felix is convinced he can turn him into a winner by entering him into the dog racing circuit:

Felix:  "That dog loves to race....and I'm gonna race him !!"

Oscar:  "And I bet you beat him !!"  xD

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Gentlemen, let's just say the debacle at Churchill Downs was a literary diversionary tactic that sounds a whole lot better than "Permanently Banned." I love this place! Lurking about just didn't cut it for me. Pardon me while I check out "Elite Collection."  😉 

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On 3/12/2022 at 9:14 AM, zadok said:

...pedigrees,... pedigree.. profusely listed the coin pedigrees... pedigree documentation... pedigree documentation, ....

It really is too bad the uninitiated are clueless as to the use of bold font on pedigree on this thread. Very clever 

[By the way, thanx for the flowers!]

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On 5/23/2022 at 10:55 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

It really is too bad the uninitiated are clueless as to the use of bold font on pedigree on this thread. Very clever 

[By the way, thanx for the flowers!]

...its in my blood......:sorry:

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On 5/23/2022 at 8:02 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

"Ridges" of any kind when viewed with my frowned upon 30x loupe reveal, for lack of a better expression, lands and grooves, no? It stands to reason then that any reflectivity would vary at every interval when rotated horizontally and incrementally 360°. I have an MS-67 coin which exhibits this infliction marvelously but the luster has both its high and low points.

I think these ridges are MICROSCOPIC (at least on Saints) and you'd need alot more power than 30x to see them.....probably in the 1,000 - 5,000x range.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/23/2022 at 11:15 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I think these ridges are MICROSCOPIC (at least on Saints) and you'd need alot more power than 30x to see them.....probably in the 1,000 - 5,000x range.

No, it wouldn’t take that much. They look like, when adequately magnified, the ridges and valleys in my neck of the woods. Now if you’ll excuse me for a bit, I have a Primary to go vote in. My first election since 2000 that I do NOT have a personal stake in, either in the outcome, or having run the whole shebang. 
 

image.thumb.jpg.d163e9da0d70746f10129f33feffa326.jpg

Edited by VKurtB
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On 12/8/2021 at 8:08 PM, Cat Bath said:

Those 2 MS67s look pretty bagged up & the GC photos don't help them much because of their preoccupation with trying to highlight luster. I'm always extremely suspicious  when a 5-figure coin is in a pre-TrueView holder. I was recently looking at this coin.

-2937967776190618821.jpg.9c62d6fc77acc51e33d01c9633ed7086.jpg

There is no excuse for a crappy picture of a coin today but they are getting advertised by collectors, dealers & auction houses.

Actually, there is. Case in point, that 1933. How else to get around that garish leg wound?

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