1909 S VDB Wheat Cent
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19 posts in this topic

Hello Everyone,

    I  have a question about this particular 1909 S VDB Choice BU+ Wheat Penny.. I'm interested in purchasing it from a dealer, but I would like to eventually have it graded. The dealer is asking $2,300.
   My concern is the carbon spot on the reverse and the small scratch on the front... I guess my question is, would it grade "straight" and if so, in a matter of professional opinion, what might the grade be?  Might the coin come back as "environmental damage" instead?
   With my inexperience with coins, I feel that those particular flaws may knock the grade down a notch or so. Please help. 
 
Thanks in advance,
Jeff B.
Illinois 

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Edited by Jeff Brustin
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You had better buy it quick, spot and scratch whatever this is a special coin and unless you are paying more than $500 it’s money in the bank! Would probably grade AU

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Does the mint mark look “added on” to anybody else, or am I imagining it?

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On 4/2/2022 at 10:25 AM, JKK said:

It does look to me like obverse die #4. However, with these it's worth blowing the mint mark waaaay up. Kurt brings up a valid concern and it takes a pretty deep zoom to spot a glued-on S.

As long as the S type is the right one, it’s probably okay. I would like to see more magnification. But that’s just me. You guys know I never buy anything I don’t hold in my own hand first. Even the reverse is a little low res for my tastes. 

Edited by VKurtB
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The "dealer" is trying to deal you a bad hand. That he's trying to sell a frequently altered or counterfeited coin without authentication is a bad sign. That he is asking a premium price for a coin with a prominent spot and scratch is another bad sign. That the seller is doing these things indicates he cannot be trusted. That the OP is considering this purchase is a sign of too much "enthusiasm" and not enough knowledge.

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Welcome to the forum, the coin has all the proper diagnostics and none of the known diagnostics for a struck counterfeit, it looks to be genuine SVDB.   Here is a photo showing all four obverse dies and how the mintmark lines up for each one.  I think it was @JKK who mentioned die #4, from your photo the mm looks to be closer to die pair #2 to my eye.

I would grade the coin as MS62 without the obv scratch, however I think that scratch would result in a details grade and is the most likely reason this coin is raw.   The carbon spot on the rev is unfortunate and rather unsightly and part of my reason for my grade of MS62 as without the spot and scratch it has the details be a solid MS64+, the luster is muted and the other reason for my grade.   Keep in mind that my grade assessment is biased only on the photo and an in hand exam might yield a different grade opinion.

From a personal standpoint my eye is immediately drawn to that carbon spot on the rev, and something like that if it bothers you now it will always bother you.   As such my recommendation is to keep looking, 09 SVDB's are not rare at all and with some patience you will be able to find a nicer example for this money level.

 

09 S die positions.webp

Edited by Coinbuf
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(The mm should "move" in relation to reference lines, not the other way around.)

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On 4/2/2022 at 3:17 PM, Coinbuf said:

Welcome to the forum, the coin has all the proper diagnostics and none of the known diagnostics for a struck counterfeit, it looks to be genuine SVDB.   Here is a photo showing all four obverse dies and how the mintmark lines up for each one.  I think it was @JKK who mentioned die #4, from your photo the mm looks to be closer to die pair #2 to my eye.

Die #4 is the only one in which the MM is fully below the line underscoring the 9s. I went back and examined again, and it's the only viable candidate of the four. If the coin's MM doesn't match up to the shape and type of #4, the authenticity is dubious.

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I don’t see a match for any of the four. I’m back to an “attached” mint mark. But @JKK is correct. The only possibility is #4, but I have problems with that too. I’d like to see the #4 picture without the moronic dashed white lines on it. 

Edited by VKurtB
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On 4/3/2022 at 10:37 AM, VKurtB said:

I don’t see a match for any of the four. I’m back to an “attached” mint mark. But @JKK is correct. The only possibility is #4, but I have problems with that too. I’d like to see the #4 picture without the moronic dashed white lines on it. 

 

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On 4/3/2022 at 1:38 PM, Just Bob said:

 

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Is the S positioned correctly “east and west” for you?

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On 4/3/2022 at 12:51 PM, VKurtB said:

Is the S positioned correctly “east and west” for you?

You asked Bob, but I can see why you'd question it. It's like the S is rotated about 10 degrees counterclockwise--it's in the right place, but if you shoot another azimuth up through the top serif on the S, you hit a little left of the correct spot in the zero. Not that much, but it is the kind of mistake someone with a glued mintmark could make.

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On 4/3/2022 at 3:18 PM, JKK said:

You asked Bob, but I can see why you'd question it. It's like the S is rotated about 10 degrees counterclockwise--it's in the right place, but if you shoot another azimuth up through the top serif on the S, you hit a little left of the correct spot in the zero. Not that much, but it is the kind of mistake someone with a glued mintmark could make.

Zackly. But I realize not all the photos are shot “on axis” and that can mess with perceptions of positions. Yet another reason (for me at least) to not make decisions from photographs. ANA doesn’t use photos in their grading and counterfeit classes at conventions. You handle the actual coins under the correct light. 

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You have heard from some very knowledgeable members and atleast one Lincoln nut. I would agree with others I would pass. The price isn’t good in reality and it has problems. There is a good reason this dealer hasn’t sent it for grading. If he thought it was choice BU I assure you any sane dealer would have it slabbed. 

Edited by Woods020
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On 4/3/2022 at 2:51 PM, VKurtB said:

Is the S positioned correctly “east and west” for you?

I would feel more comfortable making that call if I could see the entire obverse of the coin in the picture that I posted. (Which, by the way, originally came from the same place that JKK linked in his first post.) It looks very close, but I can't say for sure it is an exact match. And, obviously, "close" is the same as "not" in this case.

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