Whizzed 1893-S Morgan Coin?
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42 posts in this topic

Okay, why is this labeled as a Details "Wizzed" cleaned coin, and why isn't it just noted as a Details Cleaned? :whatthe:  

Also, I'm looking at Details coins for a few costly Morgans in my circulation set, including the Details-Wizzed 1893-S, although I think even Details for that AU will be too much.  How do you gage a fair value for problem coins like that? Maybe @Sandon has some insight?  Roughly 1/2 to 2/3 regular fmv?

1893-S Morgan $1 AU Details Wizzed - Bid GC.jpg

Edited by EagleRJO
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On 8/5/2022 at 10:34 AM, EagleRJO said:

Okay, why is this labeled as a Details "Wizzed" cleaned coin, and why isn't it just noted as a Details Cleaned? :whatthe:  

Also, I'm looking at Details coins for a few costly Morgans in my circulation set, including the Details-Wizzed 1893-S, although I think even Details for that AU will be too much.  How do you gage a fair value for problem coins like that? Maybe @Sandon has some insight?  Roughly 1/2 to 2/3 regular fmv?

1893-S Morgan $1 AU Details Wizzed - Bid GC.jpg

Prepare for a wide range of opinions. 

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Whizzing a coin is different than cleaning.  Most (all?) whizzing was done to make the coin look like a higher grade usually using a fine wire brush to make the surfaces appear more lustrous. 

As to value, no hard rule.  IMO, I would much prefer a cleaned coin over a whizzed coin.  Your mileage my vary.

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On 8/5/2022 at 11:40 AM, VKurtB said:

Prepare for a wide range of opinions. 

Sounds like this has been kicked around a few times before. :grin:

On 8/5/2022 at 11:57 AM, Oldhoopster said:

... whizzing was done to make the coin look like a higher grade ...

Okay, so was that an AU coin which was "whizzed" to look like an MS?  Alternatively, it could be an XF coin "whizzed" to look like an AU, so maybe it's not dropped a grade automatically and the designation indicates that the AU appearance is suspect?

On 8/5/2022 at 11:57 AM, Oldhoopster said:

I would much prefer a cleaned coin over a whizzed coin

I don't think it really matters to me because any way you slice it, Details-Cleaned or Details-Whizzed, the coin has been altered/damaged and isn't worth as much or as desirable.  I might even prefer whizzed if priced at the lower grade because it might appear to be a higher grade.  So, if that AU Details - Whizzed is priced like a cleaned XF I could see that as an advantage.

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I hear you guys, thanks for the advice.  The issue is that an un-impaired 1893-S Morgan is beyond my budget in any condition, and similarly others in the target min XF condition for my set.

That is why I was looking into lower grade or impaired coins (both lower grade and impaired for the 1893-S) as an option to complete the set without breaking the bank.  Another option is always not to complete the set, which I am also kicking around specifically because of coins like the 1893-S.

Edited by EagleRJO
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On 8/5/2022 at 1:07 PM, Mr.Bill347 said:

As a rule I would never by a Cleaned,, details cleaned, whizzed coin at any cost.

This is my rule as well.  once yuou have a problem coin.  It is yours.. and i mean yours .....because most collectors will not take it off of your hands for half price.

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Whizzed coins are a death sentence when it comes time to sell, you may as well take a wad of cash and light it on fire instead.   Even if it takes you five years to save for a very low grade problem free example you will be ahead in the long run, patience is a very good thing in coin collecting.   I too would buy a cleaned coin over a whizzed coin anytime.

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Sound like whizzed coins have quite the negative reputation, and maybe why I do often see Details - Cleaned coins on say Great Collections, but this is the first time I have seen the Whizzed label.

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      A "whizzed" coin is one whose surface has been scraped by a rapidly rotating wire brush in a misguided attempt to simulate mint luster on a circulated coin to make the uninformed believe that the coin is uncirculated.  A "whizzed" coin is considered to be more impaired than most that have been "cleaned".  "Whizzing" was a fad in the 1960s and 70s and ruined many otherwise desirable coins.  I've seen some certified coins labeled "whizzed" that I don't think were, but the 1893-S in your photo appears to have been one that was actually "whizzed".  When you look at such a coin under magnification you can see how messed up its surfaces are due to thousands of microscopic scratches and displaced metal from the brush.  

   It's difficult to say what would be a reasonable price for any impaired coin, as each one's impairment is unique.  An unimpaired AU 50 1893-S lists $22,500 in Coin World, a big jump from the $9,000 shown for an XF 40 or the $5,000 for a VF 20.  It's a matter of what you're able and willing to pay for a coin that will always be unacceptable to those collectors who regard themselves as connoisseurs or investors and harder to sell. It might be a good deal at $5,000-$7,000 (VF money), but I bet the seller wants over $10,000 and might get it from someone.

   I've always considered 1893-S Morgan dollars overpriced in lower grades--many thousands exist--but based on the certified population reports they do get scarce above VF and could be said to be rare AU or Uncirculated.  I have all of the other dates and mints of Morgan dollars issued for circulation but never bothered to buy an 1893-S because I knew I could get much rarer coins in other series (such as Bust and Seated liberty series) for the money. For example, an 1871-CC Seated Dollar with a mintage of 1,376 versus 100,000 for the 1893-S Morgan lists $20,000 in AU 50, 10% less than the 1893-S Morgan in that grade but it is, far, far rarer.  There's more to coin collecting than simply filling holes or slots, and insistence on set completion at any price or sacrifice of quality may be unwise. 

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Thanks for the insight Sandon and others, which is why I asked because even though I set out on this Morgan journey to assemble a "complete" set I really am seriously considering just skipping the 1893-S.  Even an AG Details goes for over $1,000 and I probably wouldn't be happy with it in a set that are generally all XF or better, with most being AU/BU.

Who knows, maybe a stash with multiple bags of 1893-S coins will be found and I can one day actually complete the set. :grin:

00 1893-S Morgan Dollar AG Auction Prices.jpg

Edited by EagleRJO
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On 8/5/2022 at 3:44 PM, EagleRJO said:

Thanks for the insight Sandon and others, which is why I asked because even though I set out on this Morgan journey to assemble a "complete" set I really am seriously considering just skipping the 1893-S.  Even an AG Details goes for over $1,000 and I probably wouldn't be happy with it in a set that are generally all XF or better, with most being AU/BU.

Who knows, maybe a stash with multiple bags of 1893-S coins will be found and I can one day actually complete the set. :grin:

00 1893-S Morgan Dollar AG Auction Prices.jpg

How are you handling 1895?

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On 8/5/2022 at 5:08 PM, VKurtB said:

How are you handling 1895?

1895 is another year I am starting to shop around for.  I am doing a circulation set so I'm skipping the 1895 (P) Proof as it was never "circulated" (wow, that was a close call with a small house priced coin :grin:) and there is no slot for that in the NGC Registry Circulated Coins set for Morgans which I am using as a guide.  1895-O is more readily available, and for the 1895-S I will probably go with like a VF-35 or XF-40, which are close with XF the preference as my minimum.  Maybe even a Details AU or FX+ depending on appearance and price.

I saw the attached VF+ which I think I could get for a little over $600, but there is no rush and I'm just shopping around for now with that one.  Looks like my only empty slot will be the 1893-S Morgan. :S

1895-S Morgan Dollar VF+ $600 Range.jpg

Edited by EagleRJO
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On 8/5/2022 at 4:17 PM, VKurtB said:

I’ve heard the same thing said of getting coffee at Starbucks. 

At least with Starbucks you know in advance that you might get burned, and the experience may leave you bitter.

 

I agree with the others that problem coins should be avoided.

Edited by The Neophyte Numismatist
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On 8/5/2022 at 4:19 PM, VKurtB said:

My theory is that whizzing is ALWAYS intentional, and an attempt to deceive, while generic cleaning can be the result of innocent error.

@VKurtB I was really thinking about this comment, and I agree with you that a coin with some light cleaning may not be that bad of a thing to make it an automatic reject, compaired to say whizzing (my new favorite word) or dipping, at least for me.  I mean I avoid dipped coins because I see it as an intentional act to deceive a buyer, just like whizzing seems to be, whereas I might consider a scratched coin which can be unintentional damage, or a lightly cleaned coin since it can be an un-intentional effort to improve the appearance of an old dirty coin.

I could see how an average person could find an old grungy coin, with the first reaction being "hey, let me clean this up and get rid of all this dirt and grime".  Not, I better not touch it because I will probably scratch it, remove mint luster and get corrosive oils from my fingers on the coin. 

Edited by EagleRJO
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I agree with the others that problem coins should be avoided.

It depends on how severe is the problem. Details graded coins encompass a broad spectrum from truly hideous pieces to ones that are so nice the "problem" is difficult to discern. There are many very attractive coins that don't quite qualify for numeric grading yet are quite pleasing to the eye. I've bought a few near misses for my own collection, though always at an appropriate discount consistent with its overall value. I wrote on this topic a number of years ago: https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/8146/

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On 8/7/2022 at 8:28 AM, DWLange said:

It depends on how severe is the problem. Details graded coins encompass a broad spectrum from truly hideous pieces to ones that are so nice the "problem" is difficult to discern. There are many very attractive coins that don't quite qualify for numeric grading yet are quite pleasing to the eye. I've bought a few near misses for my own collection, though always at an appropriate discount consistent with its overall value. I wrote on this topic a number of years ago: https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/8146/

There you go again, you prolific writer, you. 

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On 8/7/2022 at 9:28 AM, DWLange said:

I wrote on this topic a number of years ago: https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/8146/

@DWLange Nice article.  I chuckled when I read about the re-toning of coins where you say: "Most, however, were toned excessively ... As a coin whisperer, I know them when I see them, and I feel their pain." :grin:

I was a little surprised as a "coin whisperer" you don't use any XF graded coins as examples, as I can actually see those coins having a backstory like someone having say a Morgan dollar in their pocket for a while, which is relatively large and heavy, and then just putting it away because of that.  Lightly circulated like that would probably end up grading XF.

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On 8/7/2022 at 3:39 PM, Mr.Bill347 said:

As long as we’re on the subject of whizzing cleaning, I’m about to pull the cord on this nice half dollar example, fell free to adjudicate

8AF7FCB1-F8EC-489D-9F9E-F7A0D7F3FBFF.jpeg

CB181A65-37BC-4B38-9E71-16D4EFAA02EE.jpeg

It looks like a fake, Bill. The devices on the reverse look to puffy that's a lot of whizzing if it is a real coin.

Edited by J P Mashoke
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On 8/7/2022 at 3:39 PM, Mr.Bill347 said:

As long as we’re on the subject of whizzing cleaning, I’m about to pull the cord on this nice half dollar example, fell free to adjudicate

Did you try to grade it by comparison to pics in the PCGS CoinFacts?  See attached VF example which might be about the same wear.  Right away the year numbers look off (font, size, spacing, clearance to other elements, etc.) as well as the mint mark location.  Those are usually the first two things I look at.

1854-O Seated Half Dollar Arrows PCSG VF20.jpg

Edited by EagleRJO
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On 8/7/2022 at 4:47 PM, J P Mashoke said:

It looks like a fake, Bill. The devices on the reverse look to puffy that's a lot of whizzing if it is a real coin.

Thanks JP! I’m gonna pass, this seller always has a lot of too good to be true coins anyway. B

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On 8/7/2022 at 8:10 PM, Mr.Bill347 said:

... seller always has a lot of too good to be true coins anyway. B

You know what they say about too good to be true. 😉 

I buy almost all raw coins so I try to be extra careful checking all the basic stuff.

 

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   The 1854-O half dollar in Mr. Bill's photo could be a counterfeit, but it's most likely a harshly cleaned and otherwise abused genuine coin.  (It also appears to have been holed and plugged at around 1:00 relative to the obverse!)  The most suspicious aspect is the extra metal around the reverse devices and lettering, but this could be the result of etching by too long an immersion in an acidic dip.  While mint mark positions are important for authenticating lower mintage mint marked coins that were struck from a limited number of dies whose diagnostics are well known, they are less useful for more common issues struck from a large number of die pairs, as mint marks were hand punched into the dies until the early 1990s, and the locations vary from die to die.  (Someone reading this who has the Wiley-Bugert book on Seated half dollar die varieties might be able to identify this one, but if it matches it could still be a counterfeit modeled from a genuine coin. and if it doesn't it could be an unlisted die variety.) In any event, it isn't a coin I'd buy either.  (For $10 or so it might make a nice gift for a young collector.)

 

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You know what they say about too good to be true. 😉 

The old saying is "There's no Santa Claus in numismatics."

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