A Nicer 1938 Proof Nickel
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59 posts in this topic

@FlyingAl:

This coin appears to be everything you say it is, and more.  [I had to resist the impulse to count its steps.]  One thing that has always puzzled me is why the number 8 in the date appears so scrawny. Would you know or happened to have thought about it if you don't?

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On 9/29/2022 at 4:58 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

@FlyingAl:

This coin appears to be everything you say it is, and more.  [I had to resist the impulse to count its steps.]  One thing that has always puzzled me is why the number 8 in the date appears so scrawny. Would you know or happened to have thought about it if you don't?

Quintus, quite the opposite in fact. I really like the date styling on the 1938 coins and the 8 seems to be exactly the right size to me. This could just be me though. :)

However, the date style shifts slightly over the years and I like it less and less the more it changes. My 1942 Jefferson has quite the difference when compared to the 1938. I can only assume that over the years the hubs had to be altered slightly or some other occurrence. 

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On 9/29/2022 at 6:05 PM, FlyingAl said:

Quintus, quite the opposite in fact. I really like the date styling on the 1938 coins and the 8 seems to be exactly the right size to me. This could just be me though. :)

However, the date style shifts slightly over the years and I like it less and less the more it changes. My 1942 Jefferson has quite the difference when compared to the 1938. I can only assume that over the years the hubs had to be altered slightly or some other occurrence. 

The “8” looks totally different in ‘48, ‘58, and so on. The hub was completely redone in 1939. 

Edited by VKurtB
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   Photos of Felix Schlag's original models that I've seen feature the narrow "8" in the date.  The mint didn't adhere to it in subsequent years ending in "8". Incidentally, coins dated 1943 feature a round top "3", although the flat top "3" returned in subsequent years ending in "3".  

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On 9/29/2022 at 7:12 PM, VKurtB said:

The “8” looks totally different in ‘48, ‘58, and so on. The hub was completely redone in 1939. 

I have no particular feeling about it other than it looks markedly different enough from anything I have ever seen, in or out of this series, so as to make a lasting impression.

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

Lem E,

Thanks posting those columns. I believe there are five or six in the entire series on date styles, but I don't have access to them where I am.

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On 9/30/2022 at 8:41 AM, DWLange said:

Lem E,

Thanks posting those columns. I believe there are five or six in the entire series on date styles, but I don't have access to them where I am.

...Dave did u sustain any significant damages or harm in ur area?....

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No. I arrived in California Tuesday for a scheduled vacation. A friend who lives nearby checked on my house afterward, and it seems to be fine. Thanks for inquiring.

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On 9/30/2022 at 7:43 PM, DWLange said:

No. I arrived in California Tuesday for a scheduled vacation. A friend who lives nearby checked on my house afterward, and it seems to be fine. Thanks for inquiring.

Glad to hear that you and yours are safe, and that your house did not sustain any damage.

Edited by Just Bob
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On 9/30/2022 at 8:43 PM, DWLange said:

No. I arrived in California Tuesday for a scheduled vacation. A friend who lives nearby checked on my house afterward, and it seems to be fine. Thanks for inquiring.

I have one brother in law in Lakewood Ranch and another just inland from what [used to be] Fort Meyers Beach. For him some property damage is noted but he sat throuh it and is okay now. Mark in Lakewood Ranch is fine.

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On 9/29/2022 at 6:46 PM, FlyingAl said:

I had posted about this coin over at the PCGS forums but I figured I'd pop in over here as well and share with you guys. I had recently picked up this nice 1938 nickel with gorgeous frosted obverse devices, the deepest contrast I've seen on a 1938-42 Jefferson nickel. I was blown away by it. The mirrors are super deep as well, though the reverse lacks in frost. 

I think this will be the perfect candidate for a star when I submit it to NGC. The coin is the FS-402 obverse and the reverse with the die cracks across "FIVE" and "AMERICA". Only three cameos have been certified by NGC and PCGS, and only seven NGC star coins. Any contrasted 1938 nickel is a rare coin indeed. 

The pictures are hard to get right, but I assure you the whole bust is frosted and the mirrors are jet black and very reflective. The obverse has more contrast than my 1942 CAM cent. The reverse is nice, but not quite there for CAM. 

image.thumb.png.e7da54f22541d1992817e3d3cba83f5f.png

 

Looks like yours may have been struck with a new obverse die. Boy you've got good taste. Very few '38 nickels look like that. Here's mine purchased at least 10 years ago. I've always thought mine could Star but not enough contrast to Cameo. Roger can you comment ? By the way my registry set does have 3 Star coins with views if you care to look at Collectors Society.

0005 1938 Jefferson NGC Pf 67.jpg

Edited by numisport
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With there being no attempt to maintain "frosting" on relief, new dies quickly adjusted to the mean surface of planchets. Any "frosted" or cameo coins came from a new die. The Proof coin book 1936-42 shows all known die combinations and when new dies were introduced.

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On 9/29/2022 at 7:12 PM, VKurtB said:

The “8” looks totally different in ‘48, ‘58, and so on. The hub was completely redone in 1939. 

Take a quick look, if you will, at the nickels submitted this morning, Oct. 1, by members numisport and Idhair. I Notwithstanding the hub change you cite as having occurred in 1939, I see a striking difference with the full-bodied 8, in numisport's coin as contrasted with the more familiar scrawny 8, in Idhair's.  Numisport states FlyingAl's obverse (featuring the scrawny-looking 8) was likely struck by a "new obverse die," but my own lying eyes tell me while that may very well be so, it is Numisport's coin which deviates from the norm. Or is photography the culprit?

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On 10/1/2022 at 12:00 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

Take a quick look, if you will, at the nickels submitted this morning, Oct. 1, by members numisport and Idhair. I Notwithstanding the hub change you cite as having occurred in 1939, I see a striking difference with the full-bodied 8, in numisport's coin as contrasted with the more familiar scrawny 8, in Idhair's.  Numisport states FlyingAl's obverse (featuring the scrawny-looking 8) was likely struck by a "new obverse die," but my own lying eyes tell me while that may very well be so, it is Numisport's coin which deviates from the norm. Or is photography the culprit?

All “8”’s produced in 1938 are the same. When the new hubs were created in 1939, primarily to address reverse issues, the process of date (and star near the date) inconsistency followed. Those days are done. Now, with all typefaces used on coins coming from Adobe PostScript digital typefaces and hubs being done in software rather than in plaster, re-used digits in dates will be consistent, UNLESS manually applied kerning is utilized in the spacing. 

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Update - the coin was cracked out and sent to NGC. When viewed outside of plastic, my determination fo a star grade was confirmed, and the reverse frost popped a bit more. I remember thinking that it had an outside shot at CAM (though I doubt it would ever go CAM). I graded it 67*, with a point bump for the frost. 

The submission was marked as delivered by the USPS on Thursday, but the package hasn't yet shown up in the find package feature or submission tracking. I figure this is due to the hurricane delays and wish the best for all at NGC who have been affected. 

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On 10/8/2022 at 12:04 AM, FlyingAl said:

Update - the coin was cracked out and sent to NGC. When viewed outside of plastic, my determination fo a star grade was confirmed, and the reverse frost popped a bit more. I remember thinking that it had an outside shot at CAM (though I doubt it would ever go CAM). I graded it 67*, with a point bump for the frost. 

The submission was marked as delivered by the USPS on Thursday, but the package hasn't yet shown up in the find package feature or submission tracking. I figure this is due to the hurricane delays and wish the best for all at NGC who have been affected. 

Best of luck ! I think you're on the right track.

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On 10/8/2022 at 12:04 AM, FlyingAl said:

my determination fo a star grade was confirmed, and the reverse frost popped a bit more. I remember thinking that it had an outside shot at CAM (though I doubt it would ever go CAM). I graded it 67*, with a point bump for the frost. 

Nope.

1) A "star" "asterisk" "flumbot" or other character is not a grade --- just a decoration. 2) "Frost" "fog" "snow" "ice" are not part of a grade - they express nothing about the state of preservation of a coin or medal.

A meaningful grade is a written and numerical description of the deterioration of a coin or medal from the moment it leaves the dies to the present time; nothing else. Other factors of collector interest are all subjective and thus infinitely variable among individuals. "Grade" must be stable over time, while other factors may go in and out of favor with collectors and thus modify the fair market value.

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On 10/8/2022 at 3:45 PM, RWB said:

Nope.

1) A "star" "asterisk" "flumbot" or other character is not a grade --- just a decoration. 2) "Frost" "fog" "snow" "ice" are not part of a grade - they express nothing about the state of preservation of a coin or medal.

A meaningful grade is a written and numerical description of the deterioration of a coin or medal from the moment it leaves the dies to the present time; nothing else. Other factors of collector interest are all subjective and thus infinitely variable among individuals. "Grade" must be stable over time, while other factors may go in and out of favor with collectors and thus modify the fair market value.

As much as I generally agree with you Roger, I cannot disagree more with this statement. 

First, grading comes down to valuing a coin. It is valuation in the simplest sense. Since stars increase the value someone would pay for a coin, it most certainly is part of a grade as much at CAM, DCAM, PL, DPL and others are. 

We all know grades fluctuate and they always will. 

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On 10/8/2022 at 5:25 PM, FlyingAl said:

As much as I generally agree with you Roger, I cannot disagree more with this statement. 

First, grading comes down to valuing a coin. It is valuation in the simplest sense. Since stars increase the value someone would pay for a coin, it most certainly is part of a grade as much at CAM, DCAM, PL, DPL and others are. 

We all know grades fluctuate and they always will. 

Are you BEGINNING, at least, to see my issues with Roger here, Al? This is vintage Roger. 100% (bizarre) opinion with no connection to reality. Why would I buy books written by a guy like this? For that matter, why would anybody?

Edited by VKurtB
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On 10/7/2022 at 6:12 PM, Lem E said:

I did this little mock up of the 8s from 38-80 for anyone that is interested in seeing a side by side comparison. 9B839E68-EBC6-4D3D-850F-8465A3E1474F.jpeg.8de31c638d89901dbc155fda76683273.jpeg

Put the 1938, obviously the thinnest 8, mentally next to that 1968. Holy cow! Talk about rotund! Then just for grins check out the star on the 1958. 

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