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Proof like, matte like, cartwheel luster, highly reflective...

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Could I get some input from board members about some descriptive characteristics of coins? The questions I have are from a group of Bust Halves all graded AU so there is some wear and luster breaks. I understand, or at least think I do, that proof like fields are fields that look like those of a proof but perhaps not quite so. And that cartwheel luster is dependant on die erosion to actually exist, therefore a business strike can actually be proof like in the early life of a well polished die. No?


This being so, how would you describe the fields of a Bust Half struck with a die showing erosion (as evidenced by the stars stretching out to the borders) that don't show cartwheel luster but are relatively mirror like reflective?


And what would you call a Bust Half whose (they are human now, aren't they???) fields are evenly toned and because of the kind of toning, highly reflective but don't have the depth of a proof like field and no evidence of cartwheel luster (I cannot provide photographs because I just can't capture this stuff).???


And, lastly, if you have a business strike with proof like fields (that are toned, but show depth through the toning that is mirror like in quality) that is very well struck but depending on how you angle it in the light, will actually show definitive evidence of cartwheel luster at the borders, albeit somewhat sequestered by the toning that perhaps is reflective in and of itself....then how would you describe it???


Perhaps these questions would best be discussed coins in hand, but since that is not possible right now, I'll try my best describing it.

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great thread mike hope you get some answers from tomb and others soon which i think you will


just when they see it as time is rare for them with many other responsibilities besides federal usa coinage


but a monster question i love it and mike hope you are doing okie as i have not talked to you in a long time




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I can tell you this, "prooflike" with reference to a bust half is very much different from "prooflike" in describing Morgan dollars. You will never never never see "dmpl" fields on a bust half! I've had the pleasure of handling three or so hail.gif prooflikes, and there is no other bust half that gives you the kind of numismatic satisfaction that a prooflike coin does - PERIOD!


A prooflike bust half WILL HAVE cartwheel luster, because the planchets were not polished prior to striking. But the prooflike will have that special certain flash that is unmistakeable. Semi-prooflike coins are much more common than fully prooflike coins, of course, but still highly desirable.


The unfortunate part is that many a bust half that has fooled its owner into thinking it was prooflike was actually a coin with altered surfaces. And there are some very convincing fake prooflikes out there!


Check very carefully and very objectively the flat areas between the gules of the reverse shield. The prooflike effect should be visible even in the tiniest recessed areas. If it is not there, then the coin likely was polished or altered in some way.


Die erosion doesn't destroy the cartwheel effect - at least not to the point that the mint would allow die use to expire. For that to happen, the die would have to be practically disintegrated. It is the radial stretching of the surface of the planchet as the die strikes it that causes cartwheel mint luster. Even an ancient die will still stretch the planchet, causing the effect. But after many strikings, the die stretches and distorts radially too, thus causing the outward distension of the stars at the edges.


I would really want to examine such a coin personally before evaluating it.


Hope this helps get you pointed in the right direction, and by all means, anyone who can supplement or correct any of my statements above, please do so.



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