Below you will find a dozen screen shots of problem coin lots that a knowledgeable hobbyist would never bid on. Can you identify the issue on the coin, label, flip, or description?
I’ll provide a hint with each sample.
Answers will be provided at the end of the post.
1) “Open Sesame”
2) A Case of Diplopia
3) Design Nation
7) No More Mister
8) A Brief Appearance
9) Buy the Coin
10) Ding It! Call a Plumber!
See the answers below, but keep this in mind: Bidding online means “buyer beware.” Sellers can state almost anything they like in an online auction. Often, photos are sub-par. In any case, it’s up to you to know whether to bid.
As I begin my eighth year of Coingrader Capsule, this exercise emphasizes why numismatic knowledge is a requirement if you plan to bid on coins via the Internet in 2018.
Check your answers below. How did you do? Tell us in the comment section!
1) “Open Sesame” Of course, this is not a complete set of Morgans but a set of Morgan mint marks. The opening bid vastly surpasses worth of raw coins inside, which average MS-63. If you place a bid, you are immediately overpaying by about $600, and that doesn’t include the buyer’s premium and shipping.
2) A Case of Diplopia (double vision): No, there is no doubling here. If the 1916 were doubled at EF-45, the coin would be worth about $21,000. See recent auction prices by clicking here.
3) Design Nation was a pun on NGC flawed “S$1” designation in which the “S” for “silver” is mistaken for the “S” mint mark. See my post on that by clicking here. (Another post will be forthcoming soon on why it is in NGC’s best interest to re-design its label.)
4) OMG: There is no 1921-O Morgan dollar, but if there was one, it might be worth that opening bid.
5) Scarface: It doesn’t matter what the slab says. Use your own eyes and judgment. This coin is damaged in the worst place: Lady Liberty’s cheek.
6) Trifecta: Three flaws here. It was cleaned, stained, and contains a fingerprint.
7) No More Mister. . . Nice Guy. By using the word “nice,” this seller is hyping a damaged, dipped coin worth only its silver content.
8) A Brief Appearance: The obverse isn’t Cameo, with a highlighted finish on Lincoln’s profile. The description is wrong. It’s just a Proof coin. PCGS requires both sides of a coin to have the same desirable finish for a Cameo or Deep Cameo designation. The obverse here just doesn’t make the cut.
9) Buy the Coin. . . Not the label. PCGS gets it wrong, missing a pin scratch pointing directly at Lady Liberty’s nose. This coin should not have been graded (and I hope you are not unfortunate enough to own it).
10) Ding It! Call a Plumber! Two problems here, a rim ding at one o’clock and polyvinyl chloride poisoning (PVC flip). Pipe is also made out of polyvinyl chloride.
11) Embezzled! The coin was removed from a “bezel,” or, a grooved ring to hold jewelry.
12) Bandit! It’s not toning that put that grey stripe across the otherwise beautiful 1937 Texas commemorative. Somebody used a rubber band to fasten it to an album, and the stain resulted in environmental damage.