In my last column, I noted how I purposely sent two PCI Morgan dollars with specific PCI Silver Eagles bearing similar toning and patterns, testing PCGS to see if it would cross over the Morgans.
My “Economy” submission came back with graded Eagles and DNC (Did Not Cross) Morgan dollars, as depicted in the photo below.
This was disconcerting because PCGS has slabbed PCI Morgan dollars in the past. Here’s an example from my inventory:
I have been through this before with PCGS, my preferred slabbing company, primarily because of its TrueView photography. For some reason, toned PCI Morgan dollars sometimes cross over are returned with “Questionable Color” designations.
As a connoisseur of toned coins, I am able to distinguish artificial from genuine toning. No coin doctor, however skilled, can mimic the distinctive patterns of PCI Silver Eagles. You can view my comprehensive showcase set here.
As I also noted in my previous column, I planned to resubmit the PCI Morgan dollars to PCGS, only this time, I would use the “Regular” rather than “Economy” submission. Usually, I submit my toned coins via Economy because I am in no hurry to consign them, as I do with other coins won in online coin auctions. I keep those toned coins for my personal collection.
To help underwrite my hobby, I also use my grading prowess to bid on and win coins offered on Proxibid and HiBid for future slabbing and resale on eBay or Great Collections. That practice requires skill and knowledge about usual auction prices, typically listed in PCGS CoinFacts, indicating how much I can bid on each lot without losing money, taking into account buyer, mailing, and holdering fees.
I resubmitted the above PCI Morgan dollars with two PCI Eagles with similar toning patterns. Only this time I paid the additional $15 per coin, or $35 each, in a Regular submission.
In doing so, I was hoping perhaps for more experienced graders. I also used the notation box on the submission to call attention to the graders that the colors of both the Eagles and the Morgans were the same, including the target toning.
Here is what I wrote:
I am happy to report that the PCI Silver Morgans crossed over, with both the 1899-O and 1900-O grading MS-63. Here they are with terrific TrueView photography:
The point of this column is not to fault PCGS grading, although one would hope that Economy graders can consistently tell real from questionable toning. It has been my experience that Regular submissions with notations often bring good results, provided that the submitter knows numismatics and can discern authentic from artificial toning.
In the end, I am pleased with these results and will be keeping my PCI Morgan dollar crossovers. Tell us about your experience with toned coins in the comment section below.