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Proof VS Mint VS BU

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New Member

United States
26 Posts
 Posted 03/15/2007  01:24 am Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add djf1326invest to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Hello Oh Wise Ones,

I came across interesting thing this past week. I took 3 coins (1 each of proof, mint & bu graded by PCGS) to 3 different coin dealers (supposedly highly reccommended in the Tampa area). (I took them out of their slabs) I asked the dealers if they could show me which one was which. How to tell which was which? And what the grades were. Basically, none of them got them all correct. So, I ask you, IF I was to send the coins to NCG or PCGS could they tell me which is which? And, how can I look at coins and be able to tell which is which. It sure seems that it is solely the opinion of the grader.
Any suggestion?

GOD Bless

DJF

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United States
7123 Posts
 Posted 03/15/2007  03:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Metalman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi DJF

Im pretty sure that any grader can tell the difference between a proof and a circulation strike coin.

I have never seen a coin graded by PCGS that was designated BU? or Mint?

circulation strike coins If they are in mint state condition are classified as MS(Mint state) .

Proof strike coins are designated with a PR (Proof)and this refers to the production method.

BU is Brilliant Uncirculated and is a term used to describe Mint state coins.

Im not sure if this answers your question or not ?



Metalman
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United States
5795 Posts
 Posted 03/15/2007  11:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Susanlynn9 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Although I think these designations have changed, these are the descriptions I use:

MS60-MS62 - Uncirculated
MS63-MS64 - Brilliant Uncirculated
MS65-MS67 - Choice Uncirculated
MS68-MS69 - Gem Uncirculated
MS70 - Impossible

The proof coin will definitely stand out from the rest. As many have pointed out, grading is subjective and not everyone uses the same point scale to define Brilliant, Choice, or Gem. This may be why you ran into difficulties. PCGS will list a numerical grade. Dependent upon what you consider to be UNC, BU, etc. may not be the same definitions used by the dealers you approached.

Wouldn't it be nice if the ANA would grow a backbone and standardize the grading and terms?
Pillar of the Community
United States
2825 Posts
 Posted 03/15/2007  12:46 pm  Show Profile Check Prethen's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Prethen to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There are certain series of coins (such as mid 1880's 3CN) that could fool plenty of dealers as to being MS vs PF. However, I'm guessing the coins you showed were probably no-brainer MS vs PF and the dealers were either fools or simply didn't care to take any time to answer your survey honestly.
Specializing in 2-3-20 cent pieces and 19th Century Proofs
Did someone mention 3CN?
Pillar of the Community
United States
2825 Posts
 Posted 03/15/2007  12:47 pm  Show Profile Check Prethen's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Prethen to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
By the way, MS (Mint State) is basically the same thing as BU (Brilliant Uncirculated). They're just different descriptors and MS is used on uncirculated coin grades.
Specializing in 2-3-20 cent pieces and 19th Century Proofs
Did someone mention 3CN?
Valued Member
United States
50 Posts
 Posted 03/20/2007  08:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EarlyUS to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The answer to your question depends very much on the series, and the specific coin. Indeed, there are many coins for which there is NO definitive answer! For example, many Columbian half-dollars look for all intents and purposes exactly like proofs, and my in fact be proofs, but there is not sufficient definitive information to know for sure. Many bust coins suffer these same problems.

Now, a 1995 Washington quarter would be much different. NO competent dealer would confuse a proof 1995 Washington with a business strike, mintmarks notwithstanding.

As to grade, you must remember that "grade" is strictly a matter of opinon, and PCGS is no more "right" than your local coin dealer. Your coin dealer's opinion merely differs from PCGSs opinion.
Edited by EarlyUS
03/20/2007 08:15 am
New Member
United States
26 Posts
 Posted 03/27/2007  11:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add djf1326invest to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hello folks,

Sorry for my late return to this site, but work, work, WORK.....

WOW!! Thank you all for your FABULOUS response to my question. I surely do appreciate your wisdom and council on this. As an investor, I can see that collecting coins is like what my father has always told me about any hobby or collection. "The quality of the piece is purely in the eye of the beholder. And, it is only worth so much IF you can find someone to buy it at the price you ask". True words to live by in this game, I can see that.

Just a side note, I did hear that INTERPOL has been coming down on chinese counterfeiters of gold panda coins. Gee, I wonder how they found out about them?(no thanks needed, just send money)

Again, thanks to all for everything. You folks have been GREAT in teaching me. I will try to live up to your standards as I do my collecting.

GOD Bless to all

DJF
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