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Opinion on AU coins in a BU collection?  
 

 
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Pillar of the Community

United States
978 Posts
 Posted 04/21/2017  12:29 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add LibertyEagle20 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm currently on year 3 of my quest for an uncirculated Peace dollar set. At this point I'm about 80% done. Originally my criteria was..

PCGS/NGC only
MS only

Unfortunately I've found that some dates are too pricey in MS condition. I believe I'm going to have to settle for 58s for 2 coins in this set. I have a bright white 1927 S in AU58. It shows minor wear but was about 1/3 of the price of a 62 which would have likely had nasty bag marks anyway. I purchased it because it had good eye appeal. Same deal with the 1934-s.. a MS coin is simply out of my range so a 58 will have to do. It kind of sucks to "settle" for AU58 but my thought was since they are bright white, they still don't look out of place in my set. 62 is my next lowest grade but I stuck to coins with white luster and little toning to try and build a similar looking group of coins. Many perceive Peace dollars as common, but I know first hand it's not easy to find nice white coins with good eye appeal. So many of these have high grades but to put it blunt, look terrible due to hits or bad toning. Anyone else have to settle for a few AUs in their MS sets?

*** Moved by Staff to a more appropriate forum. ***



Pillar of the Community
United States
2679 Posts
 Posted 04/21/2017  1:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add acloco to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I should have replied without reading what series you are working on...


In some series, dies that were used past the useful life, soft strike, etc, etc....most collectors cannot tell the difference between an AU and an MS coin. Some series are THAT TOUGHT TO GRADE! Buffalo nickels, Standing Liberty quarters, Walking Liberty halves, Indian Head cents, and Peace dollars come to mind.


To answer specifically to the series you are collecting, keep searching for the AU58 coin, that, if submitted again, very well could be graded MS62 or 63 - they are out there.

At the end of last year, attended a small coin show. A dealer had an AU58 graded 1909 S Lincoln. Upon looking at the coin (without a loupe), it was obvious this was an MSxxBN coin (with lots of luster and some hints of orange on the edges. Purchased the 09 S, submitted to PCGS....and came back as an MS64BN.
Valued Member
United States
423 Posts
 Posted 04/21/2017  1:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nfine to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nothing wrong with a couple of AUs in your BU set in my humble opinion.
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United States
372 Posts
 Posted 04/21/2017  1:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Alpha2814 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm in the same boat ( Peace dollar set, PCGS only). I'm about halfway through, have a mix of 62s and 63s. I've been pacing myself by holding out for eye appeal -- white with no-or-minimal toning, spots, and bag marks. I've seen a few AUs go by that looked quite nice and would fit the set I'm building except for that "AU" part. If I were to crack them all and put them in a folder, it would have the visual consistency I'm looking for, and that seems like it would be good enough for me.

Maybe "buy the coin not the holder" applies to the specifics of the grade someone else assigned. As acloco said above, that AU might get a higher grade if it were resubmitted. Even if it didn't, it was attractive enough to acquire, and if "attractive" is among your criteria (like it is mine), that's what matters.
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 Posted 04/21/2017  2:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TheNickelGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I sometimes find an AU coin that is so attractive and well struck, I would take it over a MS coin any day. However, in the case of high priced coins with a wide spread in values, I wouldn't kid myself to think it is worth as much.
If I know that I have an AU coin or three in my set, I can't pass it off as a BU set to a buyer tho.
Not with a clear conscience. A nice set is a nice set, I leave it at that. I'm not too concerned with grades myself anyway.
I am sure of one thing when it comes to coins.
I am frequently wrong.
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 Posted 04/21/2017  2:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Alpha2814 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would be happy to have that in my collection. Despite the imperfections you call out, the hair in the center of the obverse is reasonably clear and all of the letters on the reverse are clearly defined (only the first "E" in "PEACE" is a little worn at the top).
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United States
2440 Posts
 Posted 04/21/2017  3:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BStrauss3 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Often an AU58 coin is (subjectively) nicer than an MS60 or 61 (dog).
-----Burton
43+ year / Life ANA member (joined 12/1/1973)
Owned by four cats and a wife of 33 years (joined 1983)
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2669 Posts
 Posted 04/21/2017  7:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add KenKat to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Building a collection costs money and unless you have an unlimited amount of money - and few of us do - compromises have to be made sometimes. So I see no issues with making the occasional financial call like going AU for a particularly tough date.
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1302 Posts
 Posted 04/21/2017  10:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add terry8835 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Who has money to buy an MS version of a 1893-S Morgan? Even AU is almost the price of a car. I have a set of Peace dollars and a few are out of sight above AU58. You can get some of the lowest mintage Peace dollars in MS63 for less than $200.
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 Posted 04/21/2017  10:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 88isgreat to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It seems you are making a reasonable concession to your financial situation. If you are happy with the look of the coins you purchase that's all that matters.
New Member
United States
30 Posts
 Posted 04/21/2017  10:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Vermillion Flycatche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder-not the plastic holder. I've compromised on several series due to fincancial considerations but tried to buy top end lower grade coins when compromising. I like the advice to look for top end coins and see if they will upgrade.

Acloco- congrats on the 1909 S! A true cherry pick!
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290 Posts
 Posted 04/21/2017  10:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coconutjoe to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you like the coin, AU55/58 should not matter. Although there are some bragging rights for having all MS collection, I would prefer nicer AU58 over dinged up or ugly MS60/61. Heck, about few decades ago, I was soooo happy when I had my first Buffalo nickel collection finished, mostly AG/VG with few XF.

We collect because we like it. Not to brag about it.
"Life is half over before you kinda know what it is..."
"So hurry up and collect those coins, and enjoy life..."
Edited by Coconutjoe
04/21/2017 10:29 pm
Valued Member
United States
496 Posts
 Posted 04/22/2017  02:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Susuman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think that it is perfectly ok to include nice AU58 coins in an MS collection. The Barber half in my PCGS Type Set is AU58. I wanted MS, but decided I didn't want to spend the money for a Barber Half in MS 64 or 65. In my opinion, many AU58s are often nicer than MS 60-62, and sometimes 63.

Now, here is my problem: For Peace dollars, can I follow my own advice? I am a bit over half way through the series in PCGS MS 64-65, including many of the better dates (26-D, 27-D, and 34 in MS-65 and 28, and 28-D in MS-64). I am not sure I can find the 27-S and 34-S in AU-58 that would match the rest of the set. But, I am also not sure that I can bring myself to spend the kind of money that would be needed to get the 27-S and 34-S in MS-64 or -65.
The 27-D in MS-65 is a very expensive coin, but I sent it in raw to PCGS from the family collection. My grandfather probably got it for face value in the 1930's. So, the expensive coins I have in the Peace dollar Series I did not actually purchase, but I will have to purchase (or trade for) a few if I want the high grades on the missing dates. I am not complaining here at all, just not sure what I will do. Peace dollars are, however, one of my favorite coins.
Edited by Susuman
04/22/2017 02:06 am
Valued Member
United States
496 Posts
 Posted 04/22/2017  02:14 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Susuman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Oh, LibertyEagle, would love to see some pictures
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