NumismaticStudent - Everything you have said and how you are handling this is amazing! Thank you.
I should have thought to include Jack pre posting the information I mentioned to you in my message before I posted on the public board here. I knew this was going to be a pretty big and eye opening revelation in the coin market, and why I reached out first in private. You did say to discuss my finding here in the open which I then did (opened Pandora's Box).
Jack Young brought up an interesting train of thought with his previous and ongoing counterfeit research work in the early copper coin field. Could this coin be a counterfeit? I really don't think so, not even from the other coins Jack has uncovered in the Darkside Cabinet from donor coins and such. Possible? Yes Probable? No, that is my opinion only at this point in my research.
My big concern is how this much metal was moved and re-engraved so dang expertly, that it fooled the top authentication service. This should NEVER happen on a coin of this value and importance. With such a small handful available today (considering type, variety and grade range) it is probably less than a dozen. Why wasn't more research done by PCGS
before finalizing the grade and sending it out certified? I look at all the better grade early date coins like this I can, there really aren't that many left in the wild (slabbed or raw) and they only come up for sale every so often, (hardly a monthly offering) and only a few larger dealers, specialized dealers or auction firms handle them. This leads me to several conclusions:
1. We have a new counterfeiter in the game now.
2. We have the best coin doctor ever involved in altering coins, using new (and still currently) unknown techniques. In fact so good his work can slip by the top authenticaters in the world.
Thanks for the extra information on individual you purchased the coin from NumismaticStudent. Slider23, you are correct in saying he seems like an individual that sells a fair number of details coins and wouldn't seem to be involved. If we had all the invoices involved in the transactions available to us it would be easier to at least see when the change in appearance of this coin happened.
We know Heritage
sold the coin at auction in a Details NGC
Holder -> TO WHOM? If they still have the coin in an NGC
Details holder then this one is a fake copy. Or the Heritage
buyer then sold it, TO WHO?
We know the coin was altered (or faked) and submitted to PCGS
raw. If PCGS
received it in the details holder for a crossover grade, it would never straight grade as it did. Who was the submitter to PCGS
? Even if we know that there is no proof they are the person the doctored the coin, and likely it was sent in through an authorized PCGS
dealer that probably knew nothing, so the submitter name may be forever unknown. Though this type of coin is not one to be forgotten in a submission.
The seller of the coin in the VF30 PCGS
holder to NumismaticStudent knows where he got the coin from, again only speculation but unlikely they are not the coin doctor/counterfeiter but only a dealer/broker of coins, that probably purchased it without knowing anything.
None of these individuals are going to say anything without court orders, and that is as likely to happen as pigs flying.
I will refrain from any advice on how to handle this coin from Numismatic Students point of view, but he/she seems like the type of person that can handle it just fine, and is remaining remarkably level headed throughout this revelation - kudos to them, for that alone.
We know the seller from eBay sold Numismatic Student the coin in the PCGS
straight grade VF30 holder. Where it was then posted about at CCF.
That is where I came in after the coin was posted here on CCF in the Guess the Grade type of post. I called my grade right away in my head after viewing the first photos. I held off posting my guess, as something was bugging me about this coin (like a deja vue). So I held off my grade guess and started to try to satisfy my deja vue feelings about the coin. For anyone still wondering at this point, I am at EF40 on the grade and thinking an EAC grade of VF25/30 as it was/is still a super example of our first officially issued cent from the US Mint. Definitely one of those "Bucket List" coins that all of us US collectors aspire to have in our own collections. One of my biggest "coins that got away" was a similar 1793 Chain Cent S-1 in an early ANACS holder in EF40 I passed on when I could have purchased it (it was 1982 I believe). I've written about it here on CCF in the past.
What a roller coaster this has been, while exciting to uncover the history on it, I am also pretty terrified that we are dealing with a "superfake" technique that can change a coin with little to knowledge of any work being done, the highest compliment to who ever moved the metal on this coin, and I wish/hope you stop and never do it again and that the technique used comes out in the open so that all of us know about it. Reality says that won't happen there are millions of dollars and possibly billions at stake. This metal surgeon has some serious skills, and that should scare all of us collectors, I know it raised the hairs on my arm, when I first realized I was looking at after photos of near perfect coin which only a year or two ago was a coin that was severely damaged, literally impossible as to everything I knew about metal and coin alteration and metal flow and disturbance has been altered in that revelation. Shook me to the core actually. Why I contacted Numismatic Student in private first was for that alone, I wanted to give them the heads up privately. I certainly hope any of our discussion doesn't hurt any potential outcome on the part of NumismaticStudent's decision with whatever path they choose to pursue.
I'm looking forward to better photographs on this coin, hopefully some of the edge if it's possible to get them through the slab. NumismaticStudent please let me know if full resolution images can be obtained from you directly? I'd be happy to set up a drop box for you to deposit them into anonymously, I would love to do some more over lay work with files of the current state with better lighting and straight on full image shots as well as close up cropped areas of where I believe most of the metal was altered and moved. I can also easily share all the files with Jack Young.EDIT:
To add I am also curious as this is the second coin from the same seller that NumismaticStudent purchased in a straight grade holder that previously lived in a details holder. The other being the 1794 dollar, that coin is used as the seller's profile photo at his eBay store. It was discussed on CCF here: http://goccf.com/t/408717&whichpage=3#3506859
CCF member Adam_E gets all the credit on this uncovering.
I'm now also curious if any sign of the severe rim bump is still present at 4:00 on that 1794 dollar, the NGC
holder makes it almost impossible to tell. The reverse has also been changed in a similar way as to this 1793 Chain Cent. The large damaged area around 5:00 on the reverse like a planchet flay or dig has been made much, much smaller and not as noticeable, I need to look at it as well. Too bad there aren't more recent photos in the details state before it crossed into the straight NGC
holder. (Also proving it's not just NGC
that misses things).
This changes my possible view and thoughts on the eBay seller's potential involvement now.