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Arrgghhh...why Do Fools Polish Good Silver Dollars?

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Valued Member
United States
79 Posts
 Posted 11/15/2012  9:46 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add robfromshasta to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I went to the coin dealer today to look for deals in the cheap silver dollar trays today. While checking out all the $30 common Morgans, I found a beautiful 1903 Morgan with no dings and hair and feathers and raised areas and lettering all in perfect condition. I had that several seconds of thinking "Oh, I found a deal" then realized somebody had polished or dipped it. It otherwise would have been a nice AU or lower MS. Why do these people think they need to polish their coins before selling them off at the coin store?

Valued Member
United States
339 Posts
 Posted 11/15/2012  10:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add xAGENTxMULDERx to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
maybe they think the store will give them more money if they look prettier, even if a coin has been polished and/or dipped, does it lose its silver content or just its collectors value?
Pillar of the Community
United States
2817 Posts
 Posted 11/15/2012  10:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mdpmedia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi,

Unless one is intimately familiar with coin collecting I would assume that one of the probably reasons neophytes polish silver dollars has to do with the fact that polishing comparable sterling silverware provides better eye appeal leading to higher resale values.

The situation is somewhat analogous to when a realtor puts on a fresh coat of paint to sell an otherwise ugly house, for example.

IMHO,
mdpmedia
Valued Member
United States
110 Posts
 Posted 11/15/2012  11:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kasey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It doesn't detract from the silver content.....but it destroys collector value...same thing when people bust gsa dollars out and send it in to grade...I know a guy that had a 81-CC gsa 66( I believe) dmpl and sent it in to PCGS, same grade lost bout 5k value
Valued Member
United States
79 Posts
 Posted 11/16/2012  12:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add robfromshasta to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
even if a coin has been polished and/or dipped, does it lose its silver content or just its collectors value?


The way I understand it, it loses it's collectors value but not it's silver value. I'm curious however if you polish a very rare expensive coin, let's say for instance an 1889CC, that is worth many thousands of dollars, has it really lost ALL it's collectors value?
Valued Member
United States
110 Posts
 Posted 11/16/2012  12:16 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kasey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
No not all even if its in jewelry it will still have collector value, with KEY date coins. But it can turn a 3k coin into a 100$, for example. Collectors want it as close to when it was minted as possible, with as much luster as possible. But, collectors on a budget definitely want the coins that would other wise be impossible to afford. We buy CC`s that are circ and cleaned and make sets for people. Also, they make good filler coins........
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
16623 Posts
 Posted 11/16/2012  12:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
People who don't know anything about numismatic value will polish coins.
As a kid, I used to do that. I liked coins, but had no idea of their numismatic value.
Pillar of the Community
Learn More...
Australia
7096 Posts
 Posted 11/16/2012  01:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add trout1105 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
People who don't know anything about numismatic value will polish coins.
As a kid, I used to do that. I liked coins, but had no idea of their numismatic value.



There wouldn't be too many people that didn't do that as a kid.
Crikey they were only money when I was a kid and it was fun to pinch some of the old mans brasso and flash em up a bit

It just happens and it is something we just have to accept and live with
Pillar of the Community
Thailand
1509 Posts
 Posted 11/16/2012  01:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thai-vic to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As sel and trout point out it's not foolishness but mere ignorance. I'm sure that since the spread of the internet and forums like this even amatuer numismatists have gained far greater knowledge on these matters.
Bedrock of the Community
13014 Posts
 Posted 11/16/2012  01:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Personally I believe far more coins have been cleaned than most people realize. The key is not to have been cleaned recently or polished real bad. But all the coins 100 or so years old have more than likely been cleaned at some point, there was a time when cleaning was preferred in collecting. You can always use cleaned pieces as a pocket piece until the cleaning wears off, youll lose a grade or two but restore the collector value for whatever grade it ends up in
Valued Member
United States
386 Posts
 Posted 11/16/2012  09:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add blackjack to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree, basebal21. I've liked my coins white, but I'm learning to accept some toning, spots, etc. to be as close as possible to the coin's original skin. "Blast white" classic coins probably aren't such a blast in the long run. I love to see golden frost on Morgan's Liberty.
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
4208 Posts
 Posted 11/16/2012  10:56 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ben to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Personally, I dont mind cleaning. Numismatic value is lost to proper collectors, but for people like me, the only way I could get a morgan was to get a cleaned one.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
16329 Posts
 Posted 11/16/2012  1:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BadThad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One word - IGNORANCE
Lincoln Cent Lover!
Valued Member
United States
61 Posts
 Posted 11/16/2012  4:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TenHalves to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes the answer is definitely ignorance, but sometimes that ignorance is innocent and sometimes it is not.

I remember as a kid I 'discovered' that if I soaked one of my old pennies in one of mom's cleaners that it came out nice and bright and shiny! So I decided to put my whole jar of wheat pennies in a big bowl and dump the cleaner in it (I don't remember what kind of cleaner, but I think it was vinegar based from the smell as best I can recall.) I was delighted when I saw them start to turn bright and shiny right away, but horrified hours later when I went to dump it out and saw they were nearly all some awful shade of pink.

When my father (who introduced me to coin collecting) found out that night all he could do was facepalm and mumble something about his child having been switched at the hospital with a lobotomy patient.

People sometimes clean coins because they don't know any better and it is not unnatural for those not numismatically knowledgeable to assume that clean and shiny is better than dirty and dark.

Edited by TenHalves
11/16/2012 4:02 pm
Valued Member
United States
110 Posts
 Posted 11/17/2012  2:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kasey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
No not all even if its in jewelry it will still have collector value, with KEY date coins. But it can turn a 3k coin into a 100$, for example. Collectors want it as close to when it was minted as possible, with as much luster as possible. But, collectors on a budget definitely want the coins that would other wise be impossible to afford. We buy CC`s that are circ and cleaned and make sets for people. Also, they make good filler coins........
Valued Member
United States
110 Posts
 Posted 11/17/2012  2:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kasey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It doesn't detract from the silver content.....but it destroys collector value...same thing when people bust gsa dollars out and send it in to grade...I know a guy that had a 81-CC gsa 66( I believe) dmpl and sent it in to PCGS, same grade lost bout 5k value
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