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Workflow For "Processing" My Lincoln Wheat Cents (Noobie)

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Valued Member
United States
127 Posts
 Posted 05/01/2015  11:25 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Turbolag to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hey, so after reading up on here and asking some questions and getting some answers I've started to sort my wheat pennies for filling out my Three "Coin Collector" Albums purchased from Wizard Coin Supply.

So I have about 300-400 LWCs I divided into sandwich baggies:

-Red, XF/AU/BU (only a few of the late dates)
-Problem free with exception for teeny amounts of gunk or scratches or whatever
- "X" has corrosion or verdigris or other green crap but is minimal
- "XX" has worse verdigris
- "XXX" is corroded past help
- Damaged or cull (holes, clips, deep scratches etc)
-Cleaned. Had trouble with this, had a lot of dates from the Teens that were very worn but had bright obverses and dull reverses, look like they were cleaned and retoned, or rubbed with an eraser. They just don't look natural. I'msure some of ones in my problem free bag are cleaned but I'mnot an expert at telling yet!

So I started with my BU/Problem free bag and just started filling in Coin Collector album One. I really couldn't bring myself to acetone bathe/verdi-care all these common cents and doing it to hundreds of pennies was daunting so all the good coins I had, just went straight into Album #1 which will ultimately be my 'trash' album that will hold cents that could possibly be contaminated. Once I fill out the other albums in higher grade i'll probably give this album to a friend or nephew or something.

I then filled in the remaining blanks by going through the bags in this order > X, XX, XXX and set all those coins aside for acetone bath and Verdi-Care if necessary. This comes to 30-40 coins which is more manageable than the 400 I had. When these are done being conserved I'm going to actually place them in album #2 since that will be a clean album. After that i'll acetone all the cents in the junk album and move them up to album #2.

I know it seems like a waste of an album, and we've discussed how not to re-use flips that other coins have been in but there are a lot of LWC dates! and I feel like I couldn't get anything done without visually filling some holes first!

Now the next thing I wanna do after this is taken care of is purchase some more bulk wheat cents. The "how to buy wheaties" thread suggested buying them by the pound on ebay, or for .5 cents each at LCSs but I don't really have a good LCS in Maryland.

So if I buy some bulk wheaties, how do I make sure I'm getting a group of problem free coins? The last bulk coins I bought at a LCS out of state were .4 cents each but many were cleaned, cull, and covered with verdigris. It seems like a very time consuming process to weed through a bunch of problem coins (Which I have to pay for), to end up with another big pile of LWCs that aren't really useable for my collection.

Would a good plan be to just buy pounds of cents on ebay, pick the nice ones, and resell it all back on ebay, passing the buck? Or should I just take a lot of time to bid on auctions with detailed pictures and try to know what I'm getting before I order? Maybe buy rolls that contain a certain decade or year, so I'mnot getting a batch of "mixed" cents that are all in the 50's?
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United States
1795 Posts
 Posted 05/03/2015  07:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BadToTheBone to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well most of us have done that (buying them in bulk) but be aware that they have been searched in all probability. I'm sure you will find dates that you need but they won't be BU. You may get a few thrown in for good looks but that is a far as it will go. Sometimes you can find wheat cents locally but be prepared to pay top $ for them. I would suggest knowing what wheaties go for and also know what their melt value is. That way you can decide if your getting a decent price. Best of Luck to you in your collecting endeavors.l
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United States
1132 Posts
 Posted 05/03/2015  12:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CopperCastle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would NOT buy bulk coins on the bay. They have all but certainly been picked through by someone doing the same process you mentioned above (after the initial guy who buys boxes from the bank has sorted & picked through those). You're getting 3rd generation passed coins, 2nd gen at best.

Be the 1st gen guy. By a $25.00 box from your bank & have at it. I average 1 wheatie per 3-4 rolls. Dump the memorials in a coin-star & save the pre-'82s. (They sell on the bay for 1.5x face+shipping). This will offset your coinstar loss. If you redeem your coins for a gift card you can avoid the service fee.

If you do by from the bay, purchasing a specific coin will yield a much better example.
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United States
702 Posts
 Posted 05/03/2015  4:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Scropper to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
No way to ensure that you are getting problem-free coins from eBay, but I'm not against buying coins there. They will be searched, but just take some good time studying sellers and feedback. Don't expect to hit the jackpot, but try to find consistent higher quality. The jackpot lots are all bs, from seller to feedback, made by crooked characters (as you well know.)

Another option is to buy filled albums (but for the keys). Avoid albums with any keys, to be sure. The prices go up by those easily lead by hope. Sometimes you can score a deal on these and will have immediate upgrades for a lot of your holes. Much more expensive than buying in bulk, but let me tell you, a lot less work and a lot less to be leftover with.
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United States
4809 Posts
 Posted 05/03/2015  6:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Rackster to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Same as above. Don't be sucked into "Shotgun roll with VDB showing; unsearched!" and the like. So many VDB roll enders on old coin rolls should tell the buyer something. Given your location, find an LCS that sells LWCs for a fair price. Buy a few at a time; establish rapport. Then target some of the more costlier buys. You may be able to shave a few bucks off here and there.
Valued Member
United States
127 Posts
 Posted 05/03/2015  7:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Turbolag to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks everyone,

I definitely am familiar with all the "unsearched roll" scams but I was wondering if there are any seller out there where I could get a lb of common wheats that have been put together by a seller with all the problem coins picked out. It looks like I have a LOT of browsing to do.

As far as my project is going, ive bathed all my coins several times in acetone and so far the results are good. Lots of dark, black gunk came off and any coin with verdigris just looked a bit crustier than before. I have heard mixed things of rubbing with q tips and toothpicks and it seemed like lots of the gunk needed to be persuaded off with both of these tools. I couldnt see any marks or scratches left from using them however I am only using a 10x magnifier.

Next step is to get some practice applying Verdi-Care. Ill have pictures soon
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 Posted 05/03/2015  8:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BStrauss3 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
46 year / Life ANA member (joined 12/1/1973)
Life member: Numismatics International, CONECA
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United States
20020 Posts
 Posted 05/04/2015  6:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Always remember when on ebay you will see:
1. Unsearched rolls.
2. Unsearched bags of coins.
3. My (Mother, Father, Aunt, Uncle) pick one, died and left me all these coins. I know nothing about them so bid on them.
4. I just moved into this house and found all these bags of coins in the basement.
So far haven't heard this one. I just robbed a Brinx Truck and got all these bags of coins. Please buy them from me fast due to needing money for bail.
just carl
Rest in Peace
United States
7075 Posts
 Posted 05/04/2015  7:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Buddy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The coin shop in my neighborhood has a website: Northern Illinois Coin and Stamp. They sell semi-sorted semi-graded rolls of wheaties. That is, you can buy a roll from a particular decade in Good, Fine, or BU. It costs more but you won't get stuck with coins that are hard to resell. You will not get key dates, or expensive varieties --- unless they somehow missed one, but I wouldn't count on that.
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