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Are Lower Mint State Gold Coins Wise Collection Choices?

 
 
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312 Posts
 Posted 11/30/2018  12:29 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Sharkman to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I am considering adding (gulp) gold coins to my type collection. I know absolutely nothing about gold coins and need to educate myself.
I have seen a large number of ms-61 and ms-62 gold coins in the marketplace, seemingly more so than for silver and other coins.
In collecting Morgan and Peace silver dollars which generally have high mintages and are readily available, I formed the opinion that ms-60 and ms-61 coins had something wrong with them, and that ms-62 coins generally lacked eye appeal. So I have had an arbitrary rule to buy only ms-63 and higher mint state coins if I am going with a mint state example.
In looking at older (pre about 1870) silver coins, I have seen some acceptably appealing ms62 coins, but I have thus far not bought any.
I am a firm believer in buying the coin, not the holder, and there have been several occasions when I have chosen a lower graded coin that has more eye appeal than a higher graded coin. I have found this particularly true with AU grades from AU-53-AU-58, which I often find more appealing than lower mint state examples.
I am seeing a lot of ms-61 and ms-62 gold coins in the marketplace. I know collecting gold is different. Gold is a very soft metal, and gold coin mintages and availability can be quite low. So, there are usually going to be fewer choices.
So I would be grateful for guidance and opinions from those who are not abject rookies like I am. Particularly, should I look at grading for gold coins, both mint state and circulated, with a different outlook than I have for silver and other coins. And most specifically, should I avoid low mint state gold coins the way I do coins of other metals?
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United States
18473 Posts
 Posted 11/30/2018  12:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add IndianGoldEagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
With gradeflation, many of the current MS-60, 61 coins use to be AU. If you can buy the 60-61 for around the price as an AU I'd do it. But it all boils down to eye appeal.
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United States
8714 Posts
 Posted 11/30/2018  12:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SilverDollar2017 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Often, lower MS gold will have poor eye appeal due to many marks and scratches. When buying a coin, try to go for one with as good of eye appeal as you can find for the assigned grade. Whether you avoid MS-60 - 63 gold coins depends on the date, mintmark, and eye appeal - there is no definite answer. This is true of all series of coins.
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United States
715 Posts
 Posted 11/30/2018  1:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Classic Coins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Gold coins traveled a lot in bags for bank-to-bank transactions. They received light rub and a lot of bag marks this way.

In my opinion, TPGs have historically been lenient on gold coin grading, and for this reason, there is an abundance of slabbed MS-61 and MS-62 gold coins that would be considered AU because of the light rub if they were half dollars, for example.

If you want to collect MS-61 and MS-62 gold coins, I would certainly recommend you buy slabbed. If you're looking for eye appeal, you can find cheaper raw AU gold coins that have more eye appeal than many slabbed MS-61 and MS-62 gold coins, but you have to beware of counterfeits these days.
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United States
1539 Posts
 Posted 11/30/2018  1:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Alpha2814 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with the eye appeal assessment. I have a $5 Indian graded MS61 that looks perfectly fine to me -- no spots or toning, minimal scratches. My only issue is a weak strike in some of the feathers, and it would cost too much to upgrade at the moment. I just sent in a $2.5 Indian also graded MS61 for consignment because I did upgrade that one (MS63/CAC). I didn't notice the toning on it until I was taking pictures before sending it off, but I've seen much worse examples on higher graded coins.

I'm content with my AU58 $10 Indian, mainly because I held out for a no-motto piece and those are more expensive anyway. As with silver, there are some otherwise pristine AU58 pieces that look way better than MS with scratches or toning.

There is something mentally off-putting about grades lower than 63, but you have to be happy with what you get -- eye appeal is a big one, budget is another.
Working on: Indian quarter eagles, Chinese pandas, and San Francisco tokens; upgrading my Peace dollar and US Type sets

"Fear is the enemy of will. Will is what makes you take action; fear is what stops you, and makes you weak."
-- Sinestro to (my avatar) Hal Jordan, "Green Lantern" (2011)
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United States
3404 Posts
 Posted 11/30/2018  1:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jimbucks to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I personally like to collect them in MS-62 grade, as the jump in price from MS-62 to MS-63 is often quite high. For that reason I put together 2 complete sets of the $2.50 Indians in MS-62 at a much more affordable price than going to the next higher grade, and I can't really tell the difference in appearance.
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United States
2435 Posts
 Posted 11/30/2018  5:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slider23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
On the $5 and $2.50 Indians you can find some nice coins in AU58 with lots of luster, and you get a little price break. These are nice coins to start a type set of gold that will not break the bank on most dates. If you are going to buy online, only purchase gold coins in TPG holders as there are too many fakes. Get a good reference book on gold coins before making your first purchase.

Try to stay away from the most common dates for your type set. For example, the 1904 $20 Liberty must have close to a million slabbed examples from the four TPG's.

On the $10 and $20 gold coins it hard to find a nice MS example without a lot of bag marks in a grades less than MS64. I looked about 6 months for a nice $20 liberty for my type set in MS63 that was not 1904 or 1900 for my type set that was not full of bag marks.

If you are buying gold on eBay, you need to focus on price and quality as many of the sellers are overpriced. It seems the gold eBay sellers as a rule are overpriced on gold more than other type of coins. Hard to fine a nice bargain gold coin in a TPG holder with a straight grade.

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United States
4313 Posts
 Posted 11/30/2018  7:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kanga to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'd stick to high AU (55 or 58) coins.
MS-60, -61 and -62 are generally coins with eye appeal problems.

Remember, if you buy a coin with a problem you will always have a coin with a problem.
Describe it as if there were no picture.
Picture it as if there were no description.
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United States
3404 Posts
 Posted 11/30/2018  7:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jimbucks to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
MS-60, -61 and -62 are generally coins with eye appeal problems.


Not always.




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United States
905 Posts
 Posted 12/01/2018  11:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tpg22 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Depending on the rarity of the date, MS61/62 coins should trade around spot plus a small premium. The quality will be all over the place in those grades. There are a lot on the market because there are tens of thousands graded of each date graded and they trade like bullion in some cases. When gold was at $400 an oz those common date coins sold for about $400 each (go back and search early 2000's Heritage Auctions) when gold went to $1800 and oz, they moved to that and closed the gap with MS63/64 in some cases. If gold moves up from here I would suspect you could get MS63's for about the same money as 61/62's. If gold moves lower then the spread will widen most likely.
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United States
4205 Posts
 Posted 12/01/2018  3:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Debrajc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have never collected gold coins but my Dansco type set has the "gold" page in it.
I bought an PCGS MS61 gold 1908 $20 for not much over spot price. I picked it up just
to fill the empty spot. Later I saw a MS64 for sale and it was BEAUTIFUL but almost
double the price I paid. So if I did ever "collect" gold I would try and find that
happy medium between eye appeal and price I could afford.
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