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Poland 1597 Trojak Vilnius

 
 
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Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 12/07/2018  11:49 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've been looking at a lot of slabbed Polish coins from this era up at auction recently, and trying to figure out how some with large mushy areas can get MS grades. Like this one currently up for sale at a reputable firm:


I presume the experts at NGC are able to discern differences between die wear and coin wear much better than me.
Anyhow, I was pleased to recently win this unslabbed example of the same coin at auction, and was wondering if it is likely to get an MS grade if I submitted it (though I doubt I will). To my eye, the obv on mine is much sharper than the MS63 example, the reverse comparable (both have weak areas).
Edited by tdziemia
12/07/2018 2:04 pm
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
14553 Posts
 Posted 12/07/2018  6:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It scored a good MS grade due to the detail on the eagle's feathers.
Other parts of the coin detail are weakly, or even not struck up at all, which is very common for hammered coins generally.

Nice coin.
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 Posted 12/07/2018  8:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
However, on the obverse (if you zoom in), the moustache and beard are flat, half the collar detail is gone and there is very little detail in the garments ... Not to mention, more tarnish on the legends than the portrait or fields, which might suggest an old cleaning?
This seemed crazy to me for MS63 ... but then, I am sure that coin will sell for more than mine (and the fees are higher), so I will just be happy with the bargain I got!
Edited by tdziemia
12/07/2018 8:12 pm
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 Posted 12/07/2018  8:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting question as to the best way to grade Ancients and Medievals. I'm generally not in favor of using Sheldon's 70 point scale for these because I don't believe that anyone has access to enough MS-70s that the top end can be so definitely determined. IMHO, the five point scale used by NGC seems sufficiently granular.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 12/07/2018  9:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Is that the scale used for ancients?

I am seeing the 70 pt scale used by NGC for Polish medievals back to the 11th c. So, I'm not sure where they draw the line. And yes, I agree, how would they know when they have a 70? To @sel's point, there is a lot of room for imperfection on hammered coins, but there are some Polish trojaks from the 1580s and 1590s in stunning condition for hammered (look for slabbed examples from Riga in 1586-1591, and Malbork mint 1592-1594).

I'm not as experienced as many others out here, but I think that makes for a lot of divergence between "technical grade" where horribly worn dies can still get a high MS grade if the coin is deemed to not have circulation wear, contrary to how the coins would rate on eye appeal.
Edited by tdziemia
12/07/2018 10:05 pm
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Australia
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 Posted 12/07/2018  10:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In the flat areas, the design is not struck up due to local variations in flan thickness. Inconsistent local flan thicknesses are very common with hammered coins, because the metal thickness before blanking was hammered out by hand.

Modern pre blanking strip is rolled to thickness across the whole area at high pressure, and with controlled gap between the rollers.

The coin was graded for wear on the high points, where the design has been fully struck up.
It is the high points that are most exposed to wear, when the coin is in circulation.
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 Posted 12/08/2018  07:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@sel, thanks for the explanation. That helps me understand what I'm seeing.
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 Posted 12/08/2018  7:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add IndianGoldEagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You can't compare these old hand struck coins to modern standards. MS on these oldies just means as struck.
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 Posted 12/08/2018  10:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks IGE. Consistent with advice from @sel, and @spence's comment about just rate them 1 to 5.

I guess it's business for the TPGers, so they take it.



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 Posted 12/08/2018  10:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
with IGE in this point.
I have never seen an unslabbed ancient coin in an international auction catalog graded as 'MS' in top condition.
It is always 'As Struck'.

I think that NGC should give some serious consideration to this issue.
That is despite the fact that slabbed ancient coins still have a valued place in ancient numismatics.
Edited by sel_69l
12/08/2018 10:21 pm
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 Posted Yesterday  07:56 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I have never seen an unslabbed ancient coin in an international auction catalog graded as 'MS' in top condition.


Certainly this is true of the Polish auction houses which use a five point Roman numeral system (I = UNC, II = EX, III = VF, etc. with + and - modifiers).
The one I nabbed was graded II, but I would guess from what I have seen that it would get into the MS range at NGC.
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