Grape, yes I think I have to go for a slab. I am worried it will get a "scratched" label from that obverse scratch but maybe they just knock it down a grade instead. You can imagine... I obviously found it while looking at the reverse, which is in great shape. I could only hope the obverse was as good and well, there was the scratch.
DrDon, it depends on what you're after. I already have most things, and so much of what I am doing is upgrading and really just need MS material for that. Yes, I have a 1968-D DDR
, but it is AU so had to be a B/U roll to bump it up. Also, the stuff I don't have is usually minor doubling that is hard to impossible to see on a circulated coin, so I can see things like the 1944 DDO-001 that I found recently which would be very unlikely on a circulated coin. But for the sheer numbers of varieties to be found, a good bag of circulated wheats can't be beat. It is not too hard to pick up 8-10 every evening going through those. So again, it's what your after.
As for the late die stage on this one, hoo yeah it's way hard to see on a circulated coin. Or even a nice coin. But if you want one of these my advice is this: forget about everything on the coin except the FG. That is the only place you can reasonably expect to clearly see the doubling on a coin with a loupe. Focus on the FG and you'll see it if it's there.
Thanks for all the well wishes on the trip. Just tried on my new Tyvek bodysuit for the cave with the sulfuric acid dripping from the ceiling. Will have to trust the respiration equipment in the other caves with fatal air quality (one is ammonia and the other is CO2). Not going to caves that any normal person would ever think of visiting, and in fact one has multiple signs posted at the entrance that entering is death. But onward and inward and with luck will be able to measure some bat roosts and do a number of mostly chemical analyses of the environments to see what is actually going on in there. If I have internet connection my blog should be pretty interesting to follow.