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Three 1917-S Mercury Dimes - Pick The One You Like The Best

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 14 / Views: 1,156Next Topic  
Valued Member
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 Posted 01/25/2020  11:28 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add one_fine_dime to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
So I thought this would be both fun, and possibly helpful to me with respect to my second guessing certain coin purchases. I mean when I pull the trigger to spend over 1,000 times face value on a dime, I try to be confident in my decision. We all deliberate these things to some extent. I feel my intuition is usually right, but can't help wondering if I am seeing all the coin has to offer and/or its detractions from 2-dimensional seller photos online.

I know many CCFers prefer live coin shows or shopping at coin shops. I find most of what I'm looking for online (ebay, auctions, and brick&mortar coin shops with substantial online selections). So can I see all the luster that's there? I think I'm getting better at recognizing luster in photos, but wouldn't you agree that if the pic is taken at the right angle, certain disturbed/interrupted luster can be disguised.

I primarily focus on: original surfaces (no dips if I can help it), quality of strike, clean fields and devices (i.e., limited nicks/scuffs/marks), and luster. The first and last components go hand in hand, and luster is becoming more and more important to me, the more I learn and grow as a numismatistudent.

So three 1917-S Mercury dimes; I bought one of these three for around the same price that each of the other two are going for. Tell me which one you prefer the best (please ignore FSB in your selection) and why, and then I'll reveal my purchase. Thanks for playing.

Coin #1:


Coin #2:


Coin #3:
Edited by one_fine_dime
01/25/2020 11:30 pm
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Russian Federation
105 Posts
 Posted 01/26/2020  12:07 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slerk to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would prefer #2 . I don't like number 3 at all. I think there are a lot of very small scratches (or this kind of tinting ) .#1 is good, but #2 has a nice light tinting.
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 Posted 01/26/2020  06:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
#2
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
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 Posted 01/26/2020  06:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I like #2 also but I think you bought #1 solely because you said your luster is a top priority .
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 Posted 01/26/2020  09:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
First off, I wouldn't buy any of these , but since this isn't my money I would pick number 2. I don't like the toning on number 3 and number 1 has the flow lines that take a little from the look. Personally the only dimes I paid over $100 was the 16-D, so take that into consideration.
Edited by hfjacinto
01/26/2020 09:30 am
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 Posted 01/26/2020  10:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Zurie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I like #2 best. I don't like the toning on #3, and #1 has some hairlines and some splotchy toning that's more hidden. The photos of #2 are not great, but there is a suggestion of decent luster.
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 Posted 01/28/2020  12:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add one_fine_dime to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for your thoughts everyone!
From these photos alone, I honestly cannot discern which coin has the most luster. I agree Coin #1 seems to have a bunch of hairlines and/or maybe die polishing lines, but they do detract nonetheless. Coin #2 could have full luster, at the same time it could also have only half luster (i.e. AU range), I can't tell for sure.

I bought coin #3, which I hope is in MS range. To me the toning contrasted with the bold bright white silver high points, along with a really above average strike in my opinion makes for an authentic and dynamic look. Of the three specimens, something tells me that Coin #3 will look most true to its photos. I also suspect this Coin #3 to exhibit what I've read referred to as "shimmering luster".

I understand the 1917-S can be found in two varieties. Some of the dies used for the 1916 issues were leftover, and used for a portion of the 1917 issues (Type of 1916 or 'T16'). These 1916 and 1917 T16 specimens are said to exhibit a higher relief with textured fields. Other 1917 dimes were struck with new dies (Type of 1917 or 'T17') that lowered the relief and lacked textured fields. One reference I have (The Complete Guide to Mercury dimes by David Lange) indicates, "This issue typically has excellent luster. On 1917-S T16 dimes the effect is one of shimmering, due to the textured fields."

Regarding what Slerk (Welcome to the forum!) said above: "I think there are a lot of very small scratches (or this kind of tinting)" in regards to Coin #3. I suspect those "small scratches" is this kind of "shimmering luster" on textured fields.

In any event, I only saw Coin #2 once I purchased Coin #3. Coin #2 also exhibits somewhat of the broken nose effect, which I personally do not care for (this is due to over polished dies wearing into the lowest relief design elements).

The process of buying Coin #3 was definitely an eBay learning experience for me; see http://goccf.com/t/365633
If you want a shot at a coin, choose your words wisely.

Since I was the only one out of 6 to like Coin #3 best, I'll just consider "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", and maybe it just often come down to "buy what you like".

In any event, crossing my fingers the coin looks even better in hand!
Edited by one_fine_dime
01/28/2020 12:36 am
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 Posted 01/28/2020  12:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add one_fine_dime to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
By the way, it might be easier to inspect these via the eBay listings (ebay magnifier available for Coins #1 and #3):

Coin #1: 383314311003

Coin #2: 202887675975

Coin #3: 153797679200
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 Posted 01/28/2020  11:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would have purchased #2. I think it would fit in with one of my all FSB sets.
just carl
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 Posted 01/29/2020  11:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add one_fine_dime to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I would have purchased #2. I think it would fit in with one of my all FSB sets.


It's still available. And the seller made a discount offer for $120 since I was "watching" it.

So from these photos, do you feel Coin #2 is higher grade overall than Coin #3?
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 Posted 01/29/2020  3:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add KD8ATF to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I guess I'm like most people who commented. I like #2 the best!
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 Posted 01/29/2020  4:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Alpha2814 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's hard to tell from the different lighting in each pic. #2 seems in the best condition but it's a bit yellow for my taste -- probably looks better in-hand. That aside, I like #1.
Working on: Indian quarter eagles, Chinese pandas, and San Francisco tokens; upgrading my Peace dollar and US Type sets

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 Posted 01/30/2020  2:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It's still available. And the seller made a discount offer for $120 since I was "watching" it.

So from these photos, do you feel Coin #2 is higher grade overall than Coin #3?

I still like #2 the best however, one problem for me with coins for sale on the internet, you really are not sure what it looks like in real life. I mean that is why I never buy over the internet. I've got to see in real life what I'm buying.
I presently have 12 sets of Mercury dimes. 10 of them are complete and #1 is all FSB and #2 is getting close to that. And I've never purchased a coin over the internet.
just carl
Edited by just carl
01/30/2020 2:33 pm
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 Posted 01/31/2020  06:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add machine20 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with OP. I like 3 the best
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 Posted 01/31/2020  07:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Carl


Quote:
I presently have 12 sets of Mercury dimes. 10 of them are complete and #1 is all FSB and #2 is getting close to that.


Can you adopt me? I only want set number 3. You can give 1 and 2 to your real family :) I mean we're like long lost brothers we both like Whitman albums and Mercury dimes. I'm almost family
Edited by hfjacinto
01/31/2020 07:45 am
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