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Mercury Dimes - What Distinguishes A VF35 From An XF40?

 
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 Posted 12/02/2020  11:10 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add one_fine_dime to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Can you guess which is which? Both are PCGS graded. Sure, on the 1919D the greysheet difference is only $5, but on a 1921 it's $75 and on a 1921-D it's $100.

Does anyone know specifically what can distinguish a VF35 from an XF40? I've heard they can be more generous with key dates sometimes.



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 Posted 12/02/2020  11:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ty2020b to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Both look VF-35 to me, but I can see the 21 making XF-40. The 21 has maintained more of the original details on the reverse , but surfaces done look as clean, with a few larger scratches and rim hits. The 19 has taken on more wear, but surfaces are cleaner.
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 Posted 12/02/2020  12:07 pm  Show Profile   Check GrapeCollects's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GrapeCollects to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 21 has more details. The Fasces on the the reverse has more detail and the upper hair of Liberty has slightly more, and as Ty said the 21 has much better surfaces.
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 Posted 12/02/2020  12:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add panzaldi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
pretty much the same for other coins grading Mercury dimes involves not only the technical side, judging the amount of wear to the surface. Also considered is overall eye appeal of the coin, does it project a pleasing appearance or a dull "worn out" look.

here is photograde for the two grades side by side which makes it easier to see the differences. the differences are the sharper lines of the hair where it meets the face. Rims are flatter and more worn than that of a 40. about 1/2 detail in the wing remains and the coin can have some luster remaining. on the reverse the leaves are going to be much sharper and defined and diagonal bands should show separation from the faces. the overall look is much sharper, not as dull and more defined devices. there are other markers but these are the key differences

your 21 looks like it falls in the VF35 slot and the 19D right around VF25

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 Posted 12/02/2020  1:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add one_fine_dime to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 21 was in fact graded XF40, the 19D as VF35!

@GC - Ty actually thought the 19D had better surfaces, which I agree. I see what looks like a hole even (large ding) on the fasces axe blade. I agree with you that the details at the very top of Liberty's hairline show better detail in the 21 than the 19D. I'm just not seeing it in the fasces though.

I see a stronger obv strike on the 21, in the IGWT motto, but strike shouldn't impact grade on circulated coins.

While it's hard to tell from the photos, I think the 21 may have more residual luster (if any) than the 19D.

@panzaldi - I look at PCGS's Photograde all the time, but so often I find their own grading can be inconsistent with this. For instance, the XF40 photos are often more consistent with an XF45 slab. In the hair line along Liberty's face, an XF40 should really show a separation, like it does in the Photograde example, but in the 21, the curl due right of her cheekbone is mostly merged with her face.

I think the toning pattern has something to do with the 21 just showing the details better.

What do you think my 21D would grade out at? I picked this up raw several years ago (and it remains un-certified).



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Edited by one_fine_dime
12/02/2020 1:41 pm
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 Posted 12/03/2020  3:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add panzaldi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
one_fine_dime - I dont use photograde exclusively for grading however it does help newbies put a coin in the right area such as F, VF XF etc... your question was how to tell the difference between 35 and 40. the easiest way to explain that is to use a standard grading system such as photograde.

the 21D obverse looks closer to VF35 and the reverse XF40. a nice example of a key coin
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