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1893 Isabella Grade?

 
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 Posted 02/26/2021  3:32 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Jsalsa123 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Was wondering what you all thought this might grade as. Thank you!

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 Posted 02/26/2021  3:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TNG to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Tough to grade these from any pictures but it's a beauty!
Guessing at MS64 or MS65
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 Posted 02/26/2021  4:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add keith12 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I say MS-66
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 Posted 02/26/2021  6:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I see no obvious signs of wear - so MS indeed and potentially in the MS65/MS66 range.

The design high points and thus first locations subject to circulation wear are the central jewel on Isabella crown (obverse) and the point where the thread crosses over the lady spinner left couched knee (reverse).

Appears to have some nice organic toning with original surfaces. If you can confirm as well original mint luster then I suggest you have a lovely example here of a truly historic commemorative.
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 Posted 02/26/2021  6:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'll say MS-65. Most attractive.
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 Posted 02/26/2021  11:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What a beautiful example! IMHO, this coin would earn an upward eye appeal adjustment if the technical grade is on the fence. I'm cautiously in the MS-65/MS-66 area, which would net to MS-66 with an eye appeal adjustment.

Again, it's a very beautiful coin.
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 Posted 02/28/2021  4:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with others - very nice coin! The fields look very clean and I don't see any major distracting marks. Congrats on having it in your collection!

Following up on the question posed by nickelseacher re: luster - is there unbroken luster over Isabella's cheek on the obverse? And across the woman's cheek on the reverse? I see a color change in those areas, so I'm curious.



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 Posted 02/28/2021  9:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@commems, The Isabella Quarters that I have handled over the years mostly came from Max Mehl's hoard. He seems to have had an almost endless supply of them. Mehl sold those coins well into the 1950s. The last one I handled with a definite Mehl pedigree was just a couple years back, so they are still out there.

Mehl's coins were originally sold in the presentation envelopes, rather than in hard presentation cases. (I don't know if the hard cases were original, but they are really rare.) The envelope coins seem to have a bit of light abrasions from their storage, and most of them have the blue-purple toning seen on this coin.

I don't see any luster break on the obverse crown or on the sash on the reverse. My hunch - and it's just a hunch - is that this was a Mehl hoard coin, and picked up the abrasions from the original envelope. My guess, and it's just that, is Mehl left them in the original envelopes until he sold them, and then he then put them in his trademark paper flips.

I could well be wrong here, but that's what it looks like from what I see in the pics. The color on the cheek matches the left obverse field color and the color around the date.
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 Posted 03/01/2021  11:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@fortcollins: Thank you very much for your informed insights! Definitely appreciated!

I enjoy learning as much as I do informing, and I was unaware of the details of the Mehl story you relayed.




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 Posted 03/01/2021  8:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
When I was younger (back when dinosaurs roamed), I cut my teeth as a vest pocket dealer by buying raw coins from dealer bulk lots and peddling them one at a time to collectors in coin shows. I bought five Isabellas from an older dealer from St. Augustine, Florida. That had to have been in the early to mid-1970s, because that was when I traveled around to a lot of shows during the summers. Fun times to be a collector and vest pocket dealer. I think the show was in Mobile or Pensacola.

For the life of me I can't remember that dealer's name right now. It will come to me eventually, but I flat can't remember his name off the top of my head. He was an older gentleman, bald, and had lots of stories to tell and a twinkle in his eye when he told them. Another dealer told me that he had something to do with the 1913 Liberty nickels. I remember asking him about that and he just smiled and said "I might have." He also knew a lot of history about Florida and trade tokens, and was fascinating to talk to. He knew Mehl very well, and had a decent supply of coins from Mehl's inventory. These included quite a few Isabellas, probably two dozen or more. I could only afford five of them. They came in Mehl's envelopes, with old dark brown envelopes stamped with "Ladies' Committee Souvenir" or something like that. Some of the envelopes had prices that were marked through with "75 cents" written in. I was told to keep the original envelopes, because they would be worth as much as the coins. I sold all of those coins with their envelopes over the next year or so, and made a pretty good profit. That's part of how I paid my way through college. I wish I had bought some of his large cents, too. He had quite an inventory of those, as well.

My last Mehl Isabella was just a few years ago. It had the original sales receipt, and it was dated in the early 1950s.

Now I'm going to drive myself crazy trying to remember the dealer's name. Henry or Hank or Herbert something.

EDIT: If I remember the Isabellas were priced about the same as an eagle back then, right around $35. The dealer told me there were hundreds of thousands of $10 gold coins out there, but very few Isabellas, and they would prove to be the better investment. He was right.

ANOTHER EDIT: My wife is amazing. She went through some of our old records and found the dealer's name. Hubert Carcaba.
Edited by fortcollins
03/02/2021 7:54 pm
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 Posted 03/02/2021  7:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great story, @fortcollins.
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 Posted 03/03/2021  9:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Jsalsa123 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Fortcollins I am unaware what a presentation envelope looks like. However, When I did buy this it came in the following envelope, which to me seems pretty old. When you handled these coins was this the envelope you encountered?

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 Posted 03/04/2021  7:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Jsalsa123, The envelopes I handled were smaller, very dark brown, and had stamped wording "Ladies' Committee Souvenir" or the like. It's been a long time, but I think there was also a cotton pad in one of the envelopes. I have no idea how many of the coins were sold in the type of envelope I handled.

It is definitely possible that yours is a different type of early envelope. Over the years, I have seen a couple hard presentation boxes, like a jewelry or ring box. These had "Ladies' Committee" language on them, too. My hunch is that the sponsoring committees packaged and sold the coins in whatever way they desired. About the time TPG grading came on the scene, I stopped seeing the original packaging.

I wish I had photos of those coins, but I was more interested in selling them to pay for college, and far more interested in a beautiful college girl than anything else. (I still have that beautiful lass, and lots of photos of her, too!)

I have no idea how Mr. Carcaba acquired so many of the coins. He was an interesting man. He also had rolls of Hudson commemorative half dollars, and tried to sell me a roll. I said no, because he already had all of my money for the Isabellas. He offered to make me a "loan" to buy the Hudson roll, but I declined that opportunity. Looking back, I wish I could have bought one of those rolls!

Wish I could be more help, but that's the best I can remember.

Hang on to that envelope, though. It very well could be original. It just doesn't look like the ones I remember seeing so long ago.

You certainly have a beautiful Isabella. That's a great coin!
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