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EAC Grading -Or- Why Did That Dude Just Tell Me My PCGS MS61 CAC Large Cent Is An AU Net VF35.

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 Posted 09/21/2022  10:46 pm Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
hello everyone-

I thought it might be fun to talk about EAC grading.

a little bit about me - ive been involved with Early American Copper coins since I was a child. I work professionally as a dealer with a focus on large cents. I lecture about early copper locally as well as through the ANA and EAC coin clubs. I'mcurrently one of the instructors for the ANA summer seminar class on early copper. I am one of the regional secretaries for the EAC.

I am also lucky to have been born into numismatics. my father received the ANA presidential award as well as being awarded the Doctorate of Numismatics for his research and educational work on large cents. he was the consummate coin nerd.

so, lets get this started. I'mgoing to post a couple articles from my pops to cover the basics and get the discussion rolling.

(mods - I didnt know if this should go in the grading forum or what. please move me if you feel it is appropriate)
i like large cents. I currently have >220 Sheldon varieties and >230 middle date Newcomb varieties.

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 Posted 09/21/2022  10:49 pm  Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

What a topic! When net grading was suggested as an area that perplexed beginners and would be a good topic for this column, I thought, 'What a great opportunity!" Writing an article on net grading would give me a chance to review what I knew, solicit and get some new knowledge, and then try to put it all together so it made sense. Simple, huh? NO WAY! It is a lot more complex than that. The more I looked into net grading, the more perplexed I became.

You see, grading is an art, not a science, which is sometimes hard to remember. Two different people can look at a coin and see different things. These two people would also grade the coin differently, sometimes being far apart (One calls it a VF while the other calls it a VG). That simple fact makes it impossible to have hard and fast rules regarding grading. Also, grading equates to value in the coin market and value means money. In some cases, a difference of only one grade can change the value of a coin by thousands of dollars.

Net grading can lead to some unusual results. See if these examples make sense to you:

1) In a Penny Wise article from December 1983 (Volume XII, Number 6, page 297), Frank Wilkinson told how he used photos from Penny Whimsy to determine how William Sheldon graded coins. He compared photos with known varieties and grade (from Sheldon's condition census). One of his examples was a 1795 NC1 - graded F15 "by sharpness alone - but because of its color and surfaces, this coin was regraded to VF30 when Dr. Sheldon acquired it."

2) Last December I bought a coin from an prominent EACer. This coin was described as VF 30, choice. When I got the coin, I was pleased with its look. When I started looking closer, I felt that the coin was between VF20-25 in sharpness. I was shocked! An overgraded coin - and it was called "choice" to boot. I discussed this with the prior owner and several local, non-copper dealers. They all assured me that the coin was at least a VF30. Some of the dealers were even fairly certain that it would slab as an XF. Who am I to question this plurality?

3) A recent list I received contained the following: "1818 N10. Randall hoard coin. Uncirculated but heavily pitted. Net Good."
Do you understand how the net grade was determined in these three examples? If so, you can probably skip the rest of this article. But if they make you think about them, perhaps you should read on. As we progress, hopefully they will be explained.
So, what is net grading? A couple of definitions might help.

EYE APPEAL - How a coin appears when first seen. Does it stand out as a beautiful piece, or is your first reaction, "This coin is ugly!" How the coin appeals to your eye is important when buying coins, as it will impact what others think of your collection and it will impact what you get back when you sell your coins.

CONDITION - How a coin compares to others of the same variety and grade. Currently there are three commonly accepted conditions for large cents, choice, average, and scudzy. These terms were first applied to early American copper by Jack Robinson and the following definitions are paraphrased from his Copper Quotes by Robinson (CQR):

CHOICE - Coin must have original color (not have been cleaned) and smooth surfaces. No corrosion, porosity, or edge dents allowed. There should be no significant marks or damage to the piece. It must have noticeable "eye appeal". This does not mean the coin must be perfect, but it must be "perfect for the grade." Lower condition coins are expected to have more marks than grade coins.

AVERAGE - Color must be reasonable and any porosity, pitting, marks, or mint defects must not detract from the "eye appeal." Overall a coin that fits the grade.

SCUDZY - A coin that has more than average problems that put it at the bottom of the scale for its grade. This can be a heavily pitted low-grade coin or an AU coin with a very noticeable scratch.

DEFECTS, MINT MADE - Anything that happened during the minting of the coin that keeps it from being perfect. Some mint defects include dips, laminations, off center strikes, weak strikes, Struck Through Grease or an object, and late die state erosion.

DEFECTS, MAN MADE OR ENVIRONMENTAL - Anything that happened to the coin after it was minted that changes its appearance. Man made defects include wear, surface marks (also called circulation marks), edge dents, digs, scratches, and bends. Environmental defects can include discoloration, porosity, and pitting.

SHARPNESS GRADE - The grade of a coin when only wear is considered. There are several grading standards available to the collector. These include the ANA Grading Guide, Photograde, Brown and Dunn, the new PCGS Grading Guide, an ANA correspondence course, and the official EAC Grading Guide, which each member receives with his or her membership packet. Sharpness grades do vary from one guide to another.

DEDUCTIONS - Points subtracted from the coin's sharpness grade to account for defects. If a VF20 coin is net grade F15, it has had a 5 point deduction to its grade.

NET GRADING - A coin is examined and a condition assigned to it. Then a sharpness grade is determined, points deducted for any mint or man-made defects, and a net grade is determined. A net grade is the opinion of the grader, each grader.

There are some very obvious flaws in the concept of net grading. First, the different standards for sharpness grading vary. If you doubt this, get several of the grading guides mentioned above, pick a type of large cent and a grade, then compare the descriptions given. They are different! This grading variation can lead to some frustration when you order a coin graded VF20, only to find it is Photograde VF20, and thus an ANA F15 and an EAC F12. Even EAC dealers use alternative grading systems - they have to survive in the non-EAC coin market.

Second, defects affect a person's perception of a coin in differing ways. Take, for example, two EAC'ers who are looking at VF20 sharpness grade coin that is porous. One may detest porosity and deduct from the coin severely for this defect, netting it a VG7. The other may not mind porosity as much and will make only a minor deduction for the problem, netting the coin a F12. The same coin, but two different grades.

Which brings us to consistency. This is one area where dealing with EAC dealers and collectors is a distinct advantage, as they tend to be consistent in their grading (of course there are those occasional exceptions!). Look at many different coins graded by a person over time and you will be able to predict what their coins will look like. Take notes - they can help you establish a pattern.

I keep my notes in a computer file, but note cards or a three ring binder work just as well. Here is one of my notes: "Advertised as 'VF20 Average, a few marks.' I received the coin and graded it F12 with a few more than average marks (condition AVG-). Also, a fair sized rim dent at K10 and a little roughness due to verdigris removal though 'D STAT' on the reverse. I grade it a VG10. He asked F15 money for the coin. l returned it."

Which brings up another point - do not be afraid to return coins if they do not meet your expectations. All reputable dealers would rather have a coin returned than have a disgruntled ex-customer. They realize that net grading is an art, and that your grading and theirs may differ. Until you understand their grading standards and they understand yours, mistakes can occur.

At the EAC Convention in 2014, a Grading Guide for Early American Copper Coins was introduced. Written by Bill Eckberg, Bob Fagaly, Dennis Fuoss, and Ray Williams, this book is a wonderful way learn more about EAC grading. It has excellent pictures and very informed text. If you can read and understand this book, EAC grading will be a breeze!

Eckberg, et al., Grading Guide for Early American Copper Coins, published by Early American Coppers, Inc., 2014.
i like large cents. I currently have >220 Sheldon varieties and >230 middle date Newcomb varieties.

Edited by CarrsCoins
09/21/2022 10:49 pm
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 Posted 09/21/2022  10:54 pm  Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Last time, we looked at ways net grading was defined. This time, let's look at how some EAC'ers determine net grade. For this column, I solicited member comments on net grading from old issues of Penny-Wise, though Region 8, from the US Cents web site <http:/>, and from personal communication. I was somewhat disappointed in the low number of responses. Maybe there is some truth to the rumors about net grading "secrets" (said tongue-in-cheek).

I want to thank everyone who shared their ideas on net grading. Your willingness to publicly state your grading principles marks you as gentlemen and scholars!

Perhaps I do not need to do so, but I want to repeat one thing that was said last time. Each person has his or her own standards that he or she uses to net grade. This may result in different people assigning different net grades to the same coin. Learn how others net grade and you may be able to visualize their coins before you actually see them.

Here then is how some EAC'ers net grade.

PENNY-WISE articles
In the past, several articles on net grading have appeared in Penny-Wise. Two might be of interest to members who have past issues or who have the Penny-Wise CD. One, by Frank Wilkinson, dealt with a theoretical approach to Dr. Sheldon's grading (Volume XVII, 1983, p. 297). A second, by Bill Noyes, should be REQUIRED READING for anyone interested in net grading (Volume XXI, 1987, p. 205). This article has been reprinted in the front of his two large cent books.

OK, I did not meet with Dr. Sheldon through a clairvoyant, and I never met him while he was alive. And no, this is not a theoretical approach to Dr. Sheldon's grading secrets. This information is forwarded by Denis Loring who, as a young man in the late 1960s, learned net grading in Dr. Sheldon's Riverside Drive apartment in New York City. There the good doctor used his own coins to show his net grading methods.

Dr. Sheldon would remove a coin from his safe, carry it to an open window, and,
using natural sunlight, proceed to show Denis how he net graded the coin. Suppose the coin had Extremely Fine sharpness with some porosity and an edge dent. Dr. Sheldon would hold the coin about two feet from his eye and ask himself, "Is it Extremely Fine?" The answer was "No." Then he would ask, "Is it Good?" Again, the answer was "No," as the coin was better than Good. He then asked, "is it Very Fine?" "No," he would answer himself, he did not feel comfortable calling it a Very Fine." "Is it Very Good?" Again, he answered himself with a "No." Now, the grade was narrowed to Fine.

The final question Dr. Sheldon asked himself was, "Is it just Fine, or is it a little better?" If it was just Fine, he would net grade it F-12. If it was a little better, he would call it a F-15.

Dr. Sheldon would start from both ends of the grading spectrum (the sharpness grade and Good) and move toward the center until he reached a point of indecision. At that point, he found the net grade.


I am a dealer / collector of Large Cents and know that net grading needs to be used in order to estimate the severity of detractions from a coin's sharpness grade. Things like edge bumps, surface dings, porosity and roughness all have an effect on the coin's value as opposed to a "full grade" coin. Once this effect is severe enough to lower the value to that of a lower grade, the "net grade" is then the grade closest to that value. That is the value method of net grading. Problem is, how much is a small scratch worth? How many people actually use this? Most often people tend to look at the coin, see the detractions, net it down a grade or two and then look at what the price is for the lower grade.


I have been thinking about this since our first notes back and forth. I think maybe some of the reason people are unwilling to put their opinions on grading into print is that a) they are afraid their views will be ridiculed by "experts" (whoever they may be) or b) they don't want to give away trade secrets. As to a, having sold my first collection of Half Cents through the late, lamented M & G Auctions, I have a pretty clear idea of how my own grading stacks up relative to that of respected dealers. Also, every time any of us buys a coin, he / she makes his / her own judgment of its grade / price relative to that set by the seller. As to b, I'm not a dealer and therefore have no trade secrets. Anyway, here goes ...

I had always thought of EAC grades as being 5-15 points tougher than ANA grades. However, after rereading Sheldon, Breen ( Half Cent and US Encyclopedias), Brown & Dunn (yes, I AM old enough to have a copy of B & D, the ANA Grading Guide and Photograde, I am of the opinion that EAC sharpness grades and the VERBAL DESCRIPTIONS (but NOT necessarily the photographs) of the ANA grades are actually pretty close. Up to Fine, EAC and ANA grades are about the same. In the VF and XF levels, most EAC grades seem to be about 5 points lower than ANA grades, much of the difference being due to net grading. Most, but definitely not all, "commercial" AUs seem to be EAC 35-45s, again with some of the difference being due to downgrading for defects. For coins in the XF-UNC range, I pretty much grade by surface. If the luster is full on the fields AND the devices, it is Mint State; if the luster is disturbed on the highest points of the devices but full in the fields, it is AU, if the luster is gone or present only in protected areas, the coin is only XF (or it may be lower).

In the UNC range, I don't think MS65Bn exists in EAC standards; you need some red for MS65. Furthermore EAC MS 60 requires NO TRACE OF WEAR; I've seen at least one coin slabbed as MS 64 RB that had wear on the high points. It would have been at best an EAC AU 55. In general, almost nothing slabbed as MS 60-62 will be considered an UNC by EAC standards. By contrast, the EAC 60 coin will probably slab at least MS 63, and the EAC 60+ coin will probably slab at least MS64Bn. Therefore, the coin sold as an EAC 60+ will price much higher than the PCGS / NGC / ANACS MS60Bn and more like the MS64Bn, so if you want to collect mint state copper, you have to know both EAC and market grading of these coins.

I find the most useful grading standards to be those written in Breen's US Coin
Encyclopedia as they are very brief and focus on the specific criteria to look for at each grade level (e.g. WHICH hairs must you see on a coin for it to be F, VF or XF?). NET GRADING IS EAC-STYLE MARKET GRADING. In other words, it is a way of deciding on PRICE AS A FUNCTION OF BOTH SHARPNESS AND DAMAGE. A high-end VF coin with heavy porosity may be worth no more than a really nice, clean G in the marketplace; a VF20 with choice surfaces may be worth more than an AU with a bad scratch. Keep in mind that Half Cents aren't as big as large cents, so an identical scratch / dent / whatever on the two coins will cause a deduction proportionately larger on a Half Cent than on a large cent.

I have always considered net grading to be much more a matter of common sense and connoisseurship than a science. I have shown the same coin to multiple, knowledgeable collectors and dealers and gotten opinions as to net grade that vary as much as 15 points on one coin! Disagreements of 5 points can be expected on any coin that grades F1 5 or higher. Contrary to popular opinion, there are no actual rules for net grading; it's a matter of personal taste that can be supported by the market: what a willing buyer and a willing seller can agree on. Consequently, a neophyte should not expect to be able to net grade accurately. S/he should stick to dealers who do. Some of the better known dealers in copper include both sharpness and their net grades (sometimes even condition) on their envelopes, and you can learn a lot about how the EAC market views different types of defects by looking over their inventory. I strongly recommend this. In fact, there is really no other way to get a feel for net grading other than by seeing how other knowledgeable people do it.

Having said that, you can follow Jack Robinson's directions and begin by deciding on condition. You can usually recognize a scudzy coin at a glance by large scratches, rim bumps, corrosion, etc. A coin lacking major defects, but also lacking pizzazz is usually average, and a coin that looks really great for the grade at first glance is probably choice unless a glass shows too many microscopic defects.

You need to keep in mind that an average coin in VF will have more marks than an average XF and so on. An average G or AG can even have a little bit of porosity; an average coin at higher grades can't be porous. By contrast, a choice AU should be nearly mark-free as well as highly lustrous. Also, the amount of metal moved by a scratch or edge ding and its position can affect the deductions taken for the defect. For example, a small scratch in a prime focal area such as the cheek or field in front of the face or around the date will cost more in deductions than a similar one in the hair or wreath; a large scratch costs more than a small scratch in the same place. Different people have different tastes, so they will deduct different amounts for the same defect. You may hate rim dings, but not be particularly bothered by light porosity. Someone else may demand a perfect planchet, but not care about minor scratches. Another person might not mind a cracked planchet. Etc., etc.

The bottom line is that this is all a matter of opinion. Since there are no rules for net grading (nor can there be, really), you have to cultivate an eye that understands the market as well as you can. My advice is not to buy coins with a substantial downside unless you are sure about the grade / price, and to beat down all temptation to buy that coin that you need to fill that hole unless you are absolutely certain that the grade / price is appropriate.

Alternatively, you can cherrypick and not have to worry about grades so much! Deal only with knowledgeable dealers unless you are very sure of your grading. Beware of dealers who offer properly attributed varieties in slabs at CQR prices; the EAC market doesn't allow that, and I often wonder what happens to those coins. This kind of thing happens fairly frequently. Two weeks ago (for example), I was offered a scarce coin in a PCGS AU58 holder with a CC of 60, 55, 45, 40 (4+). It was offered at CQR AU55 choice for the variety. The coin had numerous marks and was, at best, an EAC net EF40; I net graded it as VF35. Remember too that in a slab, it is impossible to judge the surfaces of a MS/AU coin accurately. Coins that are convincingly mint state in plastic become AU55 when removed.

My method was influenced strongly by several EAC dealers, including Doug Bird, Tom Reynolds, Jerry Wysong, and Rod Burress, and by looking at coins in auction catalogs (particularly the Jack Robinson sale). I must confess that most of my experience is with lower and middle grade large cents. But I have no problems transferring my technique to higher grade coins.

To determine net grade, I look at a coin and ask a simple question. "If I could have this coin or a choice large cent of the same variety, what grade would that choice cent be?" Once I decide that, I have found my net grade. For example, if I see a large cent with Very Fine sharpness but a couple of scratches and an edge dent, I might decide that I would like this coin as much as I would a choice Very Good coin. In that case, I would net grade the Very Fine sharpness coin as a Very Good.

This can go two ways. If I have a VF 20 coin that is choice, choice, choice, I might equate it to a choice VF 30 coin. In this case, the VF 20 sharpness coin would net grade VF 30!

The more coppers I see, the better I feel my net grading becomes.

Anyone else care to share how they net grade?
i like large cents. I currently have >220 Sheldon varieties and >230 middle date Newcomb varieties.

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 Posted 09/21/2022  11:01 pm  Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ten Thoughts About Grading

1 - Grading is an art, not a science.

A. No two people will see a coin the same way.
B. Some problems bother some people more than other people.
C. Grading is a way to identify and price a coin.
D. Grading standards change over time (even EAC grades).

2 - Copper is one of the most reactive metals used for coinage.

A. This leads to problems not encountered on coins made 0f less reactive metals.

3 - Problems can be mint made or man/environmentally made.

A. Mint made problems should not affect the grade, but often do affect the price.
B. Some varieties are typically poorly struck.
C. Some varieties have strike qualities that make them appear a higher grade.

4 - There are three types of grading that have been used for coppers.

A. Technical - The grade is determined by the amount of wear on the coin. Most grading systems use this as the staring point.

B. Market - Grade is determined by the value of the coin. Slabs use this type of grading.

C. EAC - A combination of these two with allowances for defects.

Condition is described - Choice, Average +, Average, Average -, and Scudzy

Deducts one grading step (or more) for each problem. "Net" grading

EAC grading also describes the problems (VF 20 net G 6 means?).

Grading differences are usually bigger on higher grade coins.

An uncirculated coin will have no wear.

A Scudzy coin will not have a grade higher than VF 20.

5 - Grades: Sheldon #s
Uncirculated (UNC) 60-70
About Uncirculated (AU) 50, 53*, 55, 58*
Extra Fine (EF or XF) 40, 45
Very Fine (VF) 20, 25, 30, 35
Fine (F) 12, 15, 18*
Very Good (VG) 7, 8,10
Good (G) 4, 5, 6
About Good (AG) 3
Fair (FR) 2
Basel State (BS) 1 * = non EAC grades

6 - Consistency should be your goal when grading.

7 - Ownership is worth one step (or more) on the grading scale.

8 - Some people are "harsh" graders while others are more liberal.

9 - Most people do not really know how to grade.

10 - You are free to agree/disagree with any or all of these statements. That is part of the art of grading.
i like large cents. I currently have >220 Sheldon varieties and >230 middle date Newcomb varieties.

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 Posted 09/21/2022  11:10 pm  Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
here is a coin that I think is a good example of the usefulness of net grading.

S-128. R-3. Terminal Die State

obverse: many small nicks. color looks good. minor rim bumps

reverse: larger rim bumps. uneven and splotchy surface. pit on the right hand ribbon. nick next to the first S in STATES. spot removed to the right of OF.

this coin has been examined by 3 of the big names in eac grading guys. Del Bland, Bob Grellman and Bill Noyes all call this coin 25 net 15.

I also end up at 15, but I think the technical grade is a bit nicer than those guys. I call this 30 net 15.

when it was sold in the 1986 EAC club auction it was described as 25 net 12.

if this coin were to be slabbed it would likely come back as XF details. there is an outside chance that they would let the reverse flaws slide because the obverse is pretty nice.

i like large cents. I currently have >220 Sheldon varieties and >230 middle date Newcomb varieties.

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 Posted 09/22/2022  12:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for posting all that. I don't collect early copper but it's interesting to see how a separate niche does things. Sort of like ancients grading or currency perhaps. Personally I wouldn't give the 1797 a "details" grade because nothing looks that bad to me.
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 Posted 09/22/2022  01:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Yokozuna to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great information with lots to think about!

Thanks for posting!
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 Posted 09/22/2022  12:05 pm  Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@kbbpill - it is a bit different, but that can be said of a lot of dates and series. Morgan dollars allow contact marks on uncirculated coins for instance.

i think its possible the S-128 would strait grade. that dig on the reverse it pretty bad. if I bought this coin sight unseen in a 40 holder I wouldnt be happy. id be really happy to buy it in a 20 holder. if I saw that obverse in an xf details holder I would look closer.

i think the interesting die state hurts this coins ability to sneak into an a strait graded holder. those die cracks on the obverse are attention grabbers so the grader may look at this one a little more closely than they would if that wasnt the case.

here is another one:

S-131. R-2. Stemless Wreath

Obverse: corroded and dark surfaces. no major blemishes.

Reverse: corrosion. large spot of something removed from the central reverse.

i grade this coin 30 net 15. I think its quite comparable to the previous coin. the color is worse but the surfaces are less nicked up. similar detail but different problems.

i prefer this coin to the 128 because of the dig on the back of the 128. if I were collecting type I would rather have the 128 because of the superior color. depending on the goals of a collection I could see myself choosing either of these coins for different reasons.

slab grade? xf details environmental damage. should never find its way into a strait graded holder.
i like large cents. I currently have >220 Sheldon varieties and >230 middle date Newcomb varieties.

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 Posted 09/22/2022  12:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting!

I didnt know if this should go in the grading forum or what. please move me if you feel it is appropriate
I will leave it here for now. The grading forums are for the solicitation of grade opinions. As this is a more educational topic, I believe it needs to remain here where it will get more eyes.
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 Posted 09/22/2022  2:34 pm  Show Profile   Check westcoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add westcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great post, I did get to meet your father briefly and he was one of the first people to help me after I joined the EAC. I took one of his EAC grading and Counterfeit Detection classes at my first EAC convention in 2015 in Irving, TX. He was a very giving and kind individual, the entire collector world still feels his loss. Glad to see you have found your way to the CCF and I've been reading and following each of your posts since I first saw them here. Way to honor a great man by continuing his legacy in teaching others!

Thanks so much.

"Buy the Book Before You Buy the Coin" - Aaron R. Feldman - "And read it" - Me 2013!
ANA Life Member #3288 in good standing since 1982, Early American Coppers Member (EAC) #6202, Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4), Conder Token Collector Club (CTCC), & Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS) Member, 2 variety collector.

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 Posted 09/23/2022  01:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add GERMANICVS to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is an extremely educational post, and I am very thankful for it. I shall be following closely, specially EAC-grading.

I am an (monetarily inactive) member of EAC, and have been collecting early American coppers for many years. My focus are the early dates.

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 Posted 09/23/2022  07:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slerk to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for the informative text.
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 Posted 09/23/2022  2:16 pm  Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@jbuck - thanks!

@westcoin - thank you for your kind words about my dad. its awesome to hear how others thought of him. he is deeply missed.

here is another example:

S-135. R-3+

this is one of the three varieties from the Nichols hoard (also includes 1796 S-119 and 1797 S-123). there are probably 70+ copies of this variety in mint state with many of them exhibiting mint red. as a high R-3 that means a bit less than 1/3 of the total population is uncirculated. interestingly this variety is rarer in fine and below than it is in uncirculated. were it not for the Nichols hoard this piece would likely be condition census and worth substantially more money.

Obverse: this coin has been smoothed, polished and recolored. there is evidence of porosity which is the likely cause for the surfaces being altered. note the weakness on the central obverse. the top of the head blends into the fields.

Reverse: this coin has been smoothed, polished and recolored. this is the latest known die state, with a die crack from the leaf to the I in America. the leaf under the t in united and the t in cent are nearly removed from the coin by polishing. by knowing the die state we can confirm that the weakness is not die state related. polishing on a die sometimes looks a lot like polishing on a coin. one is mint product, the other is a big problem.

this coin is pretty deceptive to untrained eyes. the coin has been altered to give it the appearance of having nice surfaces. this coin has upper vf- lower xf detail and what look to be even and glossy surfaces.

35 net 12 for me. the whole coin is covered in malicious crimes agains numismatics. deceptive and destructive methods like polishing or burnishing are some of my least favorite problems. I net them quite harshly. its the intent of the damage that I dislike. this coin is a lie. id rather it be honest with a hole.

this coin was graded by Rod Burris, who was a highly respected early copper dealer and grader. he described it as vf+ near choice in 2011.

this coin should never strait grade. xf details. similar coins get into strait graded third party holders from time to time. they look pretty good after all.

ive had several solid coin graders (not copper guys) tell me this was a choice XF.

so...who is right? me obviously!

more seriously - the person who is right about the grade is the person buying the coin. if they dont agree with the grade they wont agree on price and the coin wont change hands.

choice VF-35 is ~10X the price of a scudzy F-12. I wouldnt buy it at vf or xf money, but I think I would sell it pretty quickly if I had it listed at 12 scudzy money.
i like large cents. I currently have >220 Sheldon varieties and >230 middle date Newcomb varieties.

Edited by CarrsCoins
09/23/2022 7:16 pm
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 Posted 09/23/2022  5:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for taking the time to come here and share all of this wonderful and useful information!
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 Posted 09/23/2022  6:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I am sincerely thankful for people like you to take time to teach other about the series. Although I've never had the opportunity to meet your father, I am sure it would've been an honor to meet someone with such contribution to EAC.

My specialty is Capped Bust half dollars, but there are many things that tie directly into the early copper and early half dollar series. Early copper cents are my #2 choice of series. I obtain early copper not too often because I aim for problem-free coins. I wish there was a bust half dollar club similar to the EAC. I would like to get plugged into a community of collectors.

CarrsCoins, I will continue to read and enjoy your posts, keep the information coming! I love to see your coins too, there are of very good quality.
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 Posted 09/23/2022  9:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slider23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My knowledge of early copper is with a type set in PCGS holders. The grading standards for early copper that PCGS and NGC use leaves a lot to be desired. The TPG's are net grading most of the early copper under AU, but there is no identification of the amount of the net grade.

I do like the idea of starting with a straight grade and showing the amount of the net grade for issues. Based on the information you provide EAC is much more detailed and accurate for grading early copper than the TPG's. Interesting post thanks for sharing.
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