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Don't Ever Make Internet Coin Purchase Without Looking At Holder Photos

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 Posted 01/26/2023  5:58 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Sharkman to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Or buy a coin without a return privilege so you can see in hand and send back if you don't like it.
Seeing a recent large number of LS dime
NEWPS from Coast to Coast Coin Co., I decided to check their listings. I looked at an 1841-O dime graded NGC MS60. The big pictures presented a very attractive coin with good luster, strike and eye appeal.
I wondered how an MS60 coin could be so desirable. I looked over the big pictures carefully and didn't see anything wrong with or strange about the coin. I figured it was one I might buy.
Then I looked at the smaller pictures of the coin in its holder and saw a remarkably ugly coin with pitted surfaces, horrible strike and a Ms Liberty who looks like she is collapsing into rubble. The mintmark looked buried up to its neck.
Stars 1 and 2 were essentially missing. Stars 3 and 4 were botched. Star 5 was flat as a pancake.
On the big pictures of the coins these stars were perfectly struck as was the rest of the coin.
The holder picture showed other obverse improvements.
And the buried mintmark on the holder coin is now boldly struck.
I could go on.
I don't want to accuse Coast to Coast of anything. I have bought a couple coins from them and been happy. I know they had problems many years ago when they were selling raw coins, but now they sell only certified coins with a return privilege and that is a different business. The big pictures easily could have been of an entirely different coin posted by mistake.
My point is that if you don't look at the holder photo, you are taking the risk the coin may disappoint you. Sure you can send it back, but that is a pain in the neck, and you might just end up saying the heck with it and keeping the coin anyway.
Don't take a shortcut relying on PCGS or NGC photos.
I find the NGC photos to be pretty accurate, but I find the PCGS photos exaggerate toning colors. I bought an 1845 LS Dollar with a PCGS TrueView photo showing gorgeous rim toning and other desirable traits. The actual coin is untoned. Fortunately I was prepared because I studied the little pictures and expected what I got. I will not buy a coin off a PCGS photo, and if there are no holder pictures I pass.
So, be careful and study the little pictures and beware if there are none.
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 Posted 01/26/2023  6:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add burfle23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Any images of these to share?
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 Posted 01/26/2023  7:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ty2020b to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ive bought from them on multiple occasions. Typically priced on the higher side of things, but never had any issues. Their photos are usually decent. I can usually can an accurate feel for the surfaces, depending on the coin. That said, just about everything I've purchased from them has been buffalo nicks.

I've never noticed any signs of them manipulating images or trying to deceive. I also always checked cert numbers to verify, and compare to Truview pics if they have them. I too am not a fan of not so Truview pics, but at least they are sharp and I can get a semi accurate feel for surface preservation. I always take color with a pile of salt. I despise NGC images. Full holder shots tend to make everything look cleaned, and their new photo vision is less accurate than TV pics. Sent one off recently just to experiment, and it makes the coin look far worse than it does in hand.

Standing by for pics.
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 Posted 01/26/2023  7:51 pm  Show Profile   Check westcoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add westcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think this is the coin:
https://www.coastcoin.com/cc_shared...575-2_SL.jpg

and the NGC photos:
https://www.ngccoin.com/certlookup/5941525-003/60/

Doesn't look to bad as an MS60 to me. Not the sharpest or best photos for sure. But I do agree it can be tough to buy off photos alone, C2C is a good guy company from my own dealing with them as well.
"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, ANS, Early American Coppers Member (EAC) #6202, Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4), Conder Token Collector Club (CTCC), Civil War Token Society (CWTS), & Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS) Member in good standing, 2 variety collector.

See my want page: http://goccf.com/t/140440
Edited by westcoin
01/26/2023 7:54 pm
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 Posted 01/26/2023  8:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add burfle23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks westcoin; I don't see from those sets of images what this post is about...

I expected a real horror case, but the C2C images show both a larger one with the smaller TPG slab one. I find the on-line NGC cert images to be rather poor but better than none like many of the PCGS ones; at least there is something to compare when I am researching "suspect" coins.
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 Posted 01/26/2023  9:23 pm  Show Profile   Check westcoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add westcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The way I got the larger images than from the pop up photos on the C2C site is to right click on the larger photo link and choose open in new tab so the image will open full sized instead of what their web designer forces them to to fit into a pre-sized web window constraint.
"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, ANS, Early American Coppers Member (EAC) #6202, Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4), Conder Token Collector Club (CTCC), Civil War Token Society (CWTS), & Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS) Member in good standing, 2 variety collector.

See my want page: http://goccf.com/t/140440
Edited by westcoin
01/26/2023 9:24 pm
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 Posted 01/26/2023  10:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slider23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Unless I am missing something the large and holder photos are from the same photo shot as the lighting showing luster is the same. It looks like the large image was blown up and cropped from the holder photo.
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 Posted 01/26/2023  10:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Oldgrouchyguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Personally, I'd check the Fortin catalogue to number it for the variety, and see what it looks like...
Edited by Oldgrouchyguy
01/26/2023 10:48 pm
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 Posted 01/26/2023  11:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The big pictures easily could have been of an entirely different coin posted by mistake.
That's a pretty strong statement. If you got all that from zooming in on their image, the slab photo is very pixelated. Did you look up the cert and view those images? It's clearly the same coin in seller's large and small images (see the black dot above 1), and none of the problems you describe are evident. If your point is to learn to be better at sleuthing before you buy, I agree.

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 Posted 01/27/2023  12:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Winesteven to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Two additional things I do when buying coins without the coin in hand:

1. I plug the cert number into the cert verification tool and see if this coin has previously been sold in an auction. If so, I then click on that auction hotlink to see the photos taken by that auction company. Sometimes those photos might be more accurate than photos of the current seller. Keep in mind that sales from Great Collections usually don't show here, so more detective work is needed to search the GC Coin Auction Archive by date and grade to see if that coin had been sold on GC to then see their photos (a lot of work).
2. More importantly, I call the seller, whether a dealer or auction company, and ask to have one of their numismatists bring the coin in hand to the telephone, and I ask questions. Usually they are honest. In my experience, there are two auction houses in particular that when asked by me about a coin I need that looks real good in the photos, they have me PASS about 80% of the time! That unbiased advice is invaluable!

Happy Hunting!

Steve
A day without fine wine and working on your coin collection is like a day without sunshine!

My collecting "Pride & Joy" is my PCGS Registry Dansco 7070 Set:
https://www.PCGS.com/setregistry/ty...edset/213996
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 Posted 01/27/2023  12:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add eaglebub7 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Looks like a nice MS60 Liberty Seated. I'd take a shot at it with a $ cap set.
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 Posted 01/27/2023  02:20 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hokiefan_82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've done fairly regular business with Coast to Coast since 2014, and I've never had any real issues. I will admit their photography sometimes leaves a little to be desired, particularly with the resolution of the "blown up" pics.

The things Winesteven described are things I regularly do, as well, especially for higher-dollar items. Dealers are usually quite accommodating if you have questions regarding a coin for sale on their website.

If the coin described is the one shared by westcoin, I don't really see any issues between the photos. It's obviously the same coin in both the pictures of the holder and the blown up pics. The larger pics are lower resolution and it appears the color adjustment may be a bit different, but it's clearly the same coin.
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 Posted 01/27/2023  10:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sharkman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I do appreciate all the comments and I agree I am probably wrong.
But I can't get my head around the smaller picture having a flat star 5 and a buried mintmark (and other artifacts) and then having them both spring to life as fully struck when the picture is enlarged. My experience is that the pictures get blurrier when enlarged.
Maybe I am hallucinating about the flat star and bad mintmark as no one else seems to see them.
Just to be clear: I have no intention or reason to criticize C to C. I like them and intend to continue doing business with them. They just happen to be the poster of the photo that has confused me. And they clearly have no intention of misleading anyone because they have a full return privilege.
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 Posted 01/27/2023  11:35 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slider23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with your comments about using all photos available to evaluate a coin. I am not seeing the flat #5 star or mint mark issues in the NCG or CtoC photos. The example is rare as NGC has only graded 2 in MS60 and 30 higher, but the price may be a little on the high side. I do question the grade of MS60 as there appears to be circulation rub on Liberties leg, stomach, breast and arm. One could make an argument for the coin being AU58. For the price difference you may want to consider getting a higher graded MS coin without the distracting dark spots. I agree with the pass, but not for the same reasons.
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 Posted 01/27/2023  11:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I see the flat star and your purported mint mark issue, but you can't zoom in on an image like that with such poor resolution and expect that that's what the coin actually looks like. There's nothing to get your head around. Go to the NGC link and see the coin, in the slab, and there's nothing wrong with either the star or the MM. I posted those images above.

It looks nice for an MS60 to me - usually they are very beat up. Edit: I agree with Slider that it may be AU58 instead, and I would probably only want to pay AU58 price for it.
Edited by kbbpll
01/27/2023 11:54 am
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 Posted 01/27/2023  3:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sharkman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks again for all the comments. Once again I find myself dead wrong.
Previously I had no knowledge about comparative resolution or pixelation as I am not a photographer and am just ignorant of them.
Typically when I buy a coin, I look up the cert no. With the TPG and examine the photos if they exist. I also look at auction prices and photos of the coin at prior auctions, if there are any on the PCGS and TPGweb sites as well. I also look at comparable auction specimens listed in the auction recaps to judge eye appeal and price.
I am guilty of not following my own protocols. I looked at the little picture, saw features I didn't like and stopped as I felt I didn't want it and therefore didn't look at the other pictures.
I feel badly that some of you may think I was accusing C2C of misconduct. My intention was the opposite, and the example I gave for an inadvertent error was stupid and unfair.
You folks have pulled me back into the possible buy column as I really like the coin at its grade. Observing in hand with a return option will help resolve the wear/strike question.
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