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Until the TPGs assigned a label to those with frosted designs, nobody cared. It's just an exercise in marketing.

Historically descriptions were made based on whether it was currency (default), proof or specimen, notwithstanding the debate over the past 50 years defining specimen vs proof.

I highly recommend the two point grading scale - does away with all this irrelevant hot air.

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I don't know, I think it's just a case of trying to objectify the subjective. Many, including myself in many instances prefer a currency coin that is well struck with defined definition and marked contrast twixt fields and devices. Regardless if it is first off the dies or not, it would in many corners if not yours bring a premium.

Unfortunately, many seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle and seem willing to pay for a trifling difference between a cameo and deep cameo or ultra cameo strike.

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1 minute ago, VickySilver said:

I don't know, I think it's just a case of trying to objectify the subjective. Many, including myself in many instances prefer a currency coin that is well struck with defined definition and marked contrast twixt fields and devices. Regardless if it is first off the dies or not, it would in many corners if not yours bring a premium.

Unfortunately, many seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle and seem willing to pay for a trifling difference between a cameo and deep cameo or ultra cameo strike.

The differences are only going to be valid if they quantify them and therein lies the rub. As it stands they arbitrarily assign cameo/deep/ultra, but I don't believe they go on the basis of scientific results. If 0-70 grades are allegedly assigned on the basis of defined wear, then the cameo must be defined by the amount of reflected light, which you can guess at by looking, but I doubt they can tell whether it was 10, 20, 30 or 40% light reflected relative to that of the field, other than someone taking a stab and giving the coin a label. As I said before, there has to be some measurable basis for their claim. If they are putting themselves on a pedestal as the judge and jury (courtesy of a bunch of compliant lapdogs who wouldn't dare disagree with their assessment), then they have to work to gain their respect. It isn't a given. They are assigning the different cameo attributes because they can and because no one will say boo to a goose. If you sign up, you swallow the medicine.

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Ah but we still have the choice as buyers, and can use them as sellers. If we don't like what their judgement, we can pass or offer/sell accordingly. It is marketing certainly, and one can respect it or hate it or not. Appearance has always been a key in choosing a coin, and if an individual judges one coin superior to another and has also included all the other factors (such as price, relationship with a dealer or customer, etc.) then one can choose. I don't think anybody believes these TPGs are Gods, but rather tools that are sometimes useful, and maybe sometimes a source of irritation. They are not the final word.

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I quite agree and fully recognise that we all (including me) go for aesthetics, but there are a large number on your side of the pond who put the label ahead of anything so inconsequential as looks and wouldn't dare challenge any TPG assumption or label. I remember one comment I made a few years ago on the PCGS forum eliciting the reply that it wasn't a p'ing competition. Sadly, that is precisely what it is because the coin was acquired strictly on the basis of the label and so his 'score' was enhanced.

The random assignation of an unquantified amount of cameo effect will only enhance this chase for ever bigger numbers. Maybe the TPGs will oblige and concoct a 1/4 point step up in 'score' for the various cameo labels, which will get the juices flowing for the number chasers. 

If it had no effect on price, it wouldn't matter, but the way things stand, any big slab number currently means a coin heads west.

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It still doesn't offer a quantitative assessment of cameo which should be present if you are to offer an opinion on it and simultaneously take on the mantle of 'God'. Given the willingness of people to cough up large amounts of additional cash for a person's thoughts on a thin sliver of paper, I stand by my argument that there should be some measurable quality used to substantiate the attribution.

 

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24 minutes ago, Rob said:

It still doesn't offer a quantitative assessment of cameo which should be present if you are to offer an opinion on it and simultaneously take on the mantle of 'God'. Given the willingness of people to cough up large amounts of additional cash for a person's thoughts on a thin sliver of paper, I stand by my argument that there should be some measurable quality used to substantiate the attribution.

 

What do you think of this rob it seems like pcgs have no idea what a cameo is 

F87CCE01-1ACB-4966-8393-84C3018E6B1D.jpeg

B549BFF9-5FF6-4506-B281-2C13CD736AE6.jpeg

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The portrait looks to be cameo, but as has been said before, it is entirely in the eyes of the beholder. It isn't beyond the wit of man (or the collector) to make that attribution personally and accordingly pay what he or she thinks is a reasonable price. After all, every collector does an eye-appeal appraisal before making a purchase whether raw or slabbed, even when it is so rare that buying is a no-brainer in any grade. 

I personally think the need for a comforting label is superfluous, whether it is a cameo designation, or a grade as this is ultimately the decision of an individual on the day. There is a greater case to be made for authentication given the diarrhoeic output of copies from China particularly, but to focus solely on that would be very detrimental to the TPGs' business models, so ain't gonna happen.

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What is interesting is there is a process where they purposely only polish 1 die and that is what gives the cameo effect but in the 1970 proof set and I dare say other proof sets there are coins that exhibit both characteristics as in both struck on polished dies and no came and the single polished die with cameo. But I doubt they would of struck the coins any different from each other? As in they were either all struck from polished dies or all from 1 polished die? So begs the question how do you get a cameo finish on a coin struck from 2 polished dies? surely they would look like the 1970 florin in that respect with mirror devices and fields without any cameo?

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The field is polished, but the frosting is on the incuse detail. If you have a proof issue such as the 1970 with multiple dies used it would be easy to get one worn out/broken die replaced with the other worn but serviceable. We all know that frosting requires sharp fresh dies and the level of frosting decreases with use, so loss of this feature is not surprising, nor is the existence of frosting on one side only.

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1 hour ago, Platinumskies1 said:

What do you think of this rob it seems like pcgs have no idea what a cameo is 

F87CCE01-1ACB-4966-8393-84C3018E6B1D.jpeg

B549BFF9-5FF6-4506-B281-2C13CD736AE6.jpeg

If I were the auctioneer selling this coin I would describe it as a cameo proof because it actually is. The waters  have muddied over the years purely on a commercial basis where the definition of a cameo proof strike the goal posts have not been moved as such but there are not 2 goal posts anymore but more like 10 and unless you are at 5+ your true proof with cameo isn't recognised as such . And you can ask yourself this question also. Shouldn't all proof coins have a cameo appearance and is it a fact that those without were incorrectly struck with 2 polished dies and not 1 Because as far as I have read and seen on videos the cameo finish isn't by accident it is by design?

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On ‎14‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 7:12 PM, Rob said:

We all accept there are nicer coins than others, just be happy if you like what you have. 

As for bronze pennies, the Adams proof 1961 would have passed the audition without question, and attached below are two halfpennies, 1957 on the left, 1954 on the right. Only scans, but clearly one is and one isn't.

1957 & 1954 halfpennies scans.jpg

Rob, do you know if there's a picture anywhere of the Adams Proof  ??   Terry

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In the Spink catalogue of the sale. It should be on their website. 23rd July 2003 lot 365.

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If you log in....Click on Lots archive.... Type in the search box (top right)....Colin Adams....Two options come up highlighted  .... click on penny sale..

A lot easier than trying to fill in all the daft boxes :)

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7 hours ago, PWA 1967 said:

Type in the search box (top right)....Colin Adams....Two options come up highlighted  .... click on penny sale.

That works - but I can't bring the photographs up on any particular lot ????????????????????

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I think the TPGs SHOULD be able to do a reasonable job of splitting coins into 3 categories of ordinary, cameo or deep cameo. Much easier than grading on a 1 -70 scale say! 

I did once read on a forum somewhere once that they use a tried and tested method of reading font from a side of A4 in the reflection from the field from certain distances to determine cameo or deep cameo (ultra cameo). The problem with that is it doesn't measure the amount of contrast between the fields and the devices which is surely what cameo implies!?. Has anyone else heard of such a theory?

 

 

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That's an interesting point as they use one characteristic to measure another - amount of reflectivity versus amount of frosting contrast on the devices! I believe I had seen reflection of a pencil used.

I am really OK with the three basic designations of proof, cameo and deep cameo (or ultra). There no doubt is some quibbling about coins on the border. I have shown my own 1839 half crown that is deep cameo (but where I have issues about what the grade is designated), and that one is clear as is the Adams 1961 penny. A separate number for amount of contrasting would be fought just as hard. But most collectors know that this is all subjective, the number or frosting amount depends on the judgement of the viewer.

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