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Everything posted by Sword

  1. I have just been to Italy for a break and had a really great time. I visited a museum which had a floor devoted to coins. Rather sadly, I was the only visitor on that floor! Most of the coins on display were hammered or early milled. The staff was so pleased that I was particularly interested in the screw press and she even show me how it worked. The press was smaller than I expected and would only have needed just two operators. She even pointed out the gold coin on display that was made by that particular press. A thought passed my mind though. Would there be any danger of anyone pressing out coins today using these old screw presses? Assuming it is done, would it be possible to tell gold coins press out today compared to those produced centries ago?
  2. I have just got back from a break and have just admired the great coins posted. This halfcrown has toned darkly in the legends with the rest of the coin virtually untoned. It reminds me of the bi-metallic £2 coins.
  3. They have been very good with invoices in the past. Generally posting the day after the auction by 1st class post and so I guess it will be tomorrow or Saturday at the latest. I didn't bid this time but had a look at the realised prices of some lots. Many of their estimates are way below hammer prices. Look like that's the norm with them.
  4. I have read the article and found the first sentence, "Nobody knows toning better than XXX" conceited and arrogant. Can't understand how anyone would even want to make such a claim. I think his theory of toning is this: A layer of thin silver sulphide forms on the coin. Normally silver sulphide is black, but appears transparent when thin enough and lets light through. Light hits the coin and some light is reflected on the top of the silver sulpide layer. Part of the light continue to the coin itself and is reflected by the silver. White light consist of a spectrum of colour from red to blue. The light reflected from the two surfaces interferes destructively and some wavelengths (colours) are lost. If you lose the red colour, you have the remaining colours of the white light left and so the coin looks blue. The colors you lose depend on the thickness of the silver sulphide layer. When the layer is very thin, the blue light is lost and the coin appears red (L on his table). As the layer gets thicker, you will eventually lose the red light (X on his table). When the layer gets thick enough, the silver sulphide is no longer transparent and coin would look black. This interference effect explains why copper turns rainbow colour when you heat it in a flame. A thin and invisible layer of oxide is being formed. In everyday life this effect is seen on oil films on puddles of water. He then mentioned that "Note that artifically toned coins can still obey the standard progression, and there are also some naturally toned coins that do not. This can happen if there are unusual contaminants present during storage, perhaps such as chlorine, or excess sulfur. Such coins may fit our generally accepted notions of natural toning, while still exhibiting some unusual colors. But the vast majority of toned silver coins will conform to the standard progression." I found the last sentence highly unconvincing. How can he possibly make the claim about the "vast majority of toned silver coins". What do I think of his theory? Seeing how complex toning can be, I just don't believe you can pretend that such a simple theory can adequately explain it. But I can believe that the effect might play a part in explaining why some naturally toned coins are iridescent. A coin can react with large numbers of substances e.g. on fingers, wallets, etc etc. which will surely affect its eventual tone. Such things are trapped presumably easier on the edges of coins due to the letterings and I would normally expect the toning to be darker at the edges. This is one of the reasons why I don't believe the toning on that halfcrown to be natural. The bright yellow and patches also don't look natural to me. I guess AT is recipies are the result of trial and error with chemicals. The colours might even be due to metal ions other than silver (e.g. dip in coloured metal solutions, rinse and leave for a few months? Exposing coins to fumes?) I am just sitting on my sofa, thinking about this from a theoretical point of view. I think experience is just more important than theories when it comes to toning. Ultimately, people will believe what they want to believe.
  5. CGS won't grade coins with AT. "We then assess if the coin has been enhanced by artificial toning, tooled, polished, plugged, or whizzed. Coins not passing these two tests are returned to the submitter and do not find their way into CGS UK holders."
  6. Given that the countermarked coins generally go for more than the originals, it seems logical that the value is in the c/mark. higher grade = higher value But I am not certain that a low grade coin with high grade countermark is rarer than a high grade coin with with low grade countermark. It certainly won't look so nice, to me anyway. If the coin is high grade, it must have experienced little wear and so a low grade countermark is probably due to weak striking? And some of us are often rather sympathetic to weakly struck coins? Surprisingly, Spink does not give any advice on this.
  7. True. Personally, I would be much happier collecting an EF 8 reales with a F oval countermark than a F coin with an EF countermark because of eye appeal. I guess the importance attached to the grade of the countermark is due to the relative rarity of marked coins compared to unmarked ones.
  8. An 8 reales coin is something that I will probably buy in the future. The design is very attractive and the history fascinating. The countermarked ones are even more interesting but the messing up of the reverse by the punching of the mark is somewhat off putting. When buying these coins, I have read somewhere that the grade of the countermark is more important than the grade of the coin itself. Is this true? I do find it a little strange given that those oval countermarks are small compared to the sizes of the coins. (I can easily accept that for the larger and rarer octagonal marks)
  9. The quality of their photos (or are some just scans?) has improved but is still not great in my view. They are only black and white for a start and don't show up minor wear all that well. Their descriptions can also be a more detailed. Still, I have brought from them in the past (admittedly a little while back) and will again in the future (but probably not in this coming auction).
  10. Yes. You have to paid upfront and there are no (partial) refunds as far as I know!
  11. CGS prices can sometimes be 2 or 3 times out. I think the likely situation is that the penny is in limbo between the Sept and Dec London Coins auction. One might as well put a price on it in the meantime just in case one gets very lucky ...
  12. Sword

    £20 Silver Coin For £20

    I remember reading a newspaper article earlier in the year saying that banks are not obliged to accept £5 coins even though they are legal tender. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/royal-mint-is-accused-over-5-coin-thats-not-worth-a-penny-8630466.html It is not so relevant here since it is a nice looking silver coin for £20 and most people will want to keep them. But there will be a lot of bad feeling if the Royal Mint try issuing coins with face value of say £100 (but only contain say £30 worth of silver) which banks won't take.
  13. Sword

    £20 Silver Coin For £20

    But it does have a face value of £20. I am only tempted to get one because of Pistrucci's St George and Dragon design... (I can never get tried of seeing it)
  14. There must be some mistake. According to the London Coins Website, it sold for... wait for it ...£3800 !!!!!! How is this possible?
  15. I might have won a couple of lots as two of my max bids were the same as the hammer prices. But can't be sure until I get an invocie e-mail from them.
  16. Sword

    Ebay's Worst Offerings

    or this one which has got an "earful". http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Half-Crown-George-V-1927-Matt-Proof-FDC-Mint-/370856072443?pt=UK_Coins_BritishMilled_RL&hash=item5658be94fb
  17. Sword

    Ebay's Worst Offerings

    I thought he must have been noticed in the past but such an extraordinary dealer can do with another mention...
  18. Sword

    Ebay's Worst Offerings

    I wonder if this person has been posted here before? George VI 1937 Matt proof crown FDC from someone with "50 years of experience as a dealer / collector" http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Crown-George-VI-1937-Matt-Proof-FDC-Mint-/370854018265?pt=UK_Coins_BritishMilled_RL&hash=item56589f3cd9 Have a look at his ebay "shop" for plenty more examples.
  19. CGS verdict - EF - but rejected for reasons as yet unknown CGS is surprisingly speedy on this batch which is nice to see. I think they automatically reject a coin with with any flan crack. Nice coins by the way. Thanks Sword ... I hope that's not the case, but then again I hope there's nothing else they found 'wrong' with it! As Dave said, they can sit at the 'Finalising Grade' stage for a while, as if it takes ages to slab and post them! The following is from the CGS website: "CGS will reject such coins, they will not have a numerical grade attached, instead they will have the problem described the main ones being; Edge Problems – the coin has significant edge knocks or bruises, or evidence of being mounted, or flan cracks at the edge.Stained – a stain(s) detracts from the coins appearance"I don't personally think they should reject a coin if it has a tiny flan crack or if it has a tiny "stain". Points can be deducted instead accordingly. Now that they have set the rules, they will have, as Stuart has pointed out have a difficult time when dealing with hammered coins.
  20. CGS verdict - EF - but rejected for reasons as yet unknown CGS is surprisingly speedy on this batch which is nice to see. I think they automatically reject a coin with with any flan crack. Nice coins by the way.
  21. I totally agree. They can also be less bloody sloppy and not get foreign objects, dust, etc onto the coins they encapsulate
  22. What if your MS67 comes back as a MS65? :D :D Sorry, can't resist that joke. But why the hassle? Just fake the labels and holders and then stick the coins (real or fake) in. The label is just a computer print out and even a child can fake that. People have done that for quite a few years according to wikipedia (and I have pasted the relevant paragraph below). NGC published the following acknowledgment on January 7, 2008: "NGC has identified and confirmed that (counterfeit replicas) of its holder has been produced.......The holder has been seen housing counterfeit dollar or foreign crown size coins. While the enclosed coins are also counterfeit, the label information matches the coin type enclosed. The label information is copied from actual NGC certification labels, and the certification information therefore will match the NGC database. Most frequently, Trade Dollars and Bust Dollars are found, although Flowing Hair Dollars and foreign coins have also been seen. A range of grades is also represented." NGC and PCGS counterfeit holders have been reported in eBay forums and more may be reported by other firms and individuals. The PCGS website notes that they "anticipate that authentic coins will eventually be placed into counterfeit holders". But this scam won't work for the more expensive coins that where photos were taken before encapsulation.
  23. It is potentially a concern but scams like this are not so easy to run. Firstly, there are 2 graders for each coin and you need at least a partner in crime. Also it might be difficult for the rouge grader to ensure that those coins get to him and not another grader not in the scam. You get people in all trades and professions worldwide committing fraud and abusing their positions and we can only hope they get caught sooner or later. Absolutely right that one should buy the coin and not the holder! Sword, you know this from where? we're talking about American/Chinese TPGs and not CGS, so where's your info coming from dude? Azda, I am not certain what you meant by "my information". Like most people, I don’t buy coins originating from dealers based in China because the authorities there have failed to control coin faking. But what is being alleged here? One individual grader in a TPG company is fraudulent. I merely pointed out the obvious that there are fraudulent individuals working in all trades and professions at the cost of clients / consumers. This is of concern of course but not something that can be eliminated. You are less likely to be cheated if you take precautions. Then I merely said that it take more than a one person to make a scam work. TPGs state that 2 or more graders are involved in grading and I have no reason to doubt that information. Then the final point is whether a PCGS office based in China is less trustworthy than one based in American or Paris. (By the way, I didn't even know that there is a PGCS office in China until now). It is quite like asking if it matters whether a SONY is made in China, Japan, Hong Kong or UK (I assume these places make SONY...). If you trust SONY’s reputation in quality control, then you are probably not too bothered. But if you don’t trust SONY’s quality and reputation, then it also hardly matter because you won’t buy anyway. As you don’t like PCGS regardless, then I guess this story makes little difference to you. As for me, I think it is just as likely to find such individuals in anywhere and I am not too excited either. As people are constantly pointing out, trust yourself rather than the slab. There is no better rule than that. (But I won't stay away from a nice coin just because it is slabbed) I have recently brought my first CGS coin from auction and made the mistake of trusting CGS’s PHOTO and not even the grade (The auction photo was poor). The coin turned out to be a turkey as a carbon sport has developed on the nose of the King since encapsulation. As it was a relatively low value coin, I put it down to experience.
  24. It is potentially a concern but scams like this are not so easy to run. Firstly, there are 2 graders for each coin and you need at least a partner in crime. Also it might be difficult for the rouge grader to ensure that those coins get to him and not another grader not in the scam. You get people in all trades and professions worldwide committing fraud and abusing their positions and we can only hope they get caught sooner or later. Absolutely right that one should buy the coin and not the holder! They're all Reds, those Commie Chinese Alright Peck,