View Full Version : How does corrosion affect a coin's grade?
03-07-2012, 08:30 PM
I've been wondering - how much does corrosion affect a coin's grade?
If there is a coin that would grade a 25 without the corrosion and there is a little corrosion there - what is a fair level to expect to pay? Would the 25 AG- price be fair or would maybe a 15 grade range be more accurate?
Any insight will be appreciated.
03-07-2012, 11:12 PM
Hi Earl ... welcome aboard. I see that there's another thread about grading, and your question might be addressed therein? It also occurs to me that some trends which address your question might be garnered from studying prices realized in auction catalogs; making comparisons between corroded and non-corroded specimens of equivalent grades.
My main interest is counterstamped coins, and I'd suggest that the counterstamping of coppers, damage to the coin's surface, is tantamount to corrosion, in effect. Indeed, I have a number of counterstamped coppers that also exhibit some degree of corrosion. I suspect that a rare date or rare variety that had corrosion and/or a counterstamp would command more than 50% of market value from a collector who would rather not miss perhaps the purchase of a lifetime. (Bear in mind that a c/s can either increase or decrease the value of a host coin, whereas corrosion has no such upside.) IMHO, your question all boils down to how badly a seller and a buyer want to make a deal, and there's no formula for that.
03-08-2012, 03:58 AM
Hello Earl & Chautauquan-
A great question and response, and I'd say to a degree that it lies in the eye of the beholder and fetish level. To me - I'm collecting mostly early dates by Sheldon # and approaching it like a kid with a Lincoln album. Looking to fill the holes and then refine.
That said - I'm also a fetishist for terminal die states. To ad to the confusion - I'd sometimes pay stupid money or a premium for an ugly or corroded coin whose die state struck my fancy. It would also weigh on how much corrosion that there was and how deep it went.
I would welcome you to weigh in at the aforementioned grading thread here - http://www.eacs.org/region8/showthread.php?115-EAC-Grading-Guidelines This could re a really exciting project. Please weigh in and opine, as this will be a "first ever" sort of book if we pull it together.
Your question makes me think of the absolute reason for the book and why I was only a half heated collector for so many years...I didn't understand what in the world the "big dogs" were talking about!
Hope you have some input on the proposed book project!
03-08-2012, 10:37 AM
Thanks, Kirk, for your kindly and encouraging reply; also, for posting the link to the grading thread. I'll attempt to better digest that discussion over time.
I consider myself fairly well-grounded when it comes to grading. Yet, with the early coppers, there seems to be something of an intimidation factor at work; this, from my humble perspective. I'd equate it with the purchase of a diamond, the 4 C's: Color, Cut, Clarity & Carat. All of these factors somehow blend to determine value; and, in varying degrees to the individual's taste. Color might translate to the appearance and condition of a copper's surface, be there corrosion, marks, etc. Cut would equate with variety and rarity. Carat would take provenance, auction appearances into account. And, Clarity would be the sharpness of detail on a copper.
Earl posed a good question, but how can one reply without taking all facets of a given copper under consideration? Then too, rare varieties, die states, etc. tend to be diamonds in the rough. It's a daunting task for those of us who venture forth into the complex world of early coppers. Personally, I look forward to seeing how matters evolve in this area of collecting and learning in the process. In the meantime, I'll continue to inhale the history that the mysterious counterstamps exude.
03-08-2012, 01:06 PM
This brought to mind another great example of how heavily one's own tastes can influence things. The truth is that about anything can and will influence the final details of any transaction. Now I'm not big on 1/2 cents. Have a few that have struck my eye over time or have been screaming deals. In my best Rod Serling - "Submitted for your approval"...
I was leafing through the catalog for that sale and this simply jumped out and throttled me! To my recollection, the print catalog had a longer description and referred to the color as distracting (I'd look it up, but paper cat not quickly at hand). It certainly has the classic look over recovering from an old cleaning, but I like blues and greens, so all of a sudden this becomes larger than life to me. I was encouraged as a floor bidder when I was the high bidder through attrition and disinterest at about half of the estimate, but then it took off again and wound down to bidding war between CVM and myself. At least at that point I knew I was in good company! I was the lucky, or stubborn, winner.
Point being that even coloration and one's own eye can play into a net valuation. One man's "distracting" color evaluation can be another man's swoon factor. FWIW - I think I penned this from the paper cat or conferred with a head wiser than mine after the auction, but my notes scribbled on the back of the lot card indicate details of 62 and a net of 58.
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