View Full Version : Coins With a Drilled Hole - Grading
03-24-2013, 02:16 AM
Is a coin with a hole in it an automatice cull or just a down grade by "X" points? Just curious what the consensus is. I try to avoid them at all costs, but sometimes I come across one inexpensive enough or as part of a group lot that is too good to pass up.
Would you put a coin with a hole in your collection? What if it is super rare?
How far would you downgrade it? For example, AU50 coin with a clean small drill hole, G4 coin with a rough hole, these 2 coins can't both net the same as a cull, right?
03-25-2013, 11:34 AM
Not sure on the grading part, but
I avoid coins with holes except for -
#1 - R5+ and rarer or 1793 / 1796 half cents
#2 - R5+ and rarer before 1797 or 1793 / 1799 or expensive varation
#3 - a pretty R5 where the hole doesn't hide what makes it
I have bought cheap tougher varitation (R4 or tougher) holed coins just to fill the hole but still searched for an acceptable one.
I only have one "keeper" holed (S-118) currently and two to be upgraded. I feel the same way about counterstamped coins - only have one (S-3) that way
03-27-2013, 07:00 PM
Like any other coin, collecting those with holes are up to you. I have an 1811 C2 half cent in my collection. It has a square hole through it as if a square nail passed through it. It was found in a historic neighborhood of Alexandria, VA, where I used to live. It's a cool coin. It is NOT valuable in terms of money, but it is valuable in terms of history.
There is at least one person trying to put together a date set of half cents with holes. I'm sure there are guys putting together date sets of large cents with holes. It's a challenge, and it's relatively inexpensive.
By all means, enjoy them. Just don't expect holed coins to be valuable or have an easy market when you want to sell.
03-30-2013, 01:07 PM
I think that grading holed coins would be difficult for me. It would seem to me there would be quite a drop in grade being common or rare. There would also be a significant drop in willing buyers of holed coppers, with the exemption of rare coppers. I do not have any holed coppers and really, would not add any into my main collection. Okay, maybe a couple to have for conversation if connected to something historical and the price is really good! They still would have interesting stories to tell and still would have been used in commerce. What did they purchase and why were they holed?
I say collect them if they give you enjoyment!
04-01-2013, 06:15 PM
Curious again: Does anyone know why a copper was holed in the early 1800's? It had more of a buying power at that time.
04-01-2013, 08:06 PM
Does anyone know why a copper was holed in the early 1800's?
There were probably many reasons for coins having been holed; this, regardless of its date. I more recently read a slavery narrative that referenced a little black girl who wore a holed "five cent piece" (silver half dime, no doubt) on a string as a necklace. Others would try to get it away from her. While it was ornamental, the strung, silver coin would also have spending value, and it was, in effect, fastened to the owner for security. This practice would doubtless give the owner a "keep me and never go broke" feeling - a feeling of worth.
Large cents and colonial coppers were also holed for superstitious reasons. These coppers usually possess a square hole, made by a square nail. They would be pounded in a doorway to ward off witches or evil spirits. This practice may have been adopted from the Chinese use of holed coins having been strung together to form a sword. The sword was then put in a room wherein someone had died, usually by suicide. I found an article about this, dated 1841: http://books.google.com/books?id=EDsxAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=copper+coin,+%22square+hole%22,+witch&source=bl&ots=I2vOOIPr6j&sig=Tywfts6Ckx1yYJQfsYnfA7-G9L4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pAtaUZTmEYaA9gTKlYHYDQ&ved=0CEwQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=copper%20coin%2C%20%22square%20hole%22%2C%20witc h&f=false
While the Chinese used many such holed copper coins, gathered from friends, it's not unfathomable that, for reason of economy and/or availability, a single coin would suffice in America. :rolleyes:
Coins having two holes are, for sake of appearance, often said to have been used as buttons. However, if the spacing of the two holes is too wide, it may have once been part of a whizzer toy. Some holed coins likely served as washers, tags, checks .... The reasons for coins having been holed are countless.
04-11-2013, 04:58 PM
I say collect them if they give you enjoyment!
Amen. I actually own 3 holed half cents. The 1811 C2 mentioned above, an 1828 C1 that I keep on my keychain, and an 1803 C2 with the reverse cud. All were bought for cheap as damaged coins and to have for fun.
04-11-2013, 10:29 PM
I will second the 'bought it cheap, just for fun' comment. There is something fun about just buying an inexpensive copper everynow and then on a whim. I have been thinking it might be fun to put together an 'old cigar box' of orphaned Large Cents, holed, bent, cleaned, whatever you can find in the bargain bin. There is an innocence about the whole thing that harkens to a different time.
And I quote Dr. William H. Sheldon.
"This was the cigar box of old copper cents which my father kept locked up in the grandfather sea chest along with certain papers, some old spoons and jewelry, and other trinkets. On evenings when he was feeling especially well disposed, the kitchen lamp would be meticulously trimmed, the red kitchen tablecloth would be cleared of debris and brushed, then out would come the magnifying glass, four or five well-thumbed coin books, and the cigar box with the big cents."
To me, this is what it really is all about.
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