I like the idea of a photos. It wouldn't be as good as a uniface set, but will be much cheaper. Making an EAC grading book (like Whitman's "Making the Grade") would be a worthy project. There are a number of really good half cent (Cohen’s “American Half Cents, the "Little Half Sisters,"”; Manley’s “The Half Cent Die State Book 1793-1857”; W.C. Noyes’ “United States Large Cents” books) and large cent books (W.C. Noyes’ “United States Large Cents” books; Wright’s “The CENT Book 1816-1839”; Grellman’s “Die Varieties of United States Large Cents 1840-1857’; etc.). However, none of them really are useful for grading. This could be a very good EAC project and I’m sure that it wouldn’t be a problem to get EAC members to loan coins (especially if the resulting photos are attributed) for this project. I’m more than willing to loan my Half Cent Classic Head grading set (see my earlier post #4), along with other half cents for this project.
It might be worthwhile to have a couple of photos for each grade. Or have pictures of an "Average", "Choice" and "Scudzy" example for each grade. Ideally, we would have a single photographer for all the coins to ensure absolutely identical lighting conditions for every coin. Perhaps we could enlist someone like Doug Bird and/or Bob Grellman to be the “finalizer(s)”.
The real question is who would be willing to take the lead on such a project. My suggestion would be to gather additional comments from the readers of this thread and
then post it to the Region 8 Newsletter for further comments from a wider readership. Then distill the comments and make a proposal at the EAC meeting in Buffalo.
As far as the finished product, it could either be a hardbound book or have a spiral (like “Making The Grade”). In any case, it definitely has to be in color with high quality printing. It could either be privately published (like a number of EAC relevant books mentioned earlier) or we could go to someone like Whitman (and collect royalties as it would be exposed to a wider audience).
Anyone else care to comment. criticize or add to my thoughts?
As far as the uniface grading set...a guy can dream - right? Although it would be a great thing to have, it may prove far too costly and difficult to produce. Along with that would be the sheer bulk of such a thing that may also well make it impractical.
That said, I simply love the idea of the book! Consistency in photography would be very important, as would the position of a "finalizer". Would your thought be to seek choice examples for a numeric grade? Although it may add to the scope of the book and make it unmanageable, it would be interesting to use examples that were numerically correct, but have a brief explanation for why they would net lower. Then again, perhaps that's a whole different book!
I love the idea of floating the suggestion at Buffalo. I unfortunately cannot attend. There have only been 4 participants in this thread so we would definitely have to put it on the Region 8 newsletter. I would prefer a spiral book and the idea of average, choice and scudzy would be nice, but maybe problematic as there are a number of variable that could place a coin in one category. I'll send an e-mail to Matt Yohe (Region 8) to see if this topic and referll to Copper Notes can get into the next issue. Is that today? There is about 3 times as many subscribers to Region 8 as there for Copper notes. I wonder why?
Gary Hahn's approach is a good one - having MULTIPLE coins in the same grade for comparison. For early coppers one can't simply have one coin for reference. Case in point: 1798 S-145 (flatly struck obverse) vs. 1798 S-187. Plus I believe all his coins are Grellman graded, which provides the consistency factor.
I will certainly shop this project to the greater EAC population in next week's newsletter if there are no objections from the thread participants. We would undoubtedly get a flood of input, both pro and con, and if such a guide is possible, I think it would benefit from as much collaboration as we could generate.
No objection (in fact, encouragement) from me (and I suspect everyone else). I assume you will summarize our thoughts. And please remind Region 8 subscribers to join CoinFacts.
Hey all -
I LOVE the idea of the book AND having a 3 tiered photo set for each grade. I think that for folk newish to EAC grading, it would be a boon. It took me a long time and a lot of frustration before I could decipher CCR. Main reason for that is that most of my collection at the time (and currently) is "scudzy", but at the time it seemed "average" to me.
Count me in for any way that I can help and assist. Would be a fun and worthwhile project. I guess that my inner nerd (bigger than the Sheldon one) got stirred up working on RR's envelope project.
One other suggestion that will likely get called down. In reference to banter on another thread here, I move that we replace "scudzy" with "grizzled" and petition Jack to do the same in the next edition - lol!
My preference is to stay with "Scudzy". I've owned (ands still own) more than one. Using what some would describe as a derogative term makes it easier for me to pass on a scudzy coin and (reluctantly) wait for the same variety to show up in an average or AVE- condition.
Back to the question at hand. Maybe the first thing to do would be for someone to volunteer to create a registry of coins that EACers would be willing to lend to the project to be graded and photographed. Anyone who wanted to loan his or her coin(s) to the project would send the "Registrar" the coin listing type, estimated grade and an existing photograph if they have one.
This way, we could see roughly how many grades/type we might be able to document. If there is a sufficiently wide enough range of grades, then we could proceed to the actually gathering of (loaned) coins, grading, photography and eventual publication of the grading book.
Other things to consider (but not today) is who would be the grading team, who would do the photography, and who would do the actual printing of the grading book. We might also want to offer presubscriptions for the book to gather some $$ to pay for postage (getting the coins from the graders to the photographers and then back to the coins owner's) and other expenses that will be incurred during this project.
We should also think (again, not today), what would be a reasonable price for the grading book.
All valid points, Bob, and I agree at this hour that today is not the day to sort out the points that you mention. It's 9+ PM on my coast and my sensibilities are fading. Will churn this around a bit in my head in the morrow.
I'd welcome the input on those who have done printing before and the associated costs. Are any of the print on demand places like CafePress, Lulu, etc any good? Anyone have good or bad on them? Having a viable POD place would certainly be a boon in not having to have a large initial press run. I champion a spiral bound volume.
I "know" that grizzled won't fly, but the thread that it came up on was too funny to ever forget. Although I usually only buy avg - as a low anymore, my first children are a little more tolerable as grizzled and having battle scars than just plain ugly - lol! Just a bit of jest on the suggestion.
I also appreciated the jest. As far as printers, I suspect that is a topic we can table for the immediate future. I see this project as taking up to a year to finish. The big thing is to see how much interest there is from EAC members (both in willing to donate coins and in buying the finished book). Perhaps a Region 8 poll (or could someone set up a poll on Copper Notes)?
A few other thoughts:
- should the book attribute (in some manner) the coin photos to their donors? (my vote is yes)
- if the book is in color (or have some color pages), should there be a small section on coin color?
- should there be a section on surface (quality) with accompanying photos of different surfaces (e.g., pristine, corroded, dinged, etc.)?
- should there be a section on net vs. detail grading?
- what other chapters/sections should be included?
I would think that such sections might have differing section authors.
Hopefully, Matt will be able to summarize everyone's ideas for the Region 8 unveiling of this idea.
Last edited by fagaly; 03-07-2012 at 12:31 PM.