Hey Bob -
I think that a well responded to R8 poll will answer many of the questions for us all. I think that we also need yo figure out if we're looking to put out a book the physical size of PP or CQR or something more along the lines of Noyes or Grellman. Input and target price commitment from a R8 survey would help here.
To opine on the points that you enumerated -
A few other thoughts:
- should the book attribute (in some manner) the coin photos to their donors? Yes
- if the book is in color (or have some color pages), should there be a small section on coin color? Love to see a section IN color on color
- should there be a section on surface (quality) with accompanying photos of different surfaces (e.g., pristine, corroded, dinged, etc.)? Yes
- should there be a section on net vs. detail grading? Yes
- what other chapters/sections should be included? I shall noodle upon this
I would think that such sections might have differing section authors. Excellent idea
My personal preferences would be to go for the largest tome that we could manage, given the fact that we are bringing the "black arts" of EAC grading into the light of day. I'm thinking Noyes size, but not as voluminous as a Breen size.
I'll further complicate the issues and presentation. 2 other thought spring to mind as ways to monetize the overall project. Assuming that we have a "big book", I think that a smaller spiral bound guide that just distilled the photos on the net grading issue down to a small pocket/briefcase guide could be an easy derivative work. I know that there are MANY times I would have loved such a volume. If that distillation was a good idea, one would also have a decent core/skeleton of an app/reference for mobile devices and/or readers.
I feel that this would be a kick in the "arse" for our hobby, allowing more individuals to come into copper collecting once the standards have been brought down from the mount. people I meet at general shows shy away from coppers because of the complicated grading and attribution.
In this day and age finding a printer should not be an issue, look at all the fine coin catalogs produced. I am not a photographer but I would be more than willing to create a spreadsheet to organize the potential submissions. yes we should credit submitters, but in the front of the book, I'm sure that would be OK with most egos. Coins change hands too quickly to credit individuals below each of their coins. We're all EACers.
A possible summary:
A proposal to embark on a journey wherein we appeal to the greater Region 8 population to express their opinion regarding the feasibility of creating a tome defining EAC grading guidelines; that such tome be 3 tiered, with examples judged "scudzy", "average", and "choice", the grading to be arrived at by the consensus of a grading team to be determined.
That said tome will require an initial registry of coins, submitted by members, the registry specific to denomination and major type, to be professionally photographed by an individual photographer to preserve consistency, and said photos to be provenanced to the donors in the final print.
In addition to the grading section (this to be the main function of the volume), chapters pertaining to color/original vs. cleaned, and general surface quality, i.e. corrosion, pitting, rim dings, etc., and an introduction regarding net vs. standard grading have been proposed.
This being a summary of the Copper Notes discussion on the future publication of a Guidebook to EAC Grading, or as one member put it, "The Black Arts of EAC Grading" (wink), we do hereby submit our request from the Region 8 membership for further input.
Whaddya think? Too pompous? I can dial it back.
Ken - I couldn't agree more! It would be a boon to the hobby. This very thing is what kept me from being a "serious" collector for years. I bought early copper haphazardly and cheaply because I simply had no idea of what was being spoken of in the auction catalogs. Understanding the R# is about as far as it went for me before my eyes started to glaze over. Photo examples of nice coins are abundant, but mine were "grizzled" and I simply didn't get it. The epihany came upon buying a sight unseen Reiver AG3, The light came on and I then new why what I thought was avg was grizzled and why that coin was avg+ to choice for the grade. THAT'S when I got serious, because I finally got it!
Matt - I love it! Don't dial back a word, If anything - ramp it up!
I certainly WOULD like to see a distinct section on color. The Holmes color set escaped my total comprehension as a relative noob, and have been advised by others that the really nasty looking cents that I have been perusing on eBay for experimentation with cleaning and recoloring are going for a mint due to people working on "color sets".
HALP!!! - Kirk
Matt that sums it up in a nutshell. Hope we get a response other than us 4 or 5 on Copper Notes.
I'll humbly chime in and cast a vote for Matt's suggestion. Such a reference would be quite useful. I often find myself referring to the Holmes Auction to study die varieties. Perhaps, some of the examples could be drawn from that or past EAC auctions? Just a thought ...
Hope that the R8 response comes through well and with more hands that want to be involved. At worst - the few of us nerds here could handle the task, but it would take a while - yes?
The real question now is who wants to take the lead (or be on the committee) for this project? Volunteers?
In whatever capacity I can serve I'll participate. Consider that statement as volunteering. Even though it would be a photographic guide, there still is the need for descriptive comments. Perhaps as a start we can formulate the descriptive comments for the detail grading for each general type of half/large cents. ANA and photograde might be good places to start.
For instance starting with the late issues (Braided Hair):
AG-3 OBV: Outline of head worn away details. Stars, date weakly visible as are only parts of "ERTY".
REV: Parts of design worn entirely away. 9-12 letters in the motto discernible
Let's all comment, revise and move onto G-4, G-5 & G-6.
Yes I think we should do the intermediate grades. What about you guys? what about also F-12, F-15, VF-20, VF-25, VF-30, VF-35, EF-40, EF-45, AU-50, AU-55, AU58. Mint State? That has a lot to do with bag marks, not wear. Is there a numerical way to tally dings and nicks? If people want it we'll do it.
Once we do a large cent type we can modify it for the corresponding half cent type. Because of the smaller size adjustments may be needed.
Ken (and all) -
I'm game to help in whatever manner I can too. Although my wife isn't available for me to query at the moment, she is a P-Shop and Illustrator whizkid (IMHO) and may be able to help us out.
I like the idea of the 5 point increments in going up the ladder. On the editorial side - I think that some notes as to particular "problem" years of striking might also be of value.
Would it be a waste of paper and time to cover Fr and Basal? This was one of my largest stumbling points when I was a complete noob. I think even if we don't do photos, at least an editorial commentary would be due.
I'm hosed for the weekend on weighing in on the details portion of the discussion, but will jump upon it next week when a little more spare time arises.