When it comes to the adjectives used to describe problem coins, an
altered surface can be particularly tough to spot, and such pieces can
be awarded a “No Grade” label. As Professional Coin Grading Service
explains, “This No Grade covers anything added to the surface of the
coin to either ‘improve’ its appearance or to cover marks. Surface
alteration methods include adding: dental wax, putty, lacquer, nose
grease, etc.” Altered surfaces are a form of coin “doctoring” designed
to make a coin look better and can make rarities more affordable for
collectors willing to live with a problem coin.
1892-S Morgan dollar, Uncirculated Details,
Expensive Mint State Morgan silver dollars are also prone to
receiving an Altered Surfaces designation and this 1892-S dollar,
graded PCGS Genuine, Uncirculated Details, Altered Surfaces, is a
textbook example of how tricky these enhancements can be.
As Heritage reports, “The rarity of this San Francisco issue in Mint
State demands extra diligence from the grading services, particularly
because the 1892-S attracts skilled attempts at surface improvements
and ‘doctoring.’ While we detect a light cleaning, no overt surface
alterations are readily apparent to our eye.”
COIN VALUES: How much is your 1892 Coronet double eagle worth?
It sold for $16,450 at Heritage’s January 2016 Florida United
Numismatists auctions, about the same price that a nice About
Uncirculated 58 example might bring, but far less than the $30,550
that one graded MS-60 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. realized at a 2014 auction.
There is more to this Market Analysis! Keep reading about
recently sold altered coins:
1857-S Coronet $20 buffed to remove contact marks
earns 'altered' label
'Enhanced' 1886 Coronet $20 double eagle realizes
less than perfect price
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