US Coins

Repaired and plugged 1792 half disme earns $15,600

Major grading services use Details grading to encapsulate coins that have been cleaned, are holed, have severe scratches or other issues that prevent them from being assigned a grade from 1 to 70. For coins with such problems, details grading assigns an adjectival grade based on the amount of wear as a result of circulation, and the surface problem is noted on the certification label.

Numismatic Guaranty Corp. defines a holed coin as “a coin that has had a hole punched in it post-minting,” and uses the term “plugged” for “ones that were previously holed, typically for suspension as jewelry, and have had their holes filled in to conceal the damage. As the affected area usually includes design features, these will show evidence of re-engraving.”

Here is one plugged coin that traded at a recent auction.

The Coin:

1792 half disme, PCGS Genuine, Repaired and Plugged, Fine Details


The Price:


The Story:

Early American coins of rare and unusual types like the 1792 half disme have been particularly abused by collectors and noncollectors over the past few centuries. Many are found holed, plugged, re-engraved and otherwise repaired, while others have been polished to a near-brilliant shine. Kagin’s offered a “starter” example of this popular issue graded Professional Coin Grading Service Genuine, Repaired and Plugged, Fine Details at its March 8 American Numismatic Association National Money Show auction in metropolitan Dallas where it realized $15,600.

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The plug is seen at the crown of Liberty’s head near PAR on the obverse, and the planchet is wavy, with several other areas of lightness. Affected details have been re-engraved, but the overall eye appeal is negatively affected. Kagin’s called it “an amply suitable filler example of America’s first mass venture into a silver circulating medium of exchange.” Considering that a PCGS Fine 12 example that was essentially problem-free brought $44,650 at Heritage’s January 2017 Florida United Numismatists auction, the offered example presented a lot of remaining detail for the money.

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