• seperator

Viewpoint: Is it conserving or cleaning a coin?

cleaning suppliesI read Weimar White’s article regarding an 1826 50-cent piece, and was shocked to hear that he thinks his newly cleaned coin is worth $550.

Now, before we even get to the cleaning process he used, I looked up his coin in your magazine and found that an 1826 AU is $350. Even if his coin is a variety NO-4668 like he said, I don’t think he’s taking any value away from the cleaning process.

Strike It Rich With Pocket Change

Get the ultimate treasure-hunting tool for coin collectors!

I know he’s written a book on cleaning, pardon me, conserving a coin, but isn’t that the fancy way of saying he’s cleaned it? Is he saying that if I wrote a book on conserving a coin, I could then submit it to PCGS, NGC or even ANACS without telling them? Do I say, “I used my book to conserve my coin so I don’t have to tell you,” and that’s OK?

I thought no cleaning was the best method of preserving a coin in its original state. Have the rules changed? Can anyone buy his book, “conserve” all their coins, and then submit them to be graded and not have to worry about a body bag coming back?

I would challenge Mr. White’s grading. I ask him to send out his coin to one of the grading services to have the coin graded, and not forget that some grading services have charged dealers with “doctoring” their coins. Wouldn’t this fall under the rubric of doctoring? No, I forgot, it’s conserving a coin!

Who am I to judge?

I am an mechanical engineer with 40 years experience, and I am appalled at all the grading companies. First off, one grade?

Wait a minute, doesn’t a coin have two sides? I remember someone writing about 1920 cents, that they would change one die and not the other? All I ever see with grading services is one grade on that slab.

Another question, MS-67 or MS-68? In my 30 years of collecting coins, I still can’t tell the single point of grade difference between MS-67 and MS-68.

I don’t even buy Mint State coins. OK, I do get some from a bank. Wait a minute, those aren’t Mint State. Those are AU-59 coins, aren’t they?

Then there’s CAC, or guys who regrade a coin in a slab and put a small sticker on that slab. Are people (buyers) that dumb, if one grading service puts its grade on the coin, that a second grading service must also grade it? Is this really necessary?

I only wish that someone would come up with a logical grading system (1-100),  grade both sides of the coin and be done with it. Sure, some people will complain, two grading systems! But maybe some of us collectors could figure out the differences between an 80 and a 90 grade! That’s a 10-point difference.

Cleaning wouldn’t be an issue either. You just write on the slab “appears to have been conserved (cleaned, that is).”

A.J. Williams is a hobbyist from Connecticut.To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990 or online at numismaticnews.com.

More Coin Collecting Resources:

State Quarters Deluxe Folder By Warmans

• Subscribe to our Coin Price Guide, buy Coin Books Coin Folders and join the NumisMaster VIP Program

Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition

Tags: cleaning coins. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply