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Letters to the Editor
- Letters to the Editor (March 1, 2016) Mint makes fast delivery of flawless Twain coinJust for the record, I received notification from the U.S. Mint that my Mark Twain silver dollar coin had been shipped on Feb. 2. It arrived Feb. 6. Four days. It must be some kind of record.The coin ...
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Author Archives: F. Michael Fazzari
I took a call last week from one of our customers who wanted to know why his San Francisco Standing Liberty quarter was returned to him as “questionable authenticity.” Continue reading
In this column, I’ll try a new approach to explain how you can evaluate the amount of wear found on one of the difficult coin series to grade – the incuse Indians of the early 20th century. If you find this teaching method helpful, write to me and I’ll use it for other coin series. Continue reading
I’ve probably been boring readers writing about coins with altered surfaces; but it is still a big problem. I see the evidence of this at every coin show I attend and with many of the coins submitted to ICG for crossover service or upgrade. Continue reading
This year will mark the 40th anniversary of coin authentication services in the United States. My 40th will come later this year in September. Continue reading
This column is going to be short, sweet and all about some of the surprises you may find as you examine coins closely. That’s what I have been doing for 40 years at the various grading services where I have worked. My job is very rewarding. I wish I could own every neat coin that crosses the stage of my stereo microscope but that’s impossible. Continue reading
What you are about to read is heresy. Sometimes it’s OK to touch the surface of your coins. That’s because, in some cases, the method used by coin doctors to alter a coin’s surface will leave a sticky residue that is easily detected by touch. Continue reading
Recently, I read that the Professional Numismatists Guild has formed a committee to draft a definition of “coin doctoring.” A definition needs to be concise – short and sweet, just like in a dictionary. Apparently, this may not be as easy as it would seem. There are too many variables so a previous attempt at this task became too wordy. Continue reading
I’ve illustrated a 1921 yuan from China that is commonly called the “Fat Man” dollar. Thirty or so years ago it was rather difficult to find one of these coins at a large show unless there was a major dealer in foreign coins. Today, it seems that these coins have flooded the market. Continue reading
A coin’s edge is an important side that professional graders/authenticators rarely overlook. What are they looking for? Damage and alterations are the first things that come to my mind; yet other attributes such as the edge type and style are also important. Continue reading
In a recent column I illustrated two Standing Liberty quarters and challenged readers to pick the coin that was assigned the higher grade by a major grading service. It was a trick question used to illustrate the subjective nature of the commercial grading system we use today. In that column, the coin with slightly more design detail was graded much lower because only one digit of its date was visible. Continue reading