It is a circulation find when a collector finds something of value in change.
What do you call a find by a third-party grading service among coins submitted to it?
Whatever you call it, it is both newsworthy and exciting.
It is also another manifestation of value added by third-party grading services.
They don’t just tell us grades and defend us from counterfeits.
The Professional Coin Grading Service announced that its Paris office has found a rare overdate Liberty Head $10 gold piece.
Identified as an 1853 “3 over 2” overdate, “the submitter did not know it was a rare variety eagle and unknowingly included it with a group of ‘common’ U.S. gold pieces,” PCGS reported.
The overdate coin is now graded PCGS Gold Shield MS-62, the highest 1853/2 gold eagle ever graded by the company, Don Willis, PCGS president pointed out.
Willis said, “When the grading room examination began, it was immediately detected as an overdate by PCGS Director of World Grading Mike Sargent.”
The “2” in the 1853 “3 over 2” variety “is quite faint and easy to miss even on high grade specimens,” according to PCGSCoinFacts.com.
A portion of the number “2” can be seen as two lines in the lower loop of the number “3” digit in the date.
“What the owner originally thought would be a half-ounce gold coin worth perhaps a little more than its weight in gold turns out to be a rare coin worth tens of thousands of dollars because PCGS experts recognized it as a desirable variety,” said Willis.
No matter what you call such a coin find by a grading service, it is something worth celebrating.
Willis noted that “every collector dreams of finding a rarity.”
There is no question about that.
What collectors might not think about is that professional coin graders have the same dream.
“Everyone in the Grading Room in Paris was very excited to be part of this discovery,” Willis said. “This goes to show that there are still historic coins out there waiting to be discovered!”
Sargent said scarce date U.S. gold pieces are sometimes found in Europe, but “it is quite rare to find a Mint State example of such a rare coin with its natural surfaces still intact."
He said, "Examples of pre-1860 Mint State $10 gold coins are scarce in any date or mintmark combination, and this particular rarity will surely be desired on the secondary market.”
What is also desirable is that every collector should take a second look at all coins in their possession.
They might not have gold coins to look at, but there are many other valuable varieties on coins made of other metals.
Don’t let grading services have all the fun.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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