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Worn to perfection

Today everyone wants ultra-grade coins. Many of
those who buy directly from the U.S. Mint quickly send off these coins
to one of the third-party grading services to see if they can
score a coin in a high mint state or high proof grade and then sell it for a

What ever happened to the good old days of collecting,
when a coin's grade wasn't always the most important factor in whether
or not it was collectible?

I remember when I started collecting,
I liked to carry around an Eisenhower dollar with just one goal—to see how
worn down I could get it. I eventually had it well worn, but then
misplaced it.


It was, however, not as worn as the Eisenhower
dollar in this photo. It's obvious this collector was going for the
worst of the worst. His hang-up on grade was in finding the worst
specimen of various types of large U.S. dollar coins. And it looks to
me like he did an admirable job.

In the top row is an
1803 Draped Bust dollar, next to it is broken apart 1850 Seated Liberty
dollar, followed by an 1877 Trade dollar. In the bottom row are a
Morgan dollar, Peace dollar and an Eisenhower dollar. The dates on
these are all too worn to read.

No need to rush these bad boys
in for slabbing. Borrowing a grading term from the 1800s I used in an
earlier posting, these start out at "wretchedly poor" at best.