1 pointHi Pierre I remember this question. Perhaps our modern coinage can be taken as a rough indicator. Now I'm aware nickel coins are extremely hard and cannot be compared to soft silver or gold, but hear me out on this. I've mentioned previously that modern minting process leaves a highly mirrored surface on business strikes. Often coins just put into circulation come off as proof like, as can be seen with my many R2 photos on Coin of the day thread. Modern proofs have a higher reflective mirrored field, but only marginally compared to business strikes. Hence for this reason the dies for UNC collector coins like proteas and krugerrands are burnished, to differentiate them from proofs. This being said, if we take our beautiful new R2 released 2019 with all different designs on them. Do we get any of them in circulation today where can say they still have near mirror fields? I don't think so. Even with my collection of normal circulation two rands, which I was still actively pursuing last year. I found it very hard to get good looking 2016 coins (This year has a two defects). I'll see if I can take a few photos tonight to illustrate, but I think we can get a good idea on how long softer gold or silver proofs would lose their fields. regards Robert
1 pointA few months back I had the privilege of inspecting two of these so called "currency issue" 1923 SA Gold Sovereigns. One was graded AU58 and the other AU55 both graded by PCGS. In addition to the 12 graded by NGC a further 9 coins have been certified by PCGS (including the two I mentioned). The AU examples that I perused were almost certainly "pure" business strikes and not ex-proofs. The fields were not mirrored and the details including KGV's portrait and the reverse detailing were not contrasting to the fields. The minute detailing of KGV's moustache and St George's cape were not as sharp as on their proof cousins. All in all, it was quite easy to make out that these specimens are not proofs. Reverting to your question, I think making this distinction would be nearly impossible once the coin approaches the low XF/VF range as the "polish" of a proof coin would have long been gone by then. Furthermore, the wear on a coin of that grade would make it nearly impossible to judge based on the sharpness of strike and the boldness of detail. One can never be quite certain that an XF example would be an ex-proof and vice versa. Further, I do not think that the TPG companies can be relied upon at that stage of circulation as they would not be quite sure themselves and the grade would be based on their best "guesstimate". This is further evidenced by the fact that PCGS has graded an example MS66PL, indeed not committing to whether it is a proof or business strike. This could also indicate that at very high levels of preservation, the proofs and business strikes could be almost indistinguishable as well.
1 pointJa well, like I have said numerous times before, the day the Penny finally drop at BoB Headquarters, it will probably be too late. But as long as the old functional format is still available, we will all be able to keep limping along ... Unfortunately, the day the old site is cut off, it will all probably be over for many top-sellers like me. Pierre_Henri29135 100.00% Positive Ratings Joined 10 Jun 2009 Cape Town
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