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Pierre_Henri

Proof Coins graded as non-Proof Coins - Are there any Proof of that?

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Pierre_Henri

The following question was asked before on the forum: -  

How long does it take a proof coin to circulate to be unidentifiable as a proof coin anymore?  

(The question was asked in relation to the rare 1931 silver issues of the Union of South Africa)

It is very probable that many of the non-proofs graded by say the NGC in grades like XF and lower, could actually be ex-proof coins that somehow got into circulation – maybe the result of say a boy taking a coin from his father’s collection to buy ice-cream or sweets in the olden days.

For the 1931 silver issues it is extra difficult to say, as both proof and non-proof coins were apparently issued, but let’s take a coin of which ONLY proofs were issued – the 1949 Shilling.

The following picture shows an example that in my view would grade say VF35 or XF40 (It must have been in circulation for a couple of years) 

1949_zpsjfnzgtjj.jpg

To me this shows that it is quite possible that some 1931 silver coins graded XF and lower, could actually be ex-proof coins.  

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jwither

NGC (and presumably PCGS) occasionally make errors.

My recollection is that you received an "MS-68" on a 1947 2/-.  This "MS-68" is no longer in the NGC Census.

NGC graded A 1947 2/6 of mine "MS-63".  Prior to selling it, I sent it in for conservation and it came back PR-63.

In a prior topic here, I questioned whether the 1931 2/- currently graded MS-63 in the NGC Census is actually a proof.  I certainly would not buy it as one without inspecting it in person first and probably also require a second independent opinion.

In prior posts, I have theorized that maybe some of the 1931 3d graded as circulation strikes are actually proofs.  The same could apply to the 2/- and 2/6 but consider it a lot less likely for the 6d and 1/- because these two denominations aren't nearly as scarce.

Generically though, it is logically less likely (though hardly impossible), that the scarcer and more valuable the proof was at issuance, the less likely it would have found its way into circulation.  The 1949 1/- is actually a relatively common Union proof which only has its current value and perception because there are no circulation strikes for this date.  However often this occurred, it's almost certainly overwhelmingly for proofs dated 1947-1960.

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Little Miss Muffet

I would think twice about listing this coin as VF or EF.The hairline is worn down and it has a number of scratches.

 

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GROOVIE MOVIES

I've always been fasinated how scarces coins can circulated widely without anybody noticing and removing them from circulation. Now the other day I was fortunate enough to come across a 2001 R5 in my change and had no idea it was one of the scarcer years, if you can call a mintage of 2million that. It caught my attention immediately as uncommon as I don't often see the new coat of arms on the old nickel R5. A quick google search confirmed my hunch that I had hit the jackpot and thus the XF R5 was promptly removed from circulatiion to join my collection. Afterall we are talking less scarce than a Madiba R5! That's my story and I'm sticking to it... 

But to bring it all back to the olden days. Today we living in an age where information is a instant finger tip away, so I guess without the advantage of google, we can excuse the previous generation for using that 1949 1/- to buy a loaf of bread and half a dozen eggs or sweeties from that 1931 tickey!

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GROOVIE MOVIES
13 minutes ago, Little Miss Muffet said:

I would think twice about listing this coin as VF or EF.The hairline is worn down and it has a number of scratches.

 

I really get a kick out of all those XF first decimal listings with both eyes worn away. I mean van Riebeeck is flying blind for crying out loud!

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GROOVIE MOVIES

Oh Pierre, to add.

In the past, I've come across serveral silver proof rands being sold as un or circulated busines strikes. I think the coins are either not stored well and picks up heavy tarnish or they pick up pvc damage from those mint packs, thus the mirror fields aren't always apparent. On listing photos they look like uncirculated business strikes and are discribed as such, however once in hand its clearly a mirror proof with tarnish. This is so common with post 1969 silver rands that at one stage I thought sellers perhaps were affraid to list spoiled or what they thought was spoiled proofs as impaired, but instead opted for listing as circulated. Though looking back now I think many sellers are igorant of what coins they selling.

To come to the point, if modern silver proofs, even protea proofs can so commonly be traded as business strikes by unknowing sellers in today's day and age where information is so easily accessable, then there is no doubt that Union proofs such as 1931 tickies and those three 1936 farthings circulated. You don't even need a far fetched theory as to how they were put into circulation. How many houses were burgled over the decades that Union coins where in use? Not every crook that emptied a safe appreciated that a proof 1931 set was worth much more than face value, and thus probably just emptied the boxes and so the coins where on their way.

regards Robert

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GROOVIE MOVIES

The question on how long it takes a proof coin to become unidentifiable as a proof has been on my mind since this post was started a few days ago. With regards to the silver Union coins it is very hard to tell as there are so few examples we can refer to and with these coins circulating for a good 30 years, more than 50 years ago all we can do is make educated guesses. 

We know proof refers to the method in which the coin was struck, and is and is generally indentified by the mirror field and frosted devices. Another key indicator is the detail in the devices that are more apparent due to the multiple strike process, however these days its common for there to be almost no difference in detail between proof and business strikes. I think this is a testiment to the improvements in the modern day minting process.

It's modern nickel coins I want to take a jab at with this question of circulating proofs. I know nickel is harder than silver but allow me to give it some good guess work.

I've been looking at various circulated R2 coins between 1989 and 2014 (Those coins normally kept in the cubby for car guards) and comparing their wear. Now I'm going to be bold and state now there's really no difference between third decimal business strikes and proofs save for the frosted devices. Brand new business strike rands and R2 exhibit more or less the same mirror fields as proofs do. Even though nickel is harder than silver and doesn't wear as fast the coins exhibit similar wear.

2013 - 14 coins, the Kudu show wear on the high points, with the low points of the device still showing mirror lustre. The fields all around the device (the kudu) show mirror lustre, but the open fields are mirrorless with heavy dings and hits . If it were proof R2, I'd say the frosting on the lower points of the device would still be visible, hence my guess would be it would take 4 to 5 years of circulation to strip the frosted device from a nickel proof.

2007-10 coins show the mirror lustre is all but gone, even around the device save for the slightest visability here and there. The whole coin is covered with hits and wear. I'd say at this point, 8 to 10 years, proof mirror fields would be worn away on nickel proofs.

1989 - 91 some coins are worn down to the copper base showing on the highest points, nose of the Kudu. This is sometimes visible on 94-5 R5 as well, hoof of the Wilderbeest.

So I'd say it would take between 5 years (frosting) to 8 to 10 years(mirror fields) of good circulation for a modern nickel R2 coin to be unidentifiable as a proof. What the timeframe for silver would be, I wouldn't be able to accurately say but I'm sure it would be less than that of nickel and different variables such as weight and size would affect wear differently.

I tried to take photos of each stage of wear, but my camera on my phone is poor and the lighting bad. They don't do what I'm trying to discribe justice. Perhaps I'll give the pics another go over the weekend in natural light.

regards Robert

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