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GROOVIE COINS

Modern proofs vs Uncirculated strikes

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GROOVIE COINS

Good day collectors!

What are your opinions on modern proofs, specifically silver proofs? 

 

Are they really worth the extra expense for a mirror finish that will tarnish with time to the point you can't immediately tell the difference from a normal uncirculated coin? Let's face it, even in a sealed capsule the mirror finish will dull with toning over 20years. Just look at all the Protea rands today. If you have a silver proof that still has brilliant luster after a prolonged period of time, then you're lucky unless the coin has been recently dipped.

For a long time I collected protea proofs because they are easily available. The numismatics of the coin outweighed the silver content. But these days I find unc proteas with their natural finish far more appealing than their proof counter parts.

 

I can't think of any reason why modern proofs should be so much more expensive than the unc strikes.

  1. Firstly they are have a bright highly polished mirror finish, but will dull with time due to toning. All silver does in the end. 
  2. Secondly proofs are struck several times to imprint the best possible details from the dies, but with modern mint technology business strikes often have such a high quality surface that the coins often has no difference in detail from the proof.

Case in point, compare a modern Mandela protea with its proof counter part. Look at the amount of detail on the unc coin, even though it has a mat surface. Pay attention to the high relief in the protea flowers on the obverse. There's hardly any detail difference aside from frosted device and mirror field. 

3. Thirdly many times collector uncirculated strikes have a lower mintage than the proof as is seen with the early protea series. This undoubtedly is due to demand as all the collectors go for the proofs. 

 

With regards to bullion coins, I never really grasped the concept of proof releases. I always found the American silver eagle proof as odd. You got a coin with no detail difference despite being struck multiple times (this is due to the already high quality strikes on normal business strikes), then you've got overkill on the frosted devices as well as mintages that aren't very low. 

Now we have silver unc and proof krugerrands in the mix as well. Granted the proof coins look attractive, as the mint didn't go to town on the frosted device, but how's that coin going to look in 10 years? Like a normal silver krugerrand... Suddenly a mintage of 15 000 doesn't seem all that low, when your coin looks like the millions of bullion coins out there.

 

It seems when modern proofs became all the rage and dies started being acid treated to give off a frosted device, they lost the purpose of the proof coin to mass production. A specimen with high detailed relief and mirror background to contrast. 

With minting technology caught up, it looks like proofs have lost the edge on the higher detailed relief, and only has a over frosted device to show for it. 

In my opinion modern day silver proofs are not worth more than double their uncirculated counter parts.

 

Happy and blessed Easter!

regards Robert

 

 

Edited by GROOVIE MOVIES

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jwither

If the coin is stored properly, with modern storage methods, it should not tarnish (tone).  I didn't read your entire post but what you are describing is almost certainly the result of improper storage.

To give you an example, the reason there are so many (as in millions literally) of "blast white" US Morgan dollars in high or very high grades today (MS-65 and MS-66 under current standards) is because the US General Services Administration (GSA) stored them for decades and this was loose in cloth bags.  Some have toning from the bags but most do not.

Toning is dependent upon climate and humidity and it differs for copper versus silver.  (Gold doesn't tone much versus these two metals.)  I store my better more expensive coins in a climate controlled bank box.  The coins are in NGC/PCGS holders and a few are in Intercept Shield boxes (one per TPG holder.)  The slabs are not airtight but maybe one or two have changed in 15+ years, not sure as I don't have "then" and "now" pictures.  

You can also search the NGC and especially PCGS forum for topics on coin storage.  It might help you.

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Pierre_Henri
18 hours ago, jwither said:

If the coin is stored properly, with modern storage methods, it should not tarnish (tone).  I didn't read your entire post but what you are describing is almost certainly the result of improper storage.

To give you an example, the reason there are so many (as in millions literally) of "blast white" US Morgan dollars in high or very high grades today (MS-65 and MS-66 under current standards) is because the US General Services Administration (GSA) stored them for decades and this was loose in cloth bags.  Some have toning from the bags but most do not.

Toning is dependent upon climate and humidity and it differs for copper versus silver.  (Gold doesn't tone much versus these two metals.)  I store my better more expensive coins in a climate controlled bank box.  The coins are in NGC/PCGS holders and a few are in Intercept Shield boxes (one per TPG holder.)  The slabs are not airtight but maybe one or two have changed in 15+ years, not sure as I don't have "then" and "now" pictures.  

You can also search the NGC and especially PCGS forum for topics on coin storage.  It might help you.

 

Personally I have never been a great fan of proof coins (with exceptions) and have always collected coins that were intended for actual circulation.  

But each to his own: - there are many collectors who only collect proof coins and I obviously respect that. 

I can understand that the Mint charges more for a proof coin as the dies / planchets are specially prepared and the coin actually struck more than once (not sure if this still  holds true) but there is obviously more “work” to be done striking a proof coin than a non-proof coin – including the fancy packaging. 

As I have said, I do not collect coins that were never intended for circulation (e.g. the modern R1 Protea series) so the cost of proofs vs. non-proofs is not an issue for me (regarding coin like these). 

The proof coins that I do collect are those that were struck in years when no (or very few) non-proofs were struck e.g. the well-known 1949 Shilling.   

I collect the 1/-, 2/- and 2/6- coins of the Union of South Africa in raw (not slabbed) form.  

If I was a very rich man, I would collect gold coins struck during the 1600s and early 1700s – the time of pirates and buried treasure!

img-1386_1_orig.jpg

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jwither
22 hours ago, Pierre_Henri said:

 The proof coins that I do collect are those that were struck in years when no (or very few) non-proofs were struck e.g. the well-known 1949 Shilling.   

I collect the 1/-, 2/- and 2/6- coins of the Union of South Africa in raw (not slabbed) form.  

If I was a very rich man, I would collect gold coins struck during the 1600s and early 1700s – the time of pirates and buried treasure!

img-1386_1_orig.jpg

I like some proof coins but almost none recent, struck within my lifetime.  However, though most are common it is difficult to find really nice ones especially near my estimate of current market value.

Then there is the problem of selling the coins later.  Most South African collectors seem to overwhelmingly collect South African coins but these coins along with most others aren't very marketable.  I was the recent buyer of the 1956 NGC MS-64 2/- which Heritage sold for $34 USD plus the $19 buyer's fee.  It isn't as nice as the duplicate I own (portrait surface quality) but it isn't a common coin and vastly better than most.  I also bought two MS-66 Bolivian coins (1909 10C and 1884 5C) which Atlas Numismatics previously owned for a pittance, $34 and $22 plus buyer's fees.  It's like you can hardly give this type of coin away now.

If you are really interested in owning a pirate gold coin and justify spending it, what I would do is use any profits from the South African coin you buy cheaply.  That's how I used to mostly finance my collection until about 2008 or 2009.  Of course, if you are now dealing full time, that's different but it's doable.

Here is an example which Heritage sold for $1020 USD.  It's a 2 escudos (not an eight as you have pictured) but still a legitimate pirate coin; one dated prior to 1720.  I'm not familiar with every variation but this denomination is not particularly scarce, even higher grades.

https://coins.ha.com/itm/colombia/world-coins/colombia-philip-iv-gold-cob-2-escudos-nd-1628-55-nr-au58-ngc-/a/3063-33953.s?ic4=ListView-ShortDescription-071515

Here is a second one which sold for $1800 earlier this year.  The strike is a lot better.

https://coins.ha.com/itm/colombia/world-coins/colombia-philip-iv-gold-cob-2-escudos-nd-1628-55-ms62-ngc-/a/3071-30218.s?ic4=ListView-ShortDescription-071515

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