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Numismatic Guaranty Corporation
November 2005  
1. Surface Problems Revealed
2. Coins of the Month
3. Submitters' Corner



December 8-10
Suburban Washington/Baltimore Show

Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, MD

January 5-8
FUN Show

Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL

Surface Problems Revealed

Coins encapsulated in NCS Details Grade holders will have a simple description of the surface problem that is preventing the coin from grading with a major grading service such as NGC. These descriptions are reduced to the fewest words to describe the problem. It is helpful for the collector to understand more about the problem and identify it more readily when considering coins in the marketplace.

Improperly Cleaned

When a coin has been improperly cleaned through a mechanical or sometimes chemical means, it will show ill-effects and be deemed “improperly cleaned.” Most often an improperly cleaned coin will exhibit excessive hairlines often in distinct patterns or just in one particular area. Cleaning that will cause these kinds of marks can actually move or remove surface metal from the coin. This removal of metal is something that professional conservation will not be able to restore. A coin exhibiting the signs of an improper cleaning is not eligible for certification by a major grading service such as NGC.

On occasion a coin will exhibit die polishing marks which, upon initial examination, may appear to be the patterned hairlines of an improper cleaning, but are not. Die polishing lines will typically occur only on the fields of a coin and stop at devices or legends. Die polish lines, as opposed to scratches or hairlines, are raised markings on the coin.

Mount Removed

One of the uses for coins other than for money is for jewelry. Coins have been mounted in the past and still are today in bezels and other mountings for use as pendants, pins, bracelets, and rings. Coins removed from such mountings will show signs of their past, from crimping at the edges and rims to small amounts of solder to holes and repaired holes in the coin itself. Most often a coin deemed “mount removed” shows marks at the points along the edge and/or rim where a jewelry mounting was attached. A coin with such marks will not be certified by a major grading service such as NGC.

Environmental Damage

When a coin has been improperly stored for some period of time, environmental conditions of extreme humidity or temperature may harm a coin’s surface. The coin’s surface will begin to chemically change and the resulting look will cause a coin to not grade with a major grading service such as NGC. Silver and copper are more susceptible to environmental damage, while gold is nearly impervious to the ill-effects of improper storage. Coins that have been buried in the ground, lost under water, or subjected to hot fires can become environmentally damaged. Coins stored in or near chemically reactive items such as PVC-laden coin holders or those containing biologic compounds can become environmentally damaged with the right mix of moisture and temperature.

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Coins of the Month
Conservation 5071669-001

Copper coins provide unique challenges for the conservators at NCS. Toning removal is not an option for a copper coin, as it will result in a coin shockingly ugly and unnatural. The right balance of residue, spot, or corrosion removal is the best that will typically be done to a copper coin. A pattern 1 cent coin was recently conserved at NCS. This coin was created as an example of what a new, slightly smaller large cent may look like. This pattern of 1854 was plagued with unattractive and ultimately harmful residues in the recesses of the design. These residues were carefully removed to reveal a coin much more appealing to the eye and more stable for its enjoyment for years to come.

Coin of the month before
Coin of the month after

Encapsulation: 5038222-001

EncapsulatedProduced prior to the opening of the U.S. Mint building in Philadelphia, yet after the passing of legislation providing the new nation with a new coinage, the 1792 Half Dimes issues have been long been a favorite of numismatists. According to legend, President Washington’s own silver serving ware provided some of the initial precious metal to coin the 1792 Half Dimes issue. The damage on this particular piece will prevent it from being certified by a major grading service such as NGC, but in an NCS Details Grade holder, this historically important and numismatically interesting coin will be safe to store for years to come.

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Submitters' Corner
The NCS Submission Form

Before the year’s end, NCS will introduce our new submission forms. Please review them carefully before submitting your coins. Feel free to call us with any questions. 

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