YOUR OPINION PLEASE

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VAM-PIRE
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YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by VAM-PIRE » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:49 am

When looking at an uncirculated Morgan dollar for the first time, under magnification, is there a certain area on the coin that you always look at? For example, I always first look at the hair "blob" above the ear. It seems to be the area for the most variances between uncirculated Morgans, and probably is a good indicator of strength of strike. Any ideas? Thanks

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TheYokel
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by TheYokel » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:55 am

For grading?

These are the obverse high points...
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The reverse is all about the eagle and chest feathers for me...
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VAM-PIRE
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by VAM-PIRE » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:20 am

Thanks for the late-nite comeback. The word I was thinking was "condition", but grading and condition are certainly related. So, Is there a spot or area you go to first? Isn't the ear hair the most strike sensitive area?

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messydesk
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by messydesk » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:24 am

Are you looking for primary focal areas that count the most when grading uncirculated coins, actual high points where the wear first shows up, or something else?
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TheYokel
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by TheYokel » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:34 am

VAM-PIRE wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:20 am
Thanks for the late-nite comeback. The word I was thinking was "condition", but grading and condition are certainly related. So, Is there a spot or area you go to first? Isn't the ear hair the most strike sensitive area?
I look in the hair and the cotton bolls on the obverse in relation to strike.

Wear points for condition are going to be different because areas of the coin are judged differently. Having a very crisp hair but a scratch on the cheek, condition wise, is much worse than having a clean cheek and a weaker strike. I believe strike only gets judged over MS-65...

Condition grading points will be the cheeks and face and the fields in front of her face to be the most important...

And then you have New Orleans coins with notoriously weak strikes that you have to judge based off of contemporary counterparts and not just off of the best looking photo of a Morgan...

Edit: here ya go boss... This is out of one of my books and can explain it better than I can...
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(Original author sited in photo. Fair use disclosure for research and teaching purposes under code: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107)
Last edited by TheYokel on Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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VAM-PIRE
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by VAM-PIRE » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:44 pm

JB and Yoke, I guess my ear hair phobia goes to eye appeal more than anything, which is an element of grading, isn't it. I can't stand an uncirculated coin with a "giant" bald spot near center obverse. For the most part I stay away from them. It's kinda like a target, you concentrate on the bull, not the 5 ring. Does that clear it up?

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CascadeChris
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by CascadeChris » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:25 am

Depends on why I'm looking then it depends on which date depending on why I'm looking. If it's for grade, I look at the overall coin without any mag swirling it back and forth first to assess luster and small contact marks ie how they light hits them, then, if I see any areas like hairlines, scratches etc I'll use a 5x or 10x to assess if it will give a details grade or not.

If I'm looking at it for attribution, it all depends on the date/mint as to where my eye goes first. And, if its not an "instant" attribution, I ALWAYS look at the coin under a 10x UPSIDE DOWN. You'd be amazed at what you will see looking at a Morgan upside down. Your brain knows the design so well that it skips over stuff assuming it knows what its looking at. Upside down changes your unconscious mental assessment DRAMATICALLY :)
Last edited by CascadeChris on Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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VAM-PIRE
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by VAM-PIRE » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:26 am

Thanks CC, Good info, I'll have to give upside down a try.

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HawkeEye
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by HawkeEye » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:23 am

Interestingly I was having a discussion with my doctor about the possibility of doing a CAT scan of a Morgan to get the real topography. You would need a really high grade fully struck coin for accuracy, but I am surprised someone hasn't used this technology to date. He thinks it is possible, actually easy, but I have not been able to corner the time. Is anyone aware of an attempt to do this type scan?
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dave700x
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by dave700x » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:29 am

I'm usually figuring out the VAM before the grade, but the first spot I look at for the grade is the cotton bolls and then scan out from there.
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messydesk
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by messydesk » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:59 am

HawkeEye wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:23 am
Interestingly I was having a discussion with my doctor about the possibility of doing a CAT scan of a Morgan to get the real topography. You would need a really high grade fully struck coin for accuracy, but I am surprised someone hasn't used this technology to date. He thinks it is possible, actually easy, but I have not been able to corner the time. Is anyone aware of an attempt to do this type scan?
You would need a high-energy micro-CT for this. CT scans are prone to metal artifacts upon reconstruction to a 3D volume that can cause streaks in the image and distorted sizes near the metal. A filling, crown, implanted device, aneurysm coil, etc., will cause this. Since you're not x-raying a human, rather a piece of metal, you could turn the x-ray dose way up, but I still think you'd have reconstruction issues. A single projection x-ray, again at a higher energy, would give you a contour map of the coin showing the thickness, but from both sides at once, so while the highest point of attenuation would be the thickest part of the coin, it wouldn't necessarily be the highest point on either side. High-frequency ultrasound might tell you better, assuming you could get a good acoustic coupling between the probe and the coin.

A better way not involving off-label use of medical imaging equipment would be an optical profilometer, which can be sub-micron accurate, and is meant to do this sort of measurement.
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VAM-PIRE
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by VAM-PIRE » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:30 am

JB, Well said. Spoken like a true rocket scientist. For now I'll have to stick to words like "ear hair" and "bald spots".

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HawkeEye
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by HawkeEye » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:15 pm

"A better way not involving off-label use of medical imaging equipment would be an optical profilometer, which can be sub-micron accurate, and is meant to do this sort of measurement." I like it, but why don't we do it.
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messydesk
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by messydesk » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:16 pm

HawkeEye wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:15 pm
"A better way not involving off-label use of medical imaging equipment would be an optical profilometer, which can be sub-micron accurate, and is meant to do this sort of measurement." I like it, but why don't we do it.
I don't have one or access to one. Someone that reads this site might, though. It would actually be pretty fascinating to quantify the subtle differences in relief in the different hub designs.
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shortnock
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by shortnock » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:54 pm

Agree with the idea of looking at the obverse and reverse from upsidedown perspectives.
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HawkeEye
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by HawkeEye » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:37 pm

What do they cost?
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Vamhammer
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by Vamhammer » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:12 pm

The CAT scan idea is interesting and got me thinking about using a Romer CMM. I just purchased a new one at work (only $75K). You could touch or check every critical point or dimension on a Morgan and evaluate it against a standard to measure the amount of wear... maybe. It will also "paint" the part (scan) and you will see the entire image on a 55" monitor color coding areas as variations increase. The dimensional reports are also really nice. Now I'm going to have to try it out.


One area I always check out are the eagle talons. I'm looking at those vertical lines for definition and wear.

vamsterdam
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by vamsterdam » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:34 pm

mark witkower and I discussed finding a way to map relief on overdates to see how much the fields had been polished down. we just weren't certain how we would go about it. it could also be used on post clash cleanups and 1879s overpolished dies.

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raynat3
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Re: YOUR OPINION PLEASE

Post by raynat3 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:23 am

Wouldn’t a weak strike tend to have the same high points on the coin appear flat?

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