The Quality of a Coin. Important or Not?

Coins with different grades

The question that is formulated in the title of this blog is a question that most collectors and dealers will naturally respond with the phrase: ‘’Yes, it is an important’’.

It is not my purpose in this blog to advocate that quality is not important but to nuance the statement most dealers and collectors will give. The beauty of the coin seems to be very tight linked with his quality. Since people feel attracted to beauty, the quality of a coin has influences in the how many people want a specific coin. And of course this has his influences on the price.

Shakespeare wrote in Love’s Labours Lost, 1588:
‘’Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean, Needs not the painted flourish of your praise: Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye, Not utter’d by base sale of chapmen’s tongues’’

This is of course a beautiful and almost poetic way to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And I think in some way this is true, even though I think objective beauty exists. Unfortunately, this blog is not the place to write a philosophic essay about beauty. Nevertheless, for this blog it will be enough to accept that beauty itself exist whether its nature is objective of subjective. And I think most people will.

Here below, some examples of coins in different qualities.

US 1875 $5 PCGS Proof 65 CAM

267,500.00 US$

Diameter: 21.60 mm
Mintage: 20
1875 was a Magic Year of Rarities as many under-appreciated rarities were produced in the year for both circulation and proof strikes. From a mintage of just 20 pieces, probably fewer than 6-7 examples are known. This piece exhibits beautiful Cameo mirrors with the brightest of yellow-gold surfaces. Overall this piece is truly a quality example of an underrated, great coin! Only a single example (Proof 65 Deep Cameo) is graded finer.

20 Mark 1872 E Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Ernst II. VF++

76,200.00 US$

The rarest type of all German Imperial gold coins.

Quality and beauty
The quality of a coin is important. But when does a coin start to have the disposition to be beautiful? Is only a coin in the quality mint-state worth to buy because of his quality? Or is a coin good enough when we can read the words on it and we can see his images? Or some were in between? It seems that this question is very hard to answer. And to be honest I can not give you an objective answer like: ‘’ only coins in mint-state a worth buying for their quality’’.

I collected Duiten from the Netherlands for a long time. I collected them in a very fine state. And, I love their beauty. I also collected copper coins from the Netherlands between 1900 and 2000. I only enjoyed them when they were in a high mint-state. So, it seems that even for one person the border between beauty and not beauty is the same.

4000 reis 1811 Brasil BU

2,875.00 US$

Joao VI Prince Reg

1 Piastre 1931 Cyprus Bronze PCGS MS61

4,300.00 US$

Catalog: KM-18.
George V. Cyprus under British administration. The last year of issue for the type (in Bronze) and very rare. Only two coins have graded mint state in pcgs’s population a 63 and this one. The single second highest graded (pop1). Grades MS61

Most important for the coin collector
What follows from this is the collector himself as a person and not the group-collectors as a whole, determine what quality he can or maybe even will enjoy. I tell my customers two things. The first derives from the conclusion above. You (the collector) are the one who says what you can enjoy. And this is most important in collecting. Secondly, I say this. It is generally accepted that quality is important for the beauty of a coin. What follows from this is that the higher the quality the more people start to like a coin which increase the value and the changes of potential profit in the future. But when you have the wonderful ability to appreciate every coin on its own for its beauty you don’t have lower values then others you just see them differently. Because never forget there is more than quality in a coin. It is important but their also their historical value which you can enjoy.

5 Schillings-Double Shaft 1892 South Africa  Unc

5,650.00 US$

Catalog: KM# 8.2
Superb Brilliant Uncirculated.

Written by Joël van Dam, Owner of Joëlnumismatics.

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