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1937 Sovereign opinion needed - hairlines normal or cleaned?


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Hey everyone, I need your opinion on this 1937 Sovereign.

The seller is a friend of a friend, and says as far as he know, these hairlines are from the original case it was in and this is hot he got the coin. He is a reputable guy and I’m sure he is stating what he knows or thinks without trying to be deceitful. 

My question for you all is… are these parallel lines in the fields common for older Sovereigns that were stored in velvet cases, or is this a sign of cleaning?

What grade might this sort of coin normally get?

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334FE791-3085-46D0-AF4D-15A001EB2415.jpeg

Edited by westminstrel
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4 minutes ago, westminstrel said:

Hey everyone, I need your opinion on this 1937 Sovereign.

The seller is a friend of a friend, and says as far as he know, these hairlines are from the original case it was in and this is hot he got the coin. He is a reputable guy and I’m sure he is stating what he knows or thinks without trying to be deceitful. 

My question for you all is… are these parallel lines in the fields common for older Sovereigns that were stored in velvet cases, or is this a sign of cleaning?

A04C463E-D02A-4C3F-A33E-3F9F95CB5E6C.jpeg

Whatever it is, it is not pretty!  And when you are spending a large amount of money on a coin, you do want it to be attractive.

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Posted (edited)

@Zhorro - Indeed. But I’ve seen a lot of these 1937 Sovs even with PF 60+ grades that look gorgeous in one light and angle but have these lines in another light and angle.

See this for example: https://www.drakesterling.com/1937-proof-sovereign-2-3-4-5-6

Edited by westminstrel
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2 minutes ago, richatthecroft said:

I don’t think it’s a unique phenomenon here’s a PR67 DCam with obviously lesser,  but similar hairlines

https://www.pcgs.com/cert/31967971

Thanks!  Those hairlines are indeed very similar, and backs up what I said above to Zhorro - that in certain lighting and angles, these 1937 Sovs are notorious for these hairlines.

They are usually photographed in the lighting and angle that gives them the appearance of being shiny and unblemished.

A couple of the pics I shared also make the coin in question look very lovely.

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1 minute ago, westminstrel said:

Thanks!  Those hairlines are indeed very similar, and backs up what I said above to Zhorro - that in certain lighting and angles, these 1937 Sovs are notorious for these hairlines.

They are usually photographed in the lighting and angle that gives them the appearance of being shiny and unblemished.

A couple of the pics I shared also make the coin in question look very lovely.

Agreed.  Depending on the light/ angle you take the photo you can make the coin look like another!  

Here’s my 1937 5 Pound Reverse

 

 

 

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very fair photos if you have been sent these to asses. It's determining what hairlines are from die polishing and hence the minting process and those that are from post production. The lines that are straight and parallel, don't cross the devices and are pronounced rather than 'into' the coin are just from die polishing and are part of the minting process and normal, particularly on older proofs. Also they don't effect the grading process. its the hairlines crossing those that would cause an issue. Those circular hairline's following the radial of the coin are likely from the coin rotating in the original box and very common to some degree on 1937 coins and do impact grade. not sure if the coin has a few prints or its just a bit hazy. if the former then that does effect grade, if the later then conservation normally helps greatly.

Best of luck!

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6 minutes ago, SilverMike said:

very fair photos if you have been sent these to asses. It's determining what hairlines are from die polishing and hence the minting process and those that are from post production. The lines that are straight and parallel, don't cross the devices and are pronounced rather than 'into' the coin are just from die polishing and are part of the minting process and normal, particularly on older proofs. Also they don't effect the grading process. its the hairlines crossing those that would cause an issue. Those circular hairline's following the radial of the coin are likely from the coin rotating in the original box and very common to some degree on 1937 coins and do impact grade. not sure if the coin has a few prints or its just a bit hazy. if the former then that does effect grade, if the later then conservation normally helps greatly.

Best of luck!

Ps - I don't think it's cleaned 🙂

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1 hour ago, SilverMike said:

The lines that are straight and parallel, don't cross the devices and are pronounced rather than 'into' the coin are just from die polishing and are part of the minting process and normal, particularly on older proofs.

Die polishing prior to striking makes perfect sense because the parallel lines continue their direction “under” the frosted devices out on the other side.

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20 minutes ago, westminstrel said:

@LawrenceChard - Any thoughts from you since you’ve probably seen many more of these than the average board member? 🙂

Thanks, the hairlines look like they have been caused by particles of grit or dust. The coin does not look like it has been cleaned using abrasive.

Chards

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2 minutes ago, LawrenceChard said:

Thanks, the hairlines look like they have been caused by particles of grit or dust. The coin does not look like it has been cleaned using abrasive.

Thanks Lawrence. I am very much on the fence about this coin, so all informed opinions help.

I went down the rabbit hole of researching about these hairlines on older proofs and stumbled on the rare 1871 Proof Sovereign with similar hairlines and graded PR65.

https://www.drakesterling.com/1871-st-george-reverse-proof-sovereign

What an astounding coin for sure! 😍

Never mind the 1937 Sovereign I asked about, I’m trying to understand exactly what “die polishing” means now.

Initially I was envisioning the coin blank being polished, but if the die is polished, how it can possibly impart these hairlines on the coin? 🤔

7B152BD6-75E4-4C2D-AE99-BFAA50AA988F.jpeg

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15 minutes ago, westminstrel said:

Thanks Lawrence. I am very much on the fence about this coin, so all informed opinions help.

I went down the rabbit hole of researching about these hairlines on older proofs and stumbled on the rare 1871 Proof Sovereign with similar hairlines and graded PR65.

https://www.drakesterling.com/1871-st-george-reverse-proof-sovereign

What an astounding coin for sure! 😍

Never mind the 1937 Sovereign I asked about, I’m trying to understand exactly what “die polishing” means now.

Initially I was envisioning the coin blank being polished, but if the die is polished, how it can possibly impart these hairlines on the coin? 🤔

7B152BD6-75E4-4C2D-AE99-BFAA50AA988F.jpeg

That's a nice looking coin!

Simple. If you want to create the best looking proof coin possible, it is important to polish both the dies and the blank.

Polishing is an abrasive process, and is also usually done using an abrasive medium such as paste, which could contain diamond dust, corundum, carborundum, etc.

Even if you only used a soft cloth without past, whcih would take a long time, polishing is essentially a mechanical scratching process. If you look carefully at anything with a polished finish, you would find scratches. These might be microscopic.

Striations tend to show up more or less noticeably depending on the angle of incident light. Photography, which is all about lighting, often catches features which the naked eye would miss.

There is an importan difference between hairlines, and other features, on the die, and similar features on a coin. 

You could, and probably should, consider pre-production differences as features, but post-production differences as damage. Of course, that also leaves a gap in the middle, which is production faults themselves.

Most of this is a simple question of logic, or trying to reconstruct or understand the production process.

 

Chards

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I would agree with most others here. Hairlines are common on even high graded coins of this type. Most will be caused by die or planchet polishing as its not really feasible that parallel lines in the field could be caused by movement in the box felt. Any caused by wiping should be visible over the high points in the right light.

I love sovereigns, me😁

 

BullionByPost referral program recommended for sovereigns at less than spot 🙂

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, shawy2510 said:

Personally it looks to me like it gets a details grade. The circular lines around it would not be from die polish

It really is hard to distinguish between die polishing lines and something else lines. 😐 

Which circular lines are you referring to please?

Edited by westminstrel
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I would agree with  @SilverMike,with Die polishing the lines are pronounced and stand out from the surface, more visible under magnification.

Due to how the devices are incuse on the Die, when they are prepared, These will usually stop dead at the edge of the image ,in this instance around the Kings head Lettering ,

and St George.

Marks that are not from Die prep will form a halo around the image/Device where no scratches are present, or at least less scratches occur.

There is a possibility of this around the horses head, under Georges arm, and around his hairline, however this would be going just by my own experience.

It is a lovely looking coin, and for it age would be more dubious, if it did not have any  marks on it.

I would say the coin looks to have been well loved and brushed over with a soft cloth from time to time, however would not have thought it's been deliberately cleaned. 

Good luck if you decide to go for it, would be nice to own.     

      

Edited by Wampum
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1 hour ago, Wampum said:

I would agree with  @SilverMike,with Die polishing the lines are pronounced and stand out from the surface, more visible under magnification.

Due to how the devices are incuse on the Die, when they are prepared, These will usually stop dead at the edge of the image ,in this instance around the Kings head Lettering ,

and St George.

Marks that are not from Die prep will form a halo around the image/Device where no scratches are present, or at least less scratches occur.

There is a possibility of this around the horses head, under Georges arm, and around his hairline, however this would be going just by my own experience.

It is a lovely looking coin, and for it age would be more dubious, if it did not have any  marks on it.

I would say the coin looks to have been well loved and lightly brushed over with a soft cloth from time to time, however would not have thought it's cleaned. 

Good luck if you decide to go for it, would be nice to own.     

      

He is the entire set almost free from any blemishes, they do exist in almost as struck condition, but many as the examples above have been cleaned with abrasive cloths over the years as 1937 was well before the days of capsules.1146915779_375poundobSETcopy2X1sm.thumb.png.d414ed9196a31a62c0daa98b1c3b3373.png

Allgold Coins Est 2002 - Premium Gold Coin Dealer and Specialists :  

www.allgoldcoins.co.uk

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