Grading Topless Collectible Coins

We will run occasional grading checks on Proxibid auctions so you can see how we bid based on condition. These coins are from Topless Collectible Coins’s Oct. 7 session. We grade on PCGS standards as found on Photograde, admittedly more conservative than grading of most auctioneers but still the standard in numismatics. Click pictures below to expand.

We call a coin:

    “GEM” if will grade at NGC or PCGS at the MS65 level or higher. We see bag marks by the eye, cheek and chin on the obverse on an MS63-64 coin, at best, which is “choice BU.”


    “GEM” if will grade at NGC or PCGS at the MS65 level or higher. Topless clarifies flip, which states “GEM,” and calls this slider almost uncirculated bordering on BU (brilliant uncirculated). We’re happy to see AU, but disagree it is a slider (AU58) bordering on uncirculated. We call it AU50.


    MINT STATE” or “UNCIRCULATED” if it would grade MS60-62. We agree with the grade here, but worry about what looks like hairlines across Lady Liberty’s cheeks. (We would not bid on this coin because of that.) Topless calls an 1889O a “key date” in the Morgan series. It is NOT a key date, which has a special definition in numismatics. Morgan key dates are 1881-CC, 1885-CC, 1889-CC, 1893-CC, 1893-S, 1895-S. An 1889-O is not a semi-key date, either. At best, it is “scarce.”


    ALMOST UNCIRCULATED” if it would grade AU50-58. We call this borderline AU, not AU+ (slider), and again worry about hairlines in the chin area of Lady Liberty.



    EXTRA FINE” if it would grade EF40-45. We dsiagree with this grade and call it Very Fine 25, especially when you view the reverse.


    VERY FINE” if it would grade VF20-35. We agree with this grade, but not with the designation “key date.” Key dates in the Buffalo series are 1913-S Type 2, 1918-D 8/7, 1921-S, 1924-S, 1926-S and 1937-D 3-legged reverse.


    FINE” if it would grade F12-15. We agree with this grade.



    VERY GOOD” if it would grade VG8-10. We disagree with this grade and call the obverse Good4 and the reverse Good6.


    GOOD” if it would grade G4-6. We disagree with this grade and call it AG2-3.


    Generally, in our subjective but nonetheless expert opinion, we feel Topless overgrades by one designation in many of its lots. (Some Proxibid auctions overgrade much more extensively than this.) Again in general, because a one-grade overgrade is within subjective debate, we leave it up to you to agree or disagree with our designations. Again, keep in mind we grade on tough PCGS standards.

    As noted, grading is in part subjective, and is difficult to do via online photographs. Our designations are based on how we bid and why. Thus, the overall grade on Topless’s grading based on our criteria: C-.

    Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

One thought on “Grading Topless Collectible Coins

  1. A Morgan 1878-CC MS-65 DMPL purchased through Topless collectable Coins came back from NGC as “surface altered.” My name is Ron Tallman rjtachieves@live.com I see today they are offereing similar items from same consignor.

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