Pet Peeve of the Week: No reverse image


It seems new coin auctions on Proxibid have to be reminded to take photos of both sides of the coin. This is especially important with Franklin halves because the reverse in many years determines the value of the lot.

Franklin halves are notorious for weak strikes in certain years, such as the 1953-S. One way to determine the strike is to look at the reverse and see if the lines on the liberty bell are distinct.

The abbreviated designation “FBL,” or “full bell lines,” pertains to a strong strike so that the two lines on the bottom of the bell run unbroken to the crack. Rick Tomaska, author of A Guide Book of Franklin & Kennedy Half Dollars and a top expert on the topic, defines FBL more specifically on this link.

Here is a photo of what FBL looks like:


Franklin halves with FBL can fetch hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, depending on the condition of the coin. Unfortunately, in this new coin auction on Proxibid, there is no way to tell the worth of this lot without a reverse photo.

When we first launched Proxiblog in 2011, more than half of the coin auctions on the portal only showed the obverse of coins. That has changed dramatically. Nevertheless, we feel the need to remind newbie online auctioneers not to take shortcuts by cutting back on photography–namely, the reverse of coins.

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.


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