On my last blog I posted about the draped bust quarter, picturing the reverse of a holed example. Several members replied speaking of their details coins/draped bust type coins, so I decided it would be a great idea to talk about details-graded coins in my next blog. So first we must ask, what is a details coin? In numismatics, a details coin is a strike of coinage that is seen by collectors as having a major flaw or damage that keeps it from receiving a numerical grade-- instead receiving a grade title followed by "details"(i.e. XF details, VF details). This damage usually includes but is not limited to corrosion, holing and sometimes plugging, deep rim nicks, scratches, improper cleaning, polishing, bent coins, PVC/chemical damage, tooling, graffiti, and much more.
A newer collector might ask "Well why would a collector buy a coin with a hole or scratch when they can buy a coin without any damage?" Well, for the same reason you would buy an 1889 CC Morgan dollar in VG-08 as opposed to MS-66; money. While some numismatists may walk through a coin show and purchase any coin that they may like or need for a set, many collectors such as YN's and retired numismatists do not have thousands of dollars to drop on a single coin. Because damaged coins are usually sold for a significantly lower price, it means that a lower-budget collector might be able to own a dream coin or a type coin that usually sells for hundreds or thousands even in lower grades.
For example, one of my favorite coins is a PCGS graded 1879-S Morgan dollar with deep-mirror prooflike fields. (Unfortunately?) There is a scratch across miss Liberties cheek, causing it to grade as PCGS UNC Details. While I bought the coin at the price of $60, a DMPL-graded Morgan dollar of the same date and MM would sell for $650 in MS-64 according to PCGS Coinfacts, meaning that because of a small scratch, the price of the silver dollar was dragged down by severely from its estimated value. Another one of my favorite detailed coin buys is my 1854 O arrows seated liberty half dime. I purchased it while on vacation at Myrtle Beach, SC. The coin itself is small and would be around AU-53 if it were not for the hole on liberties head. I purchased it somewhere around the price of $13, and can sell for $148 in non-details grades according to usacoinbook.com
Please leave anything related to this blog in the comments. I love seeing replies and it would be thrilling to see what other collectors have acquired. It is magnificent that collectors on a budget can purchase such significant pieces and buy coins that we never could see ourselves owning anytime soon.