Author Topic: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?  (Read 11394 times)

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Offline fwang2450

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2014, 12:22:18 AM »
The edge letters on the Plum Flower Great Wall silver "matte proof" medal say "Ag 999" and "the medal number".  NGC is now grading these as mint state ("MS") medals and not as matte proof ("Matte PF") medals.  I do not know if they have consistently done this or if there are any medals from the past with a "matte proof" designation on the NGC slab.   I do not know how many were minted or the numbers used on them.   

Does anyone on this forum own one of the Plum Flower Great wall silver proof medals with an NGC slab showing edge letters?

If the silver proof medal was minted before the matte proof medal, it will be surprising if the matte proof medal has edge letters (including a medal number) and the proof medal does not.

I find it difficult to talk about proof and matte proof medals.  It is easier for me to refer to proof and mint state medals. 

Mark Bonke
NGC has not been consistent in assigning the right strike type, and was wrong with these "fully sand-blasted" or fully frosted coins and medals. The matte silver Year of the Child, Football, Volleyball, China Empress, 1986 WWF Panda and a couple of other fully frosted coins were labeled as MS at first, and later on as SP or matte proof. From the minting process/technology perspective, these cannot be MS, which is reserved for business strikes. The characteristics of proof strikes, such as carefully prepared blanks, repeated striking, slow striking with high tonnage, individual handling of the finished product, all applied to these matte coins and medals. It is strange for an experienced grading company to assign MS as long as there are no mirror fields. Probably because there were not that many matte proofs among US coins?

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2014, 12:37:01 AM »
The pictures below show another case of wrong labeling by NGC. This cuni coin was originally shipped with the silver Tibet proof coin. NGC labels it as MS, but due to the excellent strike quality, it is constantly receiving 69, which is extremely rare with business strikes. Shanghai Mint could not have shipped business strike coins to be packaged into the same box as the silver proof coin. At least it is SP.

Offline mmissinglink

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2014, 12:51:15 AM »
"Proof" strike is more or less universally defined as coins that have a very shiny, mirror-like appearance.

Specimen strike seems to be a more appropriate designation for a coin that has a matte finish. Such coin strikes are minted with higher quality than an uncirculated strike but doesn't meet the established characteristic (mirror-like shine) of a true proof strike.

How similar is the Great Wall matte silver finish (appearance) to the finish on the U.S. America The Beautiful 5 oz silver "P" collector version? These 5 oz coins, when graded by NGC, get the designation "SP" for Specimen.

In these and other links, Specimen strikes are described as between Business or Mint strike and Proof strike:

http://numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ad=article&ArticleId=27530

http://web.stanford.edu/~clint/coinacro.htm


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Offline fwang2450

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2014, 01:07:44 AM »
"Proof" strike is more or less universally defined as coins that have a very shiny, mirror-like appearance.

Specimen strike seems to be a more appropriate designation for a coin that has a matte finish. Such coin strikes are minted with higher quality than an uncirculated strike but doesn't meet the established characteristic (mirror-like shine) of a true proof strike.

How similar is the Great Wall matte silver finish (appearance) to the finish on the U.S. America The Beautiful 5 oz silver "P" collector version? These 5 oz coins, when graded by NGC, get the designation "SP" for Specimen.

In these and other links, Specimen strikes are described as between Business or Mint strike and Proof strike:

http://numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ad=article&ArticleId=27530

http://web.stanford.edu/~clint/coinacro.htm


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This is from the HA.com's glossary:

Matte Proof
A certain type of proof minted in the U.S. mostly from 1908 to 1916. Gold and silver matte proofs have a dull, granular (i.e. sandblasted) finish without any mirror-like qualities. Copper and nickel matte proofs are really more like Roman finish proofs.

Only whoever wrote this entry did not foresee that many matte proofs from China.

Here is a graded coin by NGC:

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2014, 01:34:23 AM »

EDIT:  Okay, I corrected this post after re-reading fwang's posts again. Apparently, the bronze/copper 1985 re-mint has the incorrect spelling. I initially incorrectly assumed that the spelling of this version was corrected. But the entire design with the correct spelling is what changed....I think. But then again, if the mint can change the design by removing the "1980", couldn't they change the "HEROS" to "HEROES" on the "Plum Flower Great Wall" version?

From what I understand, years, mint marks and some other elements are not on the clay model or on the master hub. They are added later on in the die making process. So Shanghai Mint did not have to remove 1980. They might just have made another set of working dies from the master hub, which did not have 1980 on it. On the other hand, modifying the design by inserting an "e" would require re-making the clay model.

Offline aragog

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2014, 07:31:55 AM »
The pictures below show another case of wrong labeling by NGC. This cuni coin was originally shipped with the silver Tibet proof coin. NGC labels it as MS, but due to the excellent strike quality, it is constantly receiving 69, which is extremely rare with business strikes. Shanghai Mint could not have shipped business strike coins to be packaged into the same box as the silver proof coin. At least it is SP.
SP coins in CuNi should bear extra marking stating that it is specimen coin, shouldn`t they? I have just bought recently one of those -  Ningxia region

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2014, 02:43:20 PM »
SP coins in CuNi should bear extra marking stating that it is specimen coin, shouldn`t they? I have just bought recently one of those -  Ningxia region
Bank specimens are not necessarily specimen strikes. Chinese cuni bank specimens come in two strikes: business strike and proof strike (mirror proof). I know of no SP strikes for Chinese cuni bank specimen coins.

The specimen strike is defined as:

"The standard definition for a specimen strike is that they are the initial strikes from a “working” die i.e. no special die treatment but special care in the striking, so it looks like an exceptionally good business strike.The key difference being that the die was brand new so the strike is razor sharp, and the fields are uniformly smooth. "

(from http://www.drakesterling.com/CustomPageFiles-2/Proof_Centenary_Florin.pdf)

Offline mmissinglink

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2014, 04:50:25 PM »
Apparently, there are a couple of different acceptable working definitions of Specimen (in referring to the type of strike).

All ATB "P" 5 oz silver coins, no matter if they were the first or the 19,000th struck on the same die will be graded a Specimen "SP" strike by PCGS and NGC.

It seems to make the most sense that if a silver Great Wall medal was intended to be struck with a matte finish that it would have the designation of "SP" on a TPG label.



Offline fwang2450

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2014, 05:01:05 PM »
Apparently, there are a couple of different acceptable working definitions of Specimen (in referring to the type of strike).

All ATB "P" 5 oz silver coins, no matter if they were the first or the 19,000th struck on the same die will be graded a Specimen "SP" strike by PCGS and NGC.

It seems to make the most sense that if a silver Great Wall medal was intended to be struck with a matte finish that it would have the designation of "SP" on a TPG label.



I don't know on what grounds PCGS and NGC label them as "SP". They may have their own definitions of the specimen strike. If you read the technology that produced the matte finish ATB, in here http://www.coinnews.net/2013/09/27/how-the-philadelphia-mint-makes-atb-5-oz-silver-coins/, it is exactly how matte proofs are minted.

Offline mmissinglink

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2014, 05:14:08 PM »
Bought this Great Wall medal on eBay from a USA seller....your impression, fake or authentic and why? Some pictures were taken with a flash and some no flash On a couple of the images, the couple or so white spots that look like flaked off metal appear, under 8 X magnification by eye (not through lens of dig camera), not flaked off metal.

IMAGE 1:


DIRECT LINK:  http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/mmissinglink/Coins/GreatWallmedalfromeBay_zps23ac800f.jpg


IMAGE 2:


DIRECT LINK: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/mmissinglink/Coins/GreatWallmedalfromeBay2_zps5c0bda26.jpg


IMAGE 3"


DIRECT LINK:  http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/mmissinglink/Coins/GreatWallmedalfromeBay3_zps38e62094.jpg


IMAGE 4:


DIRECT LINK:  http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/mmissinglink/Coins/GreatWallmedalfromeBay1_zpsc8c34c8a.jpg



Offline fwang2450

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2014, 08:36:30 PM »
Bought this Great Wall medal on eBay from a USA seller....your impression, fake or authentic and why? Some pictures were taken with a flash and some no flash On a couple of the images, the couple or so white spots that look like flaked off metal appear, under 8 X magnification by eye (not through lens of dig camera), not flaked off metal.


Thanks for the pictures. The seal looks pretty much like that on my silver medal. Can you please take pictures of the other side? It is the details on the other side that betray the fakes.

Offline mmissinglink

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2014, 10:28:21 PM »
Really, I would have thought the reverse side is the more critical side.  Okay, I will....be back soon with pics.



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Offline fwang2450

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2014, 11:05:18 AM »
Here's the obverse. Took pictures with 3 different types of artificial light sources at once so some of the colors may not be pure or true. A few pictures I also used the camera's flash. I hope all the different angles help to determine:
This medal looks fine to me. It is the stained copper Plum Flower Great Wall that has known fakes.

Offline mmissinglink

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Re: Am I the only one who is still confused about the Great Wall medal?
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2014, 11:08:59 AM »
Hi fwang, what do you look for on the obverse (Great Wall) side for tell-takle signs of it being fake or authentic?

Thanks for helping me learn.