Thursday, October 23, 2014

10/23/14 Report - Things That Will Help You Grade Dug Coins. Florida Dug Walking Liberty Halves. Dutch Shipwreck Huis de Kreuningen Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Dug 1943 Half Dollar.

It can be difficult for a detectorist to determine the actual value of a dug coin.  A lot depends upon the grade or condition of the coin.  With the internet it is becoming easier for an amateur to get a good idea of a coins grade.

Today, just as an example, I decided to look at some dug Walking Liberty half dollars.  Fortunately there are some good sites that provide very helpful pictures of coins of different grades. 

Here is a good site for grading Walking Liberty halves.

Photograde Online is an excellent aid too.

That site provide a image library of reference coins of each grade from the PCGS library.

1943 Half As Dug From A Beach.
You probably know that you should not clean coins because if they are valuable you can quickly destroy a lot of the value.  However, if you detect beaches, coins can be entirely unreadable without some cleaning.  They can also be in such poor condition that there is little danger of reducing the value by cleaning them.   My advice is to consult an expert when in doubt.  You can visit coin dealers or conventions and talk to experts there.

Similar But Different 1943 Beach Dug Half That Has Been Partly Cleaned

You might recognize the common reddish patina that is often found when a layer of green crust has been partially removed.

Of course a good magnifying glass is handy.

I made these pictures with a low power Celestron digital microscope, which is handy for inspecting coins as well as making photos.  I find it much easier than squinting through a magnifying glass or loop or something.

Here is a much cleaner dug coin.

You can see the roughness of the coins corroded surface.

You can also see the some of the details that help in grading the coin.

I am no expert at this, but I focus on details that might be removed or faded as the result of wear.  For example, the vertical lines in the draped material, or the shoes.

Dug 1945 Half Dollar

Here is dug 1945 half dollar for comparison.

While it looks more worn and flattened from circulation, it doesn't show the same effects of salt water corrosion.

A smooth worn surface on a silver coin is attractive to me but hurts the value.

Other Side Of A Dug  Half Dollar.

Notice the designers initials (A over W) just to the right of the R in dollar.  That is something you might not easily notice without magnification.

Of course good lighting is important.

Lighting can really affect your photos too.

Another View.

Here you might focus on the stars in the furled flag, or the creases, or the facial features.

This Walking Liberty Half is thought by many to be among the most attractive coin designs.

I think if you use one of the sites I pointed out above, you'll be able to come up with a good estimate of the grade of your dug coins.

If you use either or both of the web sites I referenced above you'll be able to get a good idea of the condition of your dug coins.


The Dutch ship Huis de Kreuningen was sunk in Scarborough Harbour in Trinidad and Taboago on March 3, 1677 along with 15 other vessels.  The Huis de Kreuningen, has been found.

A project conducted by the University of Connecticut ... found a wealth of other material, including nine canons; Delft and Bellarmine pottery jars that date to the third quarter of the 17th century; lead shot that was never fired; dozens of Dutch smoking pipes; and bricks that perfectly match the specifications of bricks made in the Dutch city of Leiden in 1647.

Here is the link for more of that article.


The surfing web site says we should have about a two-foot surf on the Treasure Coast today.  That isn't much, and from the look of the wind, I'd guess it would be a bit higher.

I was surprised this morning to find that Tropical Depression Nine disappeared, as did another disturbance the developed real close to it near the Yucatan.

There will be a partial solar eclipse around 6 PM today.

Happy Hunting,