Micro S

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pappyxyz1
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Re: Micro S

Post by pappyxyz1 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:32 pm

I s
Last edited by pappyxyz1 on Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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robEzerman
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Re: Micro S

Post by robEzerman » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:41 am

I'd like to see a Micro-S with field present in the upper loop that otherwise shows little or no indications of cumulative dimminution of device mass from repeated proof field polishings. Rob
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Re: Micro S

Post by SteveP » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:03 am

robEzerman wrote:little or no indications of cumulative dimminution of device mass from repeated proof field polishings.
What would be your marker for that? I imagine a kissing W&E?
Isn't the conventional wisdom on the micro-s that it appears consequent to die treatments?
Are you suggesting an alternate hypothesis for the micro-s?
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Re: Micro S

Post by robEzerman » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:00 am

Steve, I'm far from an expert on the micro-S but I think it's likely a legitimate Variety, whether due to a different punch or a less forceful application of the same S-punch used in other silver Ikes.

If found only in LDS, however (marker = significant separation of W from E as you suggested), and if found in a linear spread of smallness from normal-S to micro-S, then die state alone could account for the more extreme examples of smallness which fall into "Micro-S Variety". The scarcity of the silver Micro-S makes me think there is no such spread but I've not handled enough examples to know one way or the other.

My comment addressed the open upper loop sub-type of the Micro-S. If there is not a linear spread of smallness of the Micro-S, this open loop sub-variety may be due to later die-states with cumulative field polishings removing the frosting inside the upper loop, watcha think? In which case we might find, with enough examples, a spread of diminution of field frosting inside the upper loop.

(Done rumaging, I'll get my 71-S SB Peg Legs out to you today or tomorrow.)

Rob
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1872Hokie
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Re: Micro S

Post by 1872Hokie » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:37 am

I have been thinking about this as well.
If the generally accepted idea is that the mirrored field present in the upper loop of the of the S is the result of subsequent treatments to the die, then shouldn't most of the well defined Micro-S coins that we know of out there be in lower grades? My line of thought is that with each treatment, the overall sharpness/quality begins to deteriorate (please correct me if this assumption is incorrect).
I know that PCGS doesn't have a stellar track record getting Ike Proof Grades right, but I believe there have been a couple PR69DCAMs that have been DIVA'ed as Micro-S, and Brian has one for sale right now that is PR68DCAM. Wouldn't this suggest that the Micro-S is present in the Early Die State as well? IF this is the case (and this is just me thinking out loud) wouldn't this lend support to it being a die variety since it was there from the beginning of the run with that specific die?
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Re: Micro S

Post by SteveP » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:13 am

1872Hokie wrote:I have been thinking about this as well.
If the generally accepted idea is that the mirrored field present in the upper loop of the of the S is the result of subsequent treatments to the die, then shouldn't most of the well defined Micro-S coins that we know of out there be in lower grades? My line of thought is that with each treatment, the overall sharpness/quality begins to deteriorate (please correct me if this assumption is incorrect).
I know that PCGS doesn't have a stellar track record getting Ike Proof Grades right, but I believe there have been a couple PR69DCAMs that have been DIVA'ed as Micro-S, and Brian has one for sale right now that is PR68DCAM. Wouldn't this suggest that the Micro-S is present in the Early Die State as well? IF this is the case (and this is just me thinking out loud) wouldn't this lend support to it being a die variety since it was there from the beginning of the run with that specific die?
I would not make the assumption that later die state (in proofs) directly correlates to lower grade. I would instead explain the paucity of micro-S Ikes in PCGS PR69 DCAM due to a) low estimated production, and b) relatively few collectors searching for them*.

I recently had a look at the 74S coins that I have (both SB and SP) for various reasons, but never checked for MM.....*just never checked the MM. I found some very nice MMS-2c examples, and a number of MMS-1 - some of which looked to be micro-S. Long story short, I'm waiting for return of some coins that I sent to Brian, so that I can study them (along with the ones that I already have) in light of these recently posed questions, as well as at least one other question about the 74 micro-s die.

I believe that many of the RPMs and 74S MMSs in the Ike series are out there hiding in plain site. They would make a nice "set" - 10 known different RPMs and then the MMS variants in 74S (theoretically, another 12).
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Re: Micro S

Post by robEzerman » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:30 am

Ike proof die states are different than business strike die states so it's apples and oranges. Proof grades have nothing to do with the proof die state.

Because proof mintage is so limited (2500 coins on average compared to 100,000 business strike Ikes on average), the devices do not suffer from a lot of wear and tear.

What is "worn down", so to speak, are the fields, from proof cameo retreatments. To maintain cameo contrast, before 1978, the Ike dies were re-frosted maybe 5 times, possibly more, and the fields re-polished each time to a mirror finish. It's the successive polishing of the fields that define proof die state.

One has to think in die terms.

Let's imagine you're a tiny insect inspecting a new, ready to go obverse Ike proof die. You are standing on the field where the incuse (sunk into the die) W and E of WE are "kissing" (or so close it's a hot tease, LOL).

The die passes your inspection and is put into service. After several hundred proofs have been struck, however, the die's frosting is fading. Time for a frosting and polishing re-treatment. Can't let these Ike proofs lapse quickly into no cameo contrast the way the Frankies did.

Proof cameo re-treatment is a two-step process:
.....First, either the whole die face is frosted, or, using a painstaking process with masking tape cut out over the incuse devices, just the devices are re-frosted.
.....Second, the die's face is lap polished, removing the outermost layer of the die's field in that process.

Time to inspect the die before putting it back into service. Using all six of your legs, you march over to where the W and the E just barely kissed on the new die.

What's this? you say, antennae quivering. The W and the E are now separated. Not by much, but clearly separated. What happened?

Oh, that's right! The letter devices slope at an angle down from the field so as the field is polished away, the devices will become smaller! Thus, the W and the E retreat from one another.

Since sequestration has not yet happened, you still have your inspection job as the days go by, and sure enough, near the end of this proof die's life and now status-post half a dozen cameo re-treatments, the W and the E are clearly separated and both letters (and in fact all the letter devices) have lost thickness. You notice that these now thinner letters still have most of their original detail and sharpness so the struck proofs will still look sharp, these Late Die State dies and the coins they stike just have thinner letters and carry the easy-to-see die-state marker greater separation of W from E.


IMHO (and it is humble, I have no expertise here), die cameo re-treatments could nicely account for some of the micro S MM's showing shiny field in the upper loop. But I don't think die re-treatments account for the micro-S itself:
-----If due to die re-treatments, would we not expect some micro-S MM's to show up on all pre-1978 mintages of Ike proofs?
-----Would we not expect a uniform spread of 74-S MM's from normal size through micro (like the montage photo of the 71-S proof peg leg fade)?

Thus, I vote that the 74-S micro-S is a Mintmark Variety. Don't know if due to an abnormally shallow MM or to the accidental use of a smaller S MM punch.

Rob
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Re: Micro S

Post by SteveP » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:37 am

robEzerman wrote:IMHO (and it is humble, I have no expertise here), die cameo re-treatments could nicely account for some of the micro S MM's showing shiny field in the upper loop. But I don't think die re-treatments account for the micro-S itself:
-----If due to die re-treatments, would we not expect some micro-S MM's to show up on all pre-1978 mintages of Ike proofs?
-----Would we not expect a uniform spread of 74-S MM's from normal size through micro (like the montage photo of the 71-S proof peg leg fade)?
Thus, I vote that the 74-S micro-S is a Mintmark Variety. Don't know if due to an abnormally shallow MM or to the accidental use of a smaller S MM punch.
Rob
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Re: Micro S

Post by SteveP » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:32 am

If die re-treatments were the sole source of the micro S,
robEzerman wrote:Would we not expect a uniform spread of 74-S MM's from normal size through micro (like the montage photo of the 71-S proof peg leg fade)?
And, we should, at least, be able to find a MMS-1 coin at one end of the spectrum, and a micro S (with other weak devices) at the other end of the spectrum.....with the same MMP.

I just had a look at a small sample of 3 SP MMS1 and 2 CP MMS1 (including one SP micro S and one CP micro S / eskimo boot peg leg), of which no two MMPs were the same. I'll keep looking. This is very weak evidence to support the hypothesis that the micro S started at least somewhat micro (whether by weakly punched S or wrong denomination S).

Another consideration is the MMS1 in the 74S SB production. No repeated die polishings here and no (to my knowledge) micro S. Does this argue against the weakly punched S or wrong denomination S hypothesis? If the error occurred at least twice in proof production, what would be the chances of it happening again in SB production?
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Re: Micro S

Post by robEzerman » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:29 am

Steve, keep pushing this around! Fresh insights keep the juices flowing. . .

For example, the 1972-S SB does show a spread (continuum) of loss of relief and loss of bulk in the left leg of the R, which to a high degree parallels the fade-through-absence of the "Shadow" image and fade-through-absence of the "Extra Lunar Lines" (so it looks like the dies mostly remained paired).

The only explanation I could come up with was field polishing was ONE of the refrosting steps for these dies, too (and judging from the EDS SB Ikes that had lost most or all of their frosting, refrosting was indeed necessary, think proof cameo re-frosting). And, these dies also needed repeated re-frosting treatments (same guestimate of 5 to 10 treatments over the life of a die).

Check it out, not difficult: when you find a 72-S SB Ike, first see if the Obverse R's left leg is robust. If it is, chances are 9/10 you'll find a decent Shadow Image and sharp Extra Lunar Lines. Once that left leg is in mid-state fade, however, the Shadow and Extra Lunar Lines disappear. Pretty well documented in V2 Chapter 6. Because FG created a robust peg leg for his 72-S Ikes (presumably so they would not fade as badly as did the proof 71-S peg leg), it may take a little study to be able to pick up a mid-state faded left leg in a 72-S SB Ike: it helps to have a tube of them for quick and easy comparison, and or the E-version of V2 ($10 at LULU.COM) for optimal photos of Chapter 6.

I still have a bunch of 72-S SB Ikes on hand and would love to find out if there is any comparable "fade" into the field of their S MM's as the left leg fades fades into the field. If there is none, or nothing significant, that would be more evidence that the micro-S is not due to die re-frosting treatments.

Rob
Now is the time to cherry Ikes. Lots of fruit still on the trees but don't wait too long. Rob Ezerman

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