Ordered and received so I thought I would leave a few comments.
<re: silver American 1oz Eagle>
Lastly I was a bit disappointed in the coin itself. I found a rather large ding in the gown near the back foot, see below. Not a large ding and I did not expect Proof but did expect Uncirculated to Near Uncirculated.
Overall I would purchase again and probably will as Silver prices vs. Bitcoin makes it a good buy.
Interesting one here. I've just sent part of my coin collection off for sale (to upgrade my mining operation with a load of FPGAs). Regarding US silver Eagles, I had 120 (i.e. 6 tubes) and sent two tubes off, leaving four untouched tubes.
My Eagles are all 2011 year, and were bought from a reputable dealer in Europe (I've bought most of my coins from them). They arrived sealed in their 'TREASURY UNITED STATES MINT' green-lid tubes - so for the coins to be circulated would have required a bit of subterfuge. Used tubes tend to be obvious - I believe the material is polypropylene or low density polyethylene as it picks up dents and scratches very easily. My tubes arrived in 'mint' condition, so I take it as an assumption that all my 2011 Eagles are *uncirculated* condition.
Now on to the coin - because this 'ding in the gown near the back foot' rang a LARGE bell in my mind. If you're referring to the area around where the rear foot meets the 'ground', which looks like the coin edge has been impacted, causing a 'warp' - this is just the design and caught me off guard when I first bought American Eagles. You can assure yourself that the coin hasn't caught an edge by examining the circularity of the outer ring.
If you're referring to the tiny 'snakebite' scratch on the 'material' of the gown, then that looks like a minor handling error on removal from tubes. Pure silver coins are soft and hard to keep 'BU' when not individually encapsulated from the Mint (China and Australia send theirs out like this and there's no excuse for a scratched Panda or Koala, for example). IME, US Silver Eagles have the most vertical space in their full tubes (compared to the 25-coin Maple tube, or the 20-coin Philharmonic tube), and since there are no protective spacers between each coin in the tube, simply shaking the tube up and down (especially with a bit of twist to cause rotation) will result in the coins rubbing against each other, causing minor scratches.
Even worse are Canadian Maples - I bought a sealed tube straight out of a Monster box, bunged it in my safe without opening it, and under a year later opened the tube to find the coins were covered in white 'milk' corrosion. Apparently this is 'normal' for Maples - but they are of a higher purity (.9999 silver) than most others. I've an Andean Cat (Royal Silver, .99999 purity, highest available IIRC) which has remained perfectly shiny.
So to conclude, even untouched, uncirculated silver coins, held in stock by a dealer in a safe with dehumidification packs alongside (like my small collection, though I'm no dealer), can end up deteriorating if left in their Mint tubes. If you order less than a full tube, the dealer MUST by definition remove the coins from the tube and re-package, and it's VERY easy to make tiny handling marks. This doesn't constitute 'circulation' and your coins will be re-sellable as 'uncirculated'. The coins can pick up 'dings' even *without* handling, if the tubes are rattled around in transit.
On top of this, we're talking *bullion* coins here - not proofs. Bullion coins get the same resale value even when circulated and knocked about. It's about the silver, not the scratches - as long as they weigh in OK then you'll be fine. It sounds like you'd prefer a Proof coin. Get a Panda - they come from the Mint in a slightly convex plastic capsule, have beautiful designs, and whilst not technically 'proof' coins, they're up to the standard of the bloody Royal Mint's so-called overpriced 'proofs' (I'm English and have received some shoddy examples - one being of a 2,500 limited mintage!)...
US Eagles aren't my favourite coin design - for some reason the Mexicans make my favourite coins of all time (the silver Liberdad is beautiful, and the gold 20 Peso's Aztec calendar is awesome) - and after reading this, I've opened all my Eagle tubes to check them... two out of four are showing white 'milk' on the reeded edges
Anyone know how to remove the 'milk' without removing silver or making the coin unsellable? The dealers are well aware of the problem with Maples but I was surprised to see the milk on some of my Eagles. Since the Mexican mint send their Libertads out in crappy cardboard tubes, I bought a load of Air-Tites and encapsulated each and every one of them (I love Libertads) - they have remained unsullied.
However, if I'm considering selling some of the Eagles individually on eBay or here for Bitcoins, my customers are going to be pretty pissed off to receive coins with white 'milk' on them - regardless of normality.
Any experts here know the answer? Is the usual practice a simple dip in silver cleaning solution, followed by a thorough rinse and dry with microfibre cloth? I was told never to handle my coins without gloves, but untouched silver coins in sealed tubes *still* deteriorate...