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May 6, 2021 - 1:44:23 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24688 posts since 6/25/2005

Just read an ad claiming the banjo was “used: mint condition.” By definition, no used banjo can be in mint condition. That means it's unplayed from the maker. A banjo may be "as new" "played once," "brand new condition,"  But if it's been played, even barely touched, it is simply not mint.

May 6, 2021 - 3:51:16 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14043 posts since 8/30/2006

I concur, no skin cells.

May 6, 2021 - 4:37:04 AM

2610 posts since 4/7/2010

I agree. Even sitting in a case can cause degradation of metal and finish, making the instrument not the same as it left the factory. An instrument can be "nearly new" or "excellent", but never mint.

I guess an electric guitar relic'd at the factory could be "mint". How would we ever know?

Bob Smakula

May 6, 2021 - 4:42:13 AM

KCJones

USA

1488 posts since 8/30/2012

Yawn.

Yet again, as has been said before, 'mint' is a meaningless term unless you're describing an officially graded coin. Banjos are not minted, therefore no banjo can ever be in 'mint condition'.

I think it's funny that in a market where you see the phrase "Peels paint off the walls" and "this one has it" in ads, that 'mint' is the term that bugs people the most.

Edited by - KCJones on 05/06/2021 04:45:32

May 6, 2021 - 5:28:02 AM
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257 posts since 8/4/2006

“By definition...” By whose definition of mint? You are splitting hairs here. The term is not limited to a new banjo off the assembly line. Old cars , books, motorcycles can be described as being in mint condition. As stated:

“Mint condition is an expression used in the description of pre-owned goods. Originally, the phrase comes from the way collectors describe the condition of coins. As the name given to a coin factory is a "mint", then mint condition is the condition a coin is in when it leaves the mint. Over time, the term "mint" began to be used to describe many different items having excellent, like-new quality.” (Freebase)

May 6, 2021 - 5:33:29 AM

2493 posts since 10/17/2013

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

Yawn.

Yet again, as has been said before, 'mint' is a meaningless term unless you're describing an officially graded coin. Banjos are not minted, therefore no banjo can ever be in 'mint condition'.

I think it's funny that in a market where you see the phrase "Peels paint off the walls" and "this one has it" in ads, that 'mint' is the term that bugs people the most.


Ok.

 Yes, banjos cannot actually be in “mint” condition, since the true specification of “mint” applies to uncirculated coinage - BUT, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using “mint condition” in a broader sense of the word, to apply to a still-unplayed, still-at-the-factory, banjo.

 I have zero issues with someone referring to a never-played, never-bought, showroom banjo as “mint.” 

Edited by - okbluegrassbanjopicker on 05/06/2021 05:37:52

May 6, 2021 - 5:51:15 AM
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1395 posts since 7/12/2004

Please. It's a metaphor for "you'd have a hard time telling it from factory new". There's nothing more objective about "excellent", "lightly used", "closet queen" or any other term that doesn't literally describe the instrument.

Are new instruments that have been hanging in a shop for six months and played by countless looky-loos "mint" because they still have the factory price tag attached?

May 6, 2021 - 6:30:24 AM
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57382 posts since 12/14/2005

May 6, 2021 - 7:06:52 AM

13963 posts since 10/30/2008

A fine guitar, unsold in a music store (I'm showing my age now) I could accept as "mint" if it doesn't have a mark, fingerprint or scratch on it, not even dust. If there are scratches in the pickguard where someone tried it out -- NOT mint. All papers should still be with it.

It's a little harder to see that a banjo has been tried out. But if I can't see a single sign that it's been played, I would accept that it is "mint" condition.

I realize "mint" applies to coins in the strictest sense. But "mint" is a useful word, when used carefully.

May 6, 2021 - 8:11:21 AM

326 posts since 11/29/2012

Mint minus. : )
I remember in the early and mid-80's with vintage gear, "Mint" meant factory new. The terms have blurred due to dwindling vintage stock from a finite resource of old instruments. What would have been "VG" forty years ago is now "Mint" to promote sales, no reality whatsoever. People who don't know what pawn shops and flea markets looked like before heavebay play into the "Mint" myth through that low level con.

Edited by - 35planar on 05/06/2021 08:11:54

May 6, 2021 - 1:45:47 PM

KCJones

USA

1488 posts since 8/30/2012

Even factory new instruments, and any instrument at a decent shop, has been touched by human hands and played a little bit. Banjos need to be set up from the factory. They set up person will play them to make sure it's right. Tire kickers will play them and put them back on the shelf. Retailers will play them on a video to advertise online. Do all of these things mean that the instrument is no longer mint?

What does New Old Stock (NOS) mean? Is it different than mint?

Complaining about people using the term "mint" is ridiculous, because it either has a definition or it doesn't. If it has an objective definition, it cannot be applied to banjos at all no matter what their condition. If it has a subjective definition, people can use it however they feel and your opinion is just that, an opinion.

My question for Bill: Is this an offical rule of BHO marketplace being issued by a moderator, or is this just a personal opinion of yours? Because in the BHO marketplace, there is an option for "Used - Mint Condition". But according to this post, we're not allowed to use that description. So which is it?

Edited by - KCJones on 05/06/2021 13:47:18

May 6, 2021 - 2:35:12 PM
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1369 posts since 5/19/2018

Sellers always describe everything as “Mint”

Buyers look at everything to be in “Poor” condition.

May 6, 2021 - 3:28:57 PM
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1395 posts since 7/12/2004

Even in the coin world, there are eleven grades of mint, from MS-60 to MS-70.

May 7, 2021 - 4:12:11 AM

257 posts since 8/4/2006

Bill started his post out by saying “by definition” yet he cites no source for his “mint” claims. All you have to do is Google the word “mint” to trace the words etymology. I cited one source above where the term is now also used to describe items that are used but in excellent condition, I.e., a mint condition Lloyd Loar mandolin, a 1963 Corvette or 1950 Martin guitar.

I concur with KCJones assessment above. Good call.

May 7, 2021 - 4:59:35 AM

1395 posts since 7/12/2004

quote:
Originally posted by waystation

Even in the coin world, there are eleven grades of mint, from MS-60 to MS-70.


Just to clarify, coins above MS-65 are rarely seen. MS-70 is used only for proof coins, which are minted as specimens, not intended for use, and priced well above face value.

May 7, 2021 - 4:52:12 PM

937 posts since 6/6/2008

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

Yawn.

Yet again, as has been said before, 'mint' is a meaningless term unless you're describing an officially graded coin. Banjos are not minted, therefore no banjo can ever be in 'mint condition'.

I think it's funny that in a market where you see the phrase "Peels paint off the walls" and "this one has it" in ads, that 'mint' is the term that bugs people the most.


I always laughed at ads that state.      this banjo is a "cannon".  Oh brother....LOL

Edited by - o2playlikeEarl on 05/07/2021 16:53:41

May 11, 2021 - 2:36:11 PM

1799 posts since 4/10/2005

While it's true that word definitions and usage can change over time, the debasement of the term "mint" is a pet peeve of mine. It's become degraded because of people of less-than-stellar character whose personal standards are low enough that they're comfortable slapping the higher-condition word on their less-than-like-new sale items in an effort to wrap said items in intangible cachet leant by the higher-standard word. IMHO this phenom is telling, and not in a good way. It is emblematic of vile trends in our culture.  Trends involving widespread integrity slippage.

Edited by - ceemonster on 05/11/2021 14:37:54

May 11, 2021 - 5:54:35 PM

313 posts since 4/18/2014

Language is always evolving. It has been since humans started speaking. “Awesome”, “excellent”, “amazing” have all lost their elite status over time through over usage. Inspect the instrument thoroughly if possible or ask for lots of detailed pictures and come to your own conclusion. Many adjectives are subjective anyway.

May 12, 2021 - 3:19:02 PM

obxpix

USA

2146 posts since 4/6/2005

I would have to disagree.  By your definition a new one hanging on the wall in a shop that was taken down and played then could not be advertised as "mint".  
An instrument can be advertised as "New" or "New old stock" meaning it hasn't been sold before.  But it still may not be in what we think of as "mint" condition.  Could be scratched up.  Most of us simply think of advertising something as "mint" condition as simply meaning in pristine condition.   
I can play one carefully, wipe it down, hang it back up and it is still in "mint " condition.  
If your argument was correct then my final question would be then why does Eric have "used mint condition " as the first option for us to choose when selling?
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

Just read an ad claiming the banjo was “used: mint condition.” By definition, no used banjo can be in mint condition. That means it's unplayed from the maker. A banjo may be "as new" "played once," "brand new condition,"  But if it's been played, even barely touched, it is simply not mint.


Edited by - obxpix on 05/12/2021 15:20:03

May 12, 2021 - 3:22:20 PM

obxpix

USA

2146 posts since 4/6/2005

Wow! I should have read the whole thread! I see KC Jones already answered exactly what I was attempting to say!!

May 12, 2021 - 9:16:58 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24688 posts since 6/25/2005

Words have meaning. If you mean “pristine,” say “pristine.” If “mint” does not mean “straight from the maker,” then it has no meaning.

May 13, 2021 - 7:00:07 AM

1395 posts since 7/12/2004

So is "mint" identical to "new", or is there a difference in shade of meaning?

May 13, 2021 - 12:31:25 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24688 posts since 6/25/2005

“New” to me would be previously unowned—and unplayed beyond the dealer’s place of business.

May 15, 2021 - 1:45:55 PM

obxpix

USA

2146 posts since 4/6/2005

merriam-webster.com › ...
Web results
Mint Condition | Definition of Mint Condition by Merriam-Webster
: perfect condition : a state of being like new He kept the car in mint condition.


This term is used to describe cars all of the time and other items for sale. Still can’t see how it could not be appropriately applied to a banjo.

May 17, 2021 - 10:25:27 AM

Mivo

Germany

73 posts since 9/13/2017

I also understand “mint” to mean “like new”, not “brand-new” or “unopened”. That’s how I’ve always seen the term being used in pre-owned marketplaces, too, and admittedly never thought much about it.

May 27, 2021 - 1:35:49 PM

picker5

Canada

147 posts since 9/4/2011

So, a banjo comes into a music store, straight from the maker. As is often the case, the strings have been slacked from standard pitch, and the bridge laid down for shipping. It is wrapped in packing materials, again for protection during shipping. The merchant, removes the packing materials, removes the banjo from the case, then places the bridge in it's upright position, tunes the strings to pitch, and sets the intonation. Is the banjo still ''mint''?

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