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The Importance of Coin Grading: Is This Something You Need to Be Concerned With in Your Collection?

July 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

It is easy to learn the basics of coin grading through books and photographs, but it is very difficult to master. Most people can learn the 0-58 coin range easily enough, and can assess a coin fairly accurately in that area. Very few can master the Mint State range 60 through 70.

I certainly haven't learned the fine details of coin grading. I've sent off coins to be graded and had all come back a far lower than I expected. In fact, most coins I thought would be MS 65 or MS 66 came back AU58. With my closest scrutiny and comparing them to the photographs and verbal descriptions, they still look perfect to me.

Some would come back as MS 61 or MS 62 that still fit the description of MS 65 or MS 66, in my opinion. The grading companies never explain their reasoning for the number assigned, so the owner never knows why the coin was given the score it was. I imagine if grading companies allowed a score to be disputed by the coin owner, all they would be doing is disputing their grades.

There are cases where the same coins were submitted to both NGC and PCGS and they came back with differing scores, with PCGS tending to be a little stricter in their evaluation of the coin. Also, graded coins have been broken out of their capsules and resubmitted to the same grading service. They routinely come back a slightly different grade. Great if the score goes up, bad if it goes down.

I am also aware that grading standards have gotten stricter in the last few years. A coin graded in the 80's, if resubmitted today would certainly come back two or three points lower now. Grading standards are not precise and are open to interpretation by the grader.

The numerical grading system implies a scientific process for scoring to a single standard. In the end, people are making a subjective evaluation of the coin and people don't often see the same coin the same way. Third party grading services say that two or more graders must reach consensus about the score before the coin is slabbed with its final grade assigned to it.

Computer grading has been tried on a number of occasions but for some reason has never caught on or become accepted in the marketplace. I suspect computers will be used in coin grading as better programs are developed.

The more potentially valuable the coin, the more important it is to have it evaluated by a third party. As subjective as grading seems to be, it is still nice to have validation regarding a coin's condition when buying it. As far as my personal coins go, I found they ALL scored lower than I thought they would.

To learn more about coins: collecting issues, purchasing, investing and the coin market, I invite you to visit for videos and free tips on buying coins at the best prices.

Source: EzineArticles
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