Coin grading has long been a subjective science. To be very truthful, it is more of an art than a science. There are many grading systems out there in the market, that determine the condition of a coin. But what really decides a coins value? Is Coin grading the final authority in deciding the value of a coin? By the end of this post, we hope to get you an answer to that. What is Coin grading? Coin grading is the method used to determine the grade or condition of a coin. The early grading system just showed whether a coin was new or used. Then came the letter grading system that decided if a coin was in basal state (PO) , Fair (Fr), About or Almost Good (AG), Good (G), Very Good (VG), Fine (F), Very Fine (VF), Extremely Fine (EF), Almost or About Uncirculated (AU), Uncirculated (Unc) and up to Brilliant Uncirculated (BU). In 1948, Dr. William Herbert Sheldon created a numerical grading system called the Sheldon grading system. The Sheldon scale graded coins between 1 and 70 [1]. The current grading systems use a mix of the letter grading and the Sheldon scale. The circulated coins are usually graded from 1-Poor to 58-Choice about Uncirculated. The uncirculated coins are considered to be in Mint state condition (i.e. fresh out of the mint!) and are graded Mint State-60 to Mint State-70 (MS-60 to MS-70). The Proof coins Pr60 to Pr70 are similar to uncirculated coins and are graded from 60 to 70. The under 60 grades are called Impaired Proofs. [2] Coin grading services There are different grading services that have come up in the U.S., PCGS and NGC being the most popular. ICG and ANACS come a close second. These grading services are mostly reliable as they apply the grading standards as prescribed by the American Numismatic association (ANA- But most of the time a coin graded by PCGS will come out with a different grade (one or two points up or down) with ANACS. If you keep in mind that coin grading is very subjective, you can rest assured that your coin is still worth the money you spent. Why is Coin grading an art? Coin grading is like wine tasting. The success of the wine tasting depends on how great a connoisseur of wine you are. Each coin grading service looks at characteristics like strike, preservation, luster, color, and attractiveness before grading. While the first four is mostly physical, the attractiveness depends on how the numismatic expert perceives the coin. How it calls to him/her personally! Therein lies the reason we call it an art. So how far should you go in for graded coins? If the grade of your coin is very important to you, by all means grade it using a good grading service. But beyond the grade there is a realm of grey in coin collecting. A coins appeal lies mostly in how it affects you personally. Does it have the character and sensory charm to make you covet it? If the answer is yes, then Thou shalt covet! Browse our coin collections now References [1] [2]  

This entry was posted in General on November 05, 2015 by lavanya kannan