Graded Coins Require Attention

Graded Coins Require Attention

Graded Coins by Grading Companies

Graded coins are great, right?  Well, not always.  There remains the duty of the collector to exercise proper caution, and not just buy.


Make certain the coin is authentic.  The better grading services maintain a data bank accessible by all and free to use.  The serial number on the coin is important.  If you have a silver quarter from 1940, but the data bank shows the coin to be a 1976 dime, you have a problem.  Counterfeiting, especially from China, has reached the level pf counterfeiting slabs.  This is why the better grading services use holograms and update their slabs often, and why they offer the service of being able to determine what coin was assigned which serial number.


Graded Coins Are as Good as the Grading Service

Grading Services Reputations Are Important

2009 Silver American Eagle PCGS Graded Coins Example
2009 Silver American Eagle PCGS Graded

Yes, it is possible for any grader to make an honest error in such a subjective thing as coin grading.  But, this is less likely with a quality grading service.


Many collectors prefer PCGS.  I know it is easier to sell PCGS graded coins, but NGC is also highly respected.  ICG is also sometimes mentioned, as well as ANACS.

ANACS started third party grading to meet a need of identifying authentic coins.


Sometimes it is a question of what is being graded.  ANACS is respected by the ancient coin community.  And, ICCS seems to have a following in Canada as a valued grader of Canadian coins.


The problem is that people can easily open their own grading services, and not have a staff of experts available to perform accurate grading.  In fact, there is a reason to be inaccurate.  The cost of grading may depend on the value of the coin, so there is a conflict in interest that causes upgrading by less trustworthy graders.  Here, trust is paramount.


Accurately Graded Coins of the Same Type and Grade Are Alike. Right?

What Could Be Different?

Graded coins do not reflect any change that occurred after grading.  Exposure to environmental damage may not become evident for years.  The coin is placed in a slab and sealed, and a grade assigned to it.  That grade does not reflect post-slabbing deterioration even if caused prior to being slabbed.  Some things are undetectable.


Other issues are not considered in grading.  One such issue is weak strikes.  Since this happens at the mint, the coin is graded as compared to how it left the mint.  Another mint issue is the occurrence of milk spots.  While large milk spots can be unsightly, they do not affect grading.  Milk spots are spots that occur at the mint on the surfaces of a coin.  Collectors often reject spotted coins, but they grade as though the spots are not there. Some respected dealers reveal this when selling, but others do not.  Still another problem is toning.  Some toning enhances a coin’s appeal, but not always.  And, that enhancement is a matter of opinion.


The above problems are of particular concern when buying a slabbed roll.  Yes, grading services slab entire rolls of coins.  But, can you see the strike n the interior coins?  Do they have milk spots?  Are they toned?  How could you tell?


Graded Coin Caused Problem

A Detriment to Coin Collecting

Many coins come from the mint of origin in mint packaging, such as a box.  That box is no longer needed once a coin s slabbed.  In an effort to make as much as possible from coin sales, some dealers sell the empty boxes, and even the certificates of authenticity.  They argue someone with a like coin may have lost or damaged a box, and needs a replacement.  Be realistic.  Many of those boxes and certificates are going to people trying to cheat the buying public.  Take a Silver American Eagle box as a good example.   A bullion coin is likely to find its way into the box and on to an online service at a higher price.  I would like to see the practice of selling boxes and certificates to cease, since the danger of an empty box being used to misrepresent a coin is too great.


Please visit Black Spaniel Gallery Coins to see out inventory.  Also, we have other informative articles, and will continue to add articles at Black Spaniel Gallery Blog.

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