Are you interested in coin collecting? Had you any idea that coins are graded accordingly to determine the authenticity and quality of coins, If you are ignorant of how coin grading works, following are information and facts about how the art started and how and why it is done.
History Of Coin Grading
The hobby of coin collecting began its attraction in the United States in the mid 19th century. In the past, the coins are graded by the condition of the coins. The coins were evaluated as Good, Fine and Very Fine.
To better describe the coins, dealers resorted to make use of the phrase “Barely Circulated.” However, the term is vague and subjective. Many are confused whether to categorize the coins into this category thus, it was obviously applied inconsistently. During the 20th century, numismatists and coin dealer like Howland Wood attempted to find a more suitable and standardized terms of coin grading.
Dr. Sheldon’s Revolutionary Grading System
In 1948, Dr. William H. Sheldon, a known collector of early cents, pioneered the system of coin grading that changed the world of coin collecting. He started the accurate method of assessing the coins using the scale of 1-70. The grading system uses a 70 point system, which also has several sub divisions depending on the coin. Obviously, coins which are totally damaged are categorized under Poor-1. On the other hand, a non-plus-ultra MS-70 grade was kept for coins that almost have impossibly high standards of excellence and luster.
Other categories given to coins are (F-2), Good (G-4), Very Good (VG-8), Fine (F-12), Very Fine (VF-20), Extremely Fine (XF-40), About Uncirculated (AU-50), Average Mint-State (MS-60), Choice Mint-State (MS-63) and Gem Mint-State (MS-65). Dr. William H Sheldon’s grade descriptions are still useful today and are useful as the general guide for coin grading.
Advantages Of Coin Grading
Knowing the grade of the coin is exceedingly important. Although, it is essential to understand that it has nothing to do with all the rarity and antiquity of the given coin. Grading is in fact an art. It is not a science that has to have standard or precise demarcation. It works as a guideline. Grading coins have several benefits. A number of its known advantages include.
1. The coins authenticity can easily be guaranteed.
2. The coins are independently assessed.
3. The coin is protected because it’s placed in an encapsulated holder. Graded coins usually can be found in cased tamper-proof transparent plastic slabs.
4. If sold, the authenticity and grade of the coin is retained.
5. Each graded coin will have its own reference number.
How Coin Grading Is conducted
Grading is usually done by two individuals. These individuals may judge the coins after assessing each coin carefully. As of today, there is no standard accepted group of grades, but most of the time Dr. Sheldon’s grading system is used and that is comprehensible and really basic.
Normally, the coins are inspected by your naked eye. Then the coins are examined carefully with a special scientific device like a microscope or magnifying glass.
People who definitely are assigned to inspect and assess the coins look at the following factors:
– etching of the word on the coin
– eye appeal
– mintmark and date
– any specific wear that may affect the grade of the coins
Today, more and more people are investing in coins because of their historical and monetary values. Before, people included in the royal families would be the only ones who can afford such hobby. In the 19th century, as the hobby grows in number as well as in character, many began to gauge the value of the coins using graded systems. They grade coins based on subjective viewpoint. On the other hand, many things have changed since then and this time people of all classes and walks of life are able to collect coins. The art of coin grading remain evident and it definitely will continue to become visible until a more scientific analysis is discovered to grade coins objectively.