I am an authorized dealer for the top two third-party grading services:NGC and PCGS.
What is Coin Grading and Why?
Grading is a way of determining the physical condition of a coin. Grades range from Poor (almost completely worn out) to Perfect Uncirculated (a coin with absolutely no wear and no flaws of any kind). Over 99.9% of all coins fall somewhere between these two extremes. The grade is a sort of "shorthand" for describing the condition of a coin. PCGS and NGC have experts for distinguishing the condition of a coin as well as its rarity. One of the fundamental factors in determining rare coin values is the physical condition, or grade, of the coin. A coin graded Mint State 65, for example, may have market value many times greater than the same coin graded Mint State 64, even though the difference in an MS65 coin and an MS64 coin may be virtually undetectable to the untrained eye. A coin sold by one dealer as an MS65 could be sold by another dealer as an MS64 (or less). In some cases a coin buyer could be victimized by product misrepresentation. In other cases, he could be caught in the middle of a dilemma of wide-ranging definitions due to the absence of a true standard. So, the third party grading services were created and industry standards were established. Professionally graded coins are placed in a plastic holder known as a “slab” and the grade established by the third-party grading service is guaranteed to be authentic and backed by a guarantee from that grading service. While there are other grading services available, PCGS and NGC are the most respected industry leaders.
THE HISTORY OF COIN GRADING
Rarity and condition are key elements in establishing the value of a coin. Rarity is easy to establish, as there is widespread agreement on the rarity of most coins. Evaluating condition is more of a challenge. In the early years of coin collecting, three general terms were used to describe a coin's grade: · Good: Details were visible but circulation had worn the surface · Fine: Details were less worn from circulation and a bit of the mint luster showed · Uncirculated: Details were sharp and there was a luster approaching the state of the coin at the mint, prior to general circulation As the collector market for coins grew rapidly in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it became apparent that a more precise grading standard was needed. Some coins were simply more fine than others, and some uncirculated coins showed more luster and far fewer marks than others. Terms like "gem uncirculated" and "very fine" began to see use, as more precise grading descriptions allowed for more precise pricing for the booming collector market. In 1948, a well-known numismatist by the name of Dr. William Sheldon attempted to standardize coin grading by proposing what is now known as the Sheldon Scale. His scale, which runs from one to 70, was originally devised specifically for large cents, but it is now applied to all series. The Sheldon Scale was a vast improvement over grades such as Good and Fine, but there was still substantial room for disagreement among two parties based on subjective opinion. For a buyer with an untrained eye, this was a problem. If you were unable to distinguish between an MS 63 and MS 65 coin, you were at the mercy of the seller who established the grade. Even a one-point difference in grade could mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars difference in value. With so much riding on opinions that varied widely, it was difficult for collectors to justify purchasing coins of any significant value.
NGC is the official grading service of the American Numismatic Association. The selection and endorsement of America's only official coin collecting organization chartered by Congress is another assurance of the integrity and quality of NGC. NGC has been the official grading service of the ANA since 1995 and has been the only grading service ever to hold that distinction. NGC is the official grading service of The Professional Numismatists Guild. The PNG is an organization comprised of the world's top rare coin experts. The addition of the PNG’s endorsement gives NGC a stamp of approval from one of the most recognized and respected organizations in the rare coin hobby, representing the dealer community.
NGC is the leader in grading World & Ancient Coins. Not only was NGC the first to grade world coins, but we also have one of the top US authorities on world coinage, recognized expert Ken Krah and for ancient coins, David Vagi.
There are two ways to submit your coins for grading: 1. You can become a member of PCGS and NGC 2. You can use an “authorized dealer” to submit for you.
The Fees charged by these grading services vary depending on the coin type. A good average ballpark per coin is $45 plus the insurance and postage. I do not charge to provide this service.