An Introduction to Coin Grading

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As a matter of course, it is probably best to introduce you to the concept of coin grading by describing its overall purpose. First of all, the same kind of coin, produced in the same year, at the same mint, might not be struck as well as the other coins in that run. Furthermore, as they are circulated, coins accumulate wear and tear. Eventually, they may accumulate so much wear and tear that they are no longer even recognizable by denomination. At that point, they are said to have reached what is known as their basal state, and their only value is as a little chunk of scrap metal.


Grading, then, is the process of evaluating coins based on how much, or, more precisely, how little, wear and tear they’ve accumulated, as well as how finely they were struck in the first place. A well struck coin that hasn’t been circulated is going to be among the most valuable in its production run. To aid in this evaluation, numismatists have developed something known as the Sheldon scale. It’s a 70 point scale, and any coin with a score of 60 or higher is said to be in mint condition. If a coin is given a perfect score of 70, it’s because it has no visible flaws, even under ten times magnification.


There are two professional coin grading services, known as the PCGS and the NGC. If you’re going to purchase a graded coin, then it is generally recommended that you purchase one that has been graded by one of these two services. Many coin collectors prefer the PGCS because of their more conservative standards. Another thing a lot of people like is that the holders used by the PGCS allow more of the coins in them to be seen by collectors and evaluators alike.


If you’d like to find a coin dealer in Dallas or the DFW area, or a place to buy or sell your gold, contact Walnut Gold & Silver today.