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Book Review: Making the Grade, 3rd Edition

Learn How to Grade Coins with Photos and Descriptions

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Making the Grade, 3rd Edition

Making the Grade, 3rd Edition

Image Courtesy of: Amos Press Inc.

Coin World's first-rate coin grading guide, Making the Grade is now published in its third edition. The book provides a visual guide into the world of grading United States coins. Written by Beth Deisher, this was her last project before she left her post as editor of Coin World in April 2012. The third edition is a vast improvement over the previous edition in that it covers 30 more series of coins and has a larger physical dimension that makes it easier to use.

The book's usability is created by its use of a standard format:

  • The introduction describes the tools presented in the book and how the reader should use them to determine the grade of their coins.
  • A history of each coin is provided for each series. Topics covered in the history section often include the design development, details on peculiar aspects of grading the series and insights from various coin experts.
  • Color-coded maps that define the prime focal areas on a coin are one of the most valuable features in the book. These were originally developed by James Halperin of Heritage Auction Galleries, who is regarded as being one of the leading coin grading experts in the industry. These maps help readers identify the area where a contact marks will have the most impact on the coin's grade.
  • Images for each design that shows where a coin's highest points are help readers determine if a coin is circulated or uncirculated. These are the areas that will exhibit wear first. These images were originally developed by long time ANACS coin grader and authenticator Michael Fahey.
  • Large color images of both the obverse and reverse are provided for each coin grade throughout the book. Underneath each full-color picture is a description that helps the reader determine the grade of their coin.

Great Book for the Beginner Coin Collector

For coin collectors that are just beginning in the hobby and are trying to figure out how to grade their coins, Making the Grade is the perfect reference book for your library. The large color photographs throughout the book make it easy for you to learn how to grade coins so you can determine the grades of the coins you already have. Since there are over 80 different series covered in this book, just about any coin a beginner wants to grade is most likely covered. This is particularly true since just about all modern series are included. The book covers the new Lincoln cents, Jefferson nickels, Roosevelt dimes, The 50 State quarters, America the Beautiful (a.k.a. National Parks) quarters, Kennedy half dollars and bullion coins.

Intermediate and Advanced Coin Collectors Benefit Too

Color Map of Prime Focal Areas

Color Map of Prime Focal Areas

Image Courtesy of: Amos Press Inc.
Intermediate coin collectors will find the wide range of coin series that are covered extremely helpful when they start collecting a new series. 18th century and early 19th century coin series have been added to the book since its last edition. This makes the book especially appealing to both intermediate and advanced collectors. Since some of coin collecting's most renowned experts were involved in writing this book, advanced coin collectors may find it useful to double check their opinion of a particular grade on a coin.

Color Photos Help Perfect Your Skills

What sets Making the Grade apart from other coin grading books is its full-color format. There are no low resolution black-and-white photographs in the book. This is particularly helpful when grading copper coins that develop a patina over time. Collectors of silver coins also benefit from these color photographs in that surface toning can be portrayed accurately. Although gold coins do not tone or tarnish, friction and rub marks are evident in the full-color photographs. Unlike other coin grading books where coins are reproduced in their exact size, this book uses images that are large enough to see the detail on some of the smallest coins that United States has made.

Bottom Line: Buy It!

Product Details

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Amos Hobby Publishing; 3rd edition (August 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0944945635
ISBN-13: 978-0944945636
Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2.4 pounds

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