The Whitman publishing company first teamed up with the American Numismatic Association (ANA) in 1977 to help bring standardization to the coin collecting hobby's non-standard and non-scientific practice of coin grading. The idea for this book began in 1973 when Virginia Culver, president of the American Numismatic Association began the process to solve the grading dilemma. Previous to the first edition of this book, there were as many different terms to describe a coin as there were coin dealers. Under the guidance of Kenneth E. Bressett and his associate Neil Schaefer, with contributions from Q. David Bowers, coin grading was brought to a new level of consistency.
This comprehensive grading guide describes the official American Numismatic Association grading standards for every United States coinage series ever made since 1793. From half cents to $20 gold pieces to commemorative coins are presented across 384 pages of easy to read descriptions and full-color high-resolution pictures. Although the section on commemorative coins only includes a brief narrative on the coins highest points and does not include full-color pictures, this should not be a major problem since most of them never circulated. The book is spiral-bound so it will lay conveniently flat on your desk or table so you can easily refer to it while you are grading your coins.
For the Beginner
In order to fully understand the art of coin grading, one must understand some of the history and evolution of coin grading that brought us to where we are at today. The first section of the book covers the different aspects that determine the value of a coin, early grading practices and coin grading services that try to solve this dilemma. Additionally, some of the basic tools and techniques for determining the coins grade are presented. Studying the full-color pictures in the book provides an excellent way for a beginning coin collector to start learning the art of coin grading.
For the Intermediate and Advanced Coin Collector
Some of the finer aspects of coin grading that can only be appreciated by an intermediate or advanced coin collector are discussed. This includes characteristics that are used to describe a coin surface, die marks, planchet characteristics, aspects of striking and die characteristics. Detailed definitions of what constitutes a contact mark, hairlines, luster and eye appeal are also expounded upon. Featured case studies throughout the book highlight techniques that go beyond the technical grade that will help intermediate and advanced coin collectors seek out high quality coins.
Features of the Seventh Addition
Several features make this book a great addition to your numismatic library. These include:
- Every standard grade is illustrated and described in full detail
- Text descriptions for 30 different levels of pinpoint grades from Poor to Mint State
- High resolution color photographs give examples of every coin in every grade
- All eleven levels of Mint State grades are discussed in detail
- Lay flat hidden spiral binding
- High-quality semi-gloss paper
- Color-coded title bars at the top of each page for each different denomination
The Bottom Line
No matter what level of coin collecting you are currently at, you will find this book to be a valuable addition to your coin collecting library.
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Whitman Publishing; Seventh Edition (August 13, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches