Before the first edition of The Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards for United States Coins
was published in 1977, coin grading
was all over the map. What one dealer would call "very good", another dealer would call "extremely fine". The idea for this book began in 1973 when Virginia Culver, president of the American Numismatic Association
(ANA) began the process to solve the grading dilemma. Currently in its sixth edition, this 350 page book gives a detailed description of every possible grade for every coin ever made by the United States Mint. Its compact design makes it easily portable so you can take it with you wherever you go. It's hardcover protects the pages within and its spiral binding lets it lay flat while you are researching the grade your coins. The book begins with some important background on the history of grading, the different aspects of how a coins grade determines its value, and definitions of terminology used in grading. Additionally, the book provides tips and techniques on how to become a successful coin grader.
The Perfect Book for the Beginner
The grade of any coin is an opinion that one person believes accurately reflects the condition and value of the coin. In order to bring consistency to the world of coin collecting the ANA created some standard definitions that a vast majority of coin dealers
and expert numismatists agreed upon. These definitions are presented throughout the book using detailed descriptions and sample pictures of coins that are typical for that grade. By studying the descriptions and the pictures, a beginner can become quite proficient in determining the grade of your coins. Additionally, the beginner will benefit by spending some time in the beginning sections of the book that detail the history of coin grading
and different aspects that affect the grade of a coin. The book even covers techniques for looking at coins in order to determine its grade and supplies and equipment that you will need to accurately grade your coins.
Advanced Collectors Will Also Benefit
It was once said that "To become a good coin grader one only needs: a good magnifying glass, a good light and 20 years' worth of experience." The experience of many years allows you to focus in on the finer points of coin grading. Included in every section that covers a particular type of U.S. coin, is series of notes and references that the advanced coin collector can use to refine his coin grading skills. These cover die characteristics, striking patterns and general observations that should be taken into consideration when grading a particular coin series. More popular series, such as the Morgan dollar
, contain additional illustrations that highlight primary and secondary focal areas
as well as grading charts with detailed characteristics for each grade. Although every grade is illustrated with a photo, the low-quality black and white images will be of little value to the advanced collector.
Bottom Line: Buy it!
Hardcover-spiral: 351 pages
Publisher: Whitman Publishing; 6th edition (August 1, 2005)
List Price: $16.95
Lowest Price: Click here