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Coin Grading - How to Grade Coins & What the Coin Grades Mean

Grading coins is a skill that every collector needs to have. Whether you want to appraise your own U.S. coins, buy ancient coins from a dealer, understanding coin grades is essential. The condition of the coin is what determines its value, more than any other factor. Since coin values are based primarily on grades, when you consider buying a coin you should be able to accurately grade it, to ensure that the dealer's price is a fair one for that issue and grade. The same goes for selling your coins; is the dealer offering a fair price for its condition? Take the time to learn the essentials of coin grading.
  1. ANA Coin Grading Definitions (68)

Book Review: The Official A.N.A. Grading Standards for United States Coins
Grading United States coins is a skill that any coin collector can develop with the right guidance and tools. The best resource to obtain is "The Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards for United States Coins." This book review will help you determine if this is the right book for you.

Grading Cameo Contrast on U.S. Proof Coins
Not all proof coins produced have the same amount of cameo contrast on their surfaces. This guide will help you determine the amount of cameo contrast on your proof coins.

How to Grade Indian Head Pennies – What is The Grade of My Indian Head Cent?
Being able to grade Indian Head pennies is the key to determining your coin’s value or price. This article will teach you how to grade Indian Head cents through a series of descriptions and photos that illustrate of each grade for Indian Head pennies. See for yourself how easy coin grading can be.

How to Grade Lincoln Wheat Cents – What is The Grade of My Lincoln Wheat ...
Being able to grade Lincoln wheat pennies accurately is the key to determining your coin’s value or price. This guide will help you learn how to grade Lincoln wheat cents through a series of descriptions and photos that illustrate an example of each grade for Lincoln wheat cents.

Grading the Color of Copper Coins
The process of properly grading uncirculated copper coins involves determining the color of the copper coin. Learn how to determine the color grade of copper coins by applying these three simple measurements.

How to Grade Buffalo Nickels – What is The Grade of My Indian Head Nickel?
Grading Buffalo Nickels (or Indian Head Nickels) accurately is the key to determining your coin’s value and/or price. This guide will help you learn how to grade Buffalo Nickels through a series of descriptions and photos that illustrate an example of each grade for your Indian Head nickels.

How to Grade Standing Liberty Quarters
Learning to grade Standing Liberty quarters correctly is the crucial element in determining your coin’s value or price. This guide will help you learn how to grade coins through a series of descriptions and photos that illustrate an example of each grade.

How to Grade Mercury Dimes
Being able to grade Mercury Dimes accurately is the key to determining their value and price. This guide will help you learn how to grade these coins through a series of descriptions and photos that illustrate an example of each grade.

How to Grade Washington Silver Quarters – What Grade Is My Washington Quarter?
Being able to grade Washington silver quarters accurately is a crucial element in determining your coin’s value or price. This guide will help you learn how to grade these coins through a series of descriptions and photos that illustrate an example of each grade.

How to Grade Clad Washington Quarters 1965-1998
Being able to grade your Washington quarters accurately is vital in determining your coin’s value or price. This guide will help you learn how to grade coins by using descriptions and photos that illustrate an example of each grade.

How to Grade Morgan Dollars – What is The Grade of My Morgan Dollar?
Grading Morgan Dollars accurately is the key to determining your coin’s value or price. This guide will help you learn how to grade Morgan Dollars through a series of descriptions and photos that illustrate what each grade looks like.

How to Grade Peace Silver Dollars – What is The Grade of My Peace Dollar?
Grading Peace Silver dollars correctly is an important part of determining your coin’s value or price. This guide will assist you in learning how to grade Peace dollars through a sequence of descriptions and pictures that show examples of each grade for Peace Silver dollars.

What is Coin Grading?
Coin grading is a very important skill for anybody who wants to buy or sell coins. Grading coins is much more than just being able to tell the difference between an Uncirculated coin and a well-worn Good or Fine coin. This FAQ answers the basic questions that people new to coin grading are likely to ask.

Coin Grading Made Simple
Coin grading can be a difficult subject for the beginning collector. This article provides a very simple, basic method for judging the grade of almost any coin using clear, easy-to-follow steps.

What is the Sheldon Scale of Coin Grading?
The Sheldon Scale 70-point system has become the standard coin grading system for modern coins. Learn what the Sheldon Scale is, and how to use it to grade your own coins.

Coin Grading Systems - The History of Coin Grading Scales
Coin grading has become very standardized in the past couple of decades, thanks to the advent of the third party grading service. Most coin collectors recognize the Sheldon 70-point grading scale as the standard for modern coins, but you will still see coins on the market graded by other standards, particularly coins from older collectons. Learn about the history of grading coins, and what the various grading systems are and how they relate to each other.

Adjectival Grades - What are Adjectival Grades for Coins?
The adjectival coin grading scale was in use long before the Sheldon Scale of 70-points was widely accepted. Learn what the adjectival grading system was, and what the grades were in this overview of the traditional coin grading method.

Coin Grading Service Rankings - Is the Three Tier System Enough?
Coin grading services are said to be classified into three tiers of reliability. In this article, I denote the current general rankings, and propose a more comprehensive five tier system that provides a fairer representation of the differences between various grading services.

The "Graded Coin Value" Fraud at Online Auctions - Learn to Protect Yourself
If you are buying coins from online auction sites such as ebay, you should be very wary about claims of coin values based on slabbed, or grading services' grades. This is an increasing problem on ebay, especially, so before you buy encapsulated coins, learn how this coin fraud is prepetrated, and a very simple method to avoid becoming a victim.

Roller Marks or Weight Adjustment Marks? Learn the Difference on These Coins
This photo diagnostic helps you determine the difference between roller marks and weight adjustment marks on U.S. coins.

ANACS President James Taylor Answers Coin Grading Services Questions
While James Taylor was president of ANACS, he participated in a candid question and answer session with Coin Community members. He was asked some tough questions about ANACS policies about coin grading. Although Taylor has since moved on to another company, this ANACS Q&A gives an interesting insight into the considerations faced by a major grading service.

How to Grade Ancient Coins
Ancient coin collectors do not use the same standard of numerical-based grade values that U.S. coin collectors use. Because each ancient coin was struck by hand, from hand-carved dies, you must consider three major areas when grading: wear, manufacture, and preservation. Nobody explains these concepts better than Doug Smith in this outstanding reference.

How to Grade Canadian Coins
Learning how to grade Canadian coins properly is important, not only to avoid being overcharged when you buy rare coins, but to determine what your own Canadian coins are worth. This page explains grading coins with dozens of actual Canadian coin photo examples showing the grades.

Fake PCGS Slab Diagnostics
This photo gallery shows the diagnostics to determine whether a PCGS slab is fake or genuine. The fake PCGS holder is shown side-by-side with the genuine PCGS holder, with markings to show you exactly what to look for.

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