Jump to content
  • The above Banner is a Sponsored Banner.

    Upgrade to Premium Membership to remove this Banner & All Google Ads. For full list of Premium Member benefits Click HERE.

  • Join The Silver Forum

    The Silver Forum is one of the largest and best loved silver and gold precious metals forums in the world, established since 2014. Join today for FREE! Browse the sponsor's topics (hidden to guests) for special deals and offers, check out the bargains in the members trade section and join in with our community reacting and commenting on topic posts. If you have any questions whatsoever about precious metals collecting and investing please join and start a topic and we will be here to help with our knowledge :) happy stacking/collecting. 20,000+ forum members and 900,000+ forum posts. For the latest up to date stats please see the stats in the right sidebar when browsing from desktop. 

Grading: Is it a known unknown, an unknown known or a known known...or even an unknown unknown...?


Recommended Posts

I am sure that the following questions are easy to answer, but to my mind the issue of grading is a seemingly quiet opaque practice. I note: https://www.ngccoin.com/coin-grading/grading-scale/

Has anyone looked on the NGC website and compared the pictures of MS/PF-65-66-67-68-69-70 and tried to clearly identify the specific differences?

Also, it also sounds a bit mad, but has anyone ever had a coin graded and received a grading they didn't like and either challenged it or returned it afresh for a second go without saying anything? In answer to a recent question I asked about opening slabs, I was told to inform NGC etc so that their catalogue would remain accurate, but no doubt others have not done this and perhaps some have tried for a second time to get a better grade?

I do not collect slabbed coins and so literally have no clue. Just looking at a recent posting on the 'today I received' thread and wondered how on earth the grader decided that the coin was MS65, rather than MS66 etc. because it looked in really, really nice/good condition? It cannot be an exact science, can it?

Below are some examples to get the conversation going. My view is that if you showed me all three coins I am not sure I would be able to tell you that they were either 68's or 70's.

Cheers.

I have redacted the serial numbers and picture credit given to the NGC website.

Untitled Grading.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Agpanda said:

MS/PF 70 is perfect in 8ggr

MS/PF is perfect to the naked eyes

Under that you can see the different easy

If this is true, and I presume you meant to add in 69 above, then why do people bother grading? If you can see it’s a 69 then why grade? Why not just keep in good condition? If you can see it is less than 69, then why grade?

Sorry if these questions are daft, I genuinely am interested in understanding why someone would grade a coin knowing it won’t get the top ranking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Agpanda said:

Its nice to know that you have the best

I appreciate this, and thanks for the further response, but if it is possible to tell the difference between an MS69 and an MS70 why bother sending off the (what you think will achieve) MS69 for grading. I see people talking about 'good results' when they get their coins back graded - if this is an exact science, then why is there surprise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think personally the largest advantage of grading is authenticity of the coin. I appreciate it isn't seen this way and that everyone chases those top grades. I am curious if anyone has ever tested the subjectiveness of the service? It does strike me that this is one of the biggest fundamental flaws of any grading service. It certainly makes me feel uncomfortable with the entire process.

Personally I would only get involved with grading if I got involved with coins that had a worth while numismatic value where I would be using the service more to authenticate an item than seeking a specific number.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, AndrewSL76 said:

Also, it also sounds a bit mad, but has anyone ever had a coin graded and received a grading they didn't like and either challenged it or returned it afresh for a second go without saying anything?

Not mad at all. It is and always has been very common.

I'm not sure about the challenging bit; I would imagine they would not be keen to be seen to admit a mistake and change a grade.

Breaking out coins and resubmitting has always been a feature. I have been reading about such things happening in the US for years before grading became a big thing over here. It has long been recognised the the published census is corrupted by coins constantly being re-submitted in the hope of getting a grade 1 pip higher, which with some rare coins, especially in high grade, can make a huge difference to the value.

Profile picture with thanks to Carl Vernon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, sovereignsteve said:

Not mad at all. It is and always has been very common.

I'm not sure about the challenging bit; I would imagine they would not be keen to be seen to admit a mistake and change a grade.

Breaking out coins and resubmitting has always been a feature. I have been reading about such things happening in the US for years before grading became a big thing over here. It has long been recognised the the published census is corrupted by coins constantly being re-submitted in the hope of getting a grade 1 pip higher, which with some rare coins, especially in high grade, can make a huge difference to the value.

I don’t buy slabbed coins but long suspected coins are being resubmitted for better grades.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, AndrewSL76 said:

I appreciate this, and thanks for the further response, but if it is possible to tell the difference between an MS69 and an MS70 why bother sending off the (what you think will achieve) MS69 for grading. I see people talking about 'good results' when they get their coins back graded - if this is an exact science, then why is there surprise?

Grading is subjective, and assessing the condition of a coin is subjective.  Each coin has had its own life in relation to wear, knocks, scratches, toning, etc.  In fact a coin straight from the mint may not be "perfect" (i.e. PF70, MS70) especially if it is bullion. 

So, one reason for the introduction of grading was to reduce the outrageous claims made by vendors:  “Beautiful extremely fine condition, really shiny, some wear but date is still readable”!

Another reason is to confirm that the coin is genuine.  Whilst this is not a problem if you have bought all your coins directly from a mint, however, most of us are aware that there are some very good forgeries of the Queen Victoria to George V sovereigns.

A third reason to have a coin graded is to make sure it has not been tampered with.  A lot of early American silver coins appear to have been extensively cleaned.  A number of early gold and silver coins have been removed from jewellery mounts.  These factors would affect the numismatic value of a coin, and so a graded coin should ensure it is free from these defects.

So, I think the original aim of grading was to make a coin more saleable.  However, we do have to be on the lookout for fake slabs with fake or over-graded coins.

It is often said that there is not much difference between a PF70 and a PF69 – though psychologically there seems to be a massive gap!  Advances in technology mean that fantastically detailed pictures can now be taken, but I do think there is a danger that we may be looking too closely at our coins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Ă—
Ă—
  • Create New...

Cookies & terms of service

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies and to our Privacy Policy & Terms of Use