How Are Rare Coins Graded?

Collecting coins is a pasttime that has been around for many years, and has been increasing in popularity. With so many coins in circulation, and some that are out of print now – hence, rare coins – a process has been put in place to grade these rare coins for trading and collector knowledge. Grading coins is simply the process of determining the condition a coin is in, and putting an alpha or numerical grade to it. Professional services to grade coins have been in place for the last few decades, and adhere to industry standards for coin grading and collector information.

How Coins Are Graded

There are many types of coins that can be graded, from copper to gold, silver to nickel, and in any denomination available. Other than materials used to make the coin, they can also be graded by the faces on the coin, or symbol. Grading is done against the set of rules and regulations as set forth by the American Numismatic Association, and is run by a numerical system from 70 to 1. A coin that is graded as a 70 is described as perfect, with no character flaws with a pristine (or mint) condition. Coins that are graded as a 1 are generally flawed to the point of almost no recognition, or are in the most primal of states a coin can garner. Some common definitions for coins are MS, for Mint State; XF, for Extra Fine; and VG, for very good. An MS-70 will fetch a good amount at auction, as compared to an XF-7.

The Coin Market and Pricing

Much like the stock market, the prices of coins can fluctuate heavily, and is often an extremely volatile market in which to buy and sell. Knowledge of coins is a must if you want to make the most of your investment, and knowing how to buy and sell rare graded coins is essential.

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