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I. R. Bama's Blog

26 Jun 2020

ANA Course: Grading Coins

Coins-United States | I. R. Bama

Some of you are aware that I am taking the second course of the ANA diploma program, I've read through the course several times and am confident I know most of the answers, so I am in the review process with this.
The best advice I've gotten is practice practice practice and grade a lot of coins. I'm not totally inexperienced with this. On my own, I've gotten confident at keeping it within 10 points. That's pretty easy to come by without learning the finer details. This course is taking it up a notch and I'll be better at this for it.
The only thing this course lacks is some structured exercises in grading in the curriculum, Recognizing that I need to do this, I've come up with this to help me learn more. I'm going to take all my slabbed coins and cover up the grade. Then I'll grade them independently and see how I do against coins with established grading. After I get to a point with those where I feel I have mastered it, then I will take a variety of my unprofessionally graded coins and practice on those.
After I feel like I have mastered that, I'm going to take some of those coins to my favorite dealer and see where they evaluate my progress.
I hope this self designed set of exercises will be helpful to you all who are also taking this course.
If anybody has some thoughts on additional exercises that would be helpful, please feel free to share with me!

Comments

Longstrider

Level 6

That is exactly what they do in the summer course. Good idea. Have you checked out the Free Grading Class the ANA has online. I believe it is 30 June at 11:00-1:00 MDT. More practice can't hurt. Good job and good luck.

I. R. Bama

Level 4

I saw that. Too bad I have to work. That would have been good to have under my belt.

I. R. Bama

Level 4

I made three copies of the test for the course and took the first one. That helps me figure out what what I need to focus on. This course states it is open book, but I'm taking it closed book when I think I can get 100 per cent. I did the same with the first course, the intro course, it didn't mention open or closed so I did that one closed as well and gave myself the three practice tests before I sent my test in. I really want to master this stuff. It's a great foundation.

I. R. Bama

Level 4

When I ask for advice from my coin shop I always buy a few even if it's not financially the right time. It's only fair to support them if you are to big to gain from their expertise. I got some old Lincoln's from the teens and 20's and some Roosevelt's. Not my favorites but I need to fill those albums up!

I. R. Bama

Level 4

I got the Official ANA manual with the course. I have tons of ungraded/ not professionally graded coins to start working with from a few coppers, a few of every odd denominatons and all other issues after 1800 to present issues. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging about what I have and hope I'm not misunderstood. What I mean to say is I have all kind of stuff to practice grading. So I'm good to go in that regard. The vast majority of my collection is from all the change I've saved over the years. I've been buying to fill in the rest over the last 7 years or so

Golfer

Level 4

Covering up the grade of slabbed coins is a good practice idea. Maybe someone can loan you a few slabbed coins to practice on. Or if the pictures are quality pictures of coins in books, cover up the grades and grade those also.

I. R. Bama

Level 4

I did pretty good overall with my slabbed coins. I didn't have all that many that were not mint state so I had a fair outcome grading what I had. I took the ones I had a difference with the grade assigned by the services with what I came up with to my favorite coin shop. Had one graded by ICG at Au 50. I thought it was xf 45, but the dealer agreed with the 50 grade. The other coin said "AU details, improperly cleaned. I thought it was AU 55. He agreed with that and couldn't tell why it had the listing improperly cleaned either. Progress is being made, even as I speak! (As my Dad would have said)

"SUN"

Level 5

Keep up the good work. It does take practice and studying.

Mike B

Level 6

Sounds !ike a good Idea. I started with raw coins that I thought should be grade and then sent it in. After years and years I got it. Grading is not only an art but once you get it down its also fun. NGC I think is like a ten year apprenticeship. That's what they said. Some coins I got back was more like a ten minute apprenticeship. But if you work hard you can do it. Do not give up. Keep at it. Good blog. Mike

The Moke

Level 5

You sound like a man on a mission, please keep us posted on your results, the hide the grade exercise seems particularly well thought out.

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