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I. R. Bama's Blog

23 Jun 2020

So I Learn Something New Every Day

Collecting Tips | I. R. Bama

Some of you know that I am taking the ANA Diploma program. I finished the first course and now am into the grading class. I'm learning about technical grading vs. market grading. Technical grading considers luster, contact marks and to a lesser extent eye appeal. It is used for grades About Good to Extremely Fine. Market grading considers Luster, contact marks, strike and eye appeal, used for grades AU to Mint State. This is the type of grading the services employ when they grade your submitted coins. So it seems counter intuitive that technical grading does not employ stricter criteria to me due to the use of the term "technical".
The other surprise for me was that an AU 58 coin is considered a much better coin than an MS 60 coin, and probably a better buy up until you hit MS 63. That also puzzles me, as it seems arbitrary, so I would I would enjoy hearing some discussion about that from the collective wisdom here.

Comments

coinsbygary

Level 5

A lot of the time I prefer an AU-58 over low MS grades because of contact marks. This is especially true on large silver and gold coins. Oftentimes, it seems that contact marks don't seem as numerous or distracting to my eyes on AU-55 and 58 coins. Furthermore, except for minor rub on the highest relief, high AU coins have a lot of original mint luster.

World_Coin_Nut

Level 5

Like others have said. Look at a lot of graded coins and you will learn over time. There are different key points to look at for each coin series so make sure you are looking at lots of types of coins. We all are beginners at some point.

Mike

Level 7

I enjoy grading. When I realized how.much they charge I knew I had to work very hard. I have and I'm happy with it. I do very well I must say. Over the years I said years not months you also can get very close. But don't give up on it. They the grading system gets some wrong also i do. I would take a MS 56 depending on the strike. Luster dinks and dings. Apply yourself don't give up.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Appreciate the encouragement!

Golfer

Level 5

I would prefer an AU58 if the price is right and I want that particular coin. Especially a key or semi key. A nice AU58 might have no marks, but has the slight wear. If the price doesn't increase to much I would get the MS.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Fortunately I hoard change. I haven't spent any change I get in at least 6 years. I just sort them out by decades, so I have a lot to practice with. I've been building up stock so I can sell at coin shows after I finish up working in 2 or 3 years. I'd like to do one show a month and get to travel a little as well as make a little money to support my personal collection ambitions....

I. R. Bama

Level 5

I have to think of these as almost two different grading systems AU 58 vs low grade Mint State

It's Mokie

Level 6

I can see why an AU58 is a better value than a 60, 61, or 62 because even though the aforementioned 60s are uncirculated, they are always so baggy, or lightly struck, or have some other characteristic that makes them unappealing. On the other hand the 58 has just a smallest touch of wear but still has beautiful surfaces that would make it seem more like a 63 or higher in terms of eye appeal. It is an interesting subject for sure.

"SUN"

Level 6

I read one time that an AU58 coin was probably a MS65 or higher coin before it obtained some wear. Thus still a nice looking coin.

Longstrider

Level 6

Well, I think you are 100% correct. It is all arbitrary. I too had a problem with that concept when I took the classes. It goes against how my brain works. The best way to understand this is to look at as many graded coins as you can, in person. Coin shows. That is about impossible right now. Stay calm and go with the opposite your brain says to go. Good luck.

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