Long Beard's Blog

11 Aug 2020

To Grade or No..A Mid-week Blog

Coins | Long Beard

Scrolling through a few online coin forums and seeing one of the most commonly asked questions "Should I get this graded?", or a variation thereof, I thought I'd post a short piece on the subject.

Since the coin depicted is one which I own, I'll use this as a prime example. Had I found one, and not a member, the following fees apply at the minimum level.

Membership to Collectors Universe (PCGS), $69.00 for a silver package.

Economy grading level, coins before 1965, $22.00 with a value up to $300

Modern grading level, 1965 to present, $16.00 with a value up to $300

Insured return shipping, on 1-4 coins submitted, $22.00 with a declared value up to $1000

Total submission fees (minus what it cost to mail it to the grader) $107.00 or $38.00 after the initial submission.

There are several other services which increase this cost, such as a particular holder, variety attribution and so forth. The one pictured would have cost me just under $110.00 with postage to the grader. I bought the coin for $23.00. So as a general rule, unless the coin in question carries a value above $150.00 it becomes illogical to submit for grading. NGC provides a similar service while ANACS skips the membership fee. As for the remaining graders, I am not familiar with those since their grading standards are not quite as stringent as the top three.

In no fashion am I steering anyone away from having a coin graded. Rather, for common coins struck in excessive mintages there is a nearly 100% chance of buying the same coin already graded at a fraction. Add to the fact that you know the grade ahead of time unlike submitting on your own. Hope this clears things up.



Level 5

I'm in the same category as Bama. I can also say "I've never submitted a coin for grading". I have bought a total of 4 graded coins. I bought these coins to aid me in grading my own coins. I wanted to see what NGC, and PCGS considered a MS-70 and MS-69 so I could see for myself! I'm not saying "MAYBE" I'm just cheap, I'm saying I AM cheap! LOL I'm not paying to have my coins graded. By the way Long Beard, great post and thanks for clearing things up. I've talked to several people that I trust who view this subject the same way!


Level 5

I guess my problem is that I am addicted to the registry and in particular NGC's registry. With most coins, I try to buy previously graded coins. However, many of my sets contain coins that are difficult to find graded. Fortunately, I've won several registry awards with prizes to include grading credits. I just finished a 9-coin grading submission, some in oversize holders for practically nothing. On NGC's recommendation, I had a coin I paid $8 for conserved. Why not, I have credits built up and I only make one submission a year. Oh, and by the way, the coin is spectacular after being conserved. It is among the greatest improvements I have seen on any of the coins I have conserved. I'll write a post about my most recent and most successful submission soon. Back to the point, unless you have credits submitting low-value coins is mostly a losing proposition.


Level 6

Your blog is very true. I have been buying MPC's lately as well as Confederate notes. I won't buy one if it isn't already graded. It has become very expensive. For my Peace Dollar VAMs itis even more money as I need to get the variety attribution. Those I send to Variety Slabbing Service, VSS.com,. He attributes the coin and puts a sticker on the slab. If it isn't already in a slab he puts it in an Amos, I think, one with the attribution sticker on it. $6 plus shipping. Great job for me. No grading though but puts what I need on it and the coin is protected. Thanks..


Level 7

All the graders have fees. I use NGC. I pay 17 a coin. And 26.00 postage to send them back. Ten dollars for handling. Five for scratch proof slab. . You choose the tier.

We get a free membership to NGC with the ANA, but it's still around $30 a coin.


Level 5

Unless the coin has a special meaning to the owner, I would think grading isn't worth it. I've had some coins graded by ANACS just because they had meaning to me, and it was cheaper. Years ago I submitted coins to PCI. PCI was inexpensive. They were worth getting graded, but not expensive coins.


Level 5

You are so right. I may be new but I noticed the same thing. Ditto to Bama's comments, I will have some of my coins graded, based on value and nostalgia, (they've been in my family over a hundred years), but you are right Long Beard, most coins already graded are cheaper to buy than submit your own. Well said.


Level 6

Excellent analysis Long Beard, you're right, for the cost of grading that Lowell W quarter, you could probably buy at least two.


Level 5

Good points. I have seen some stuff in holders that just makes me scratch my head.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Hey think of this as a community service post. I've seen the same questions being asked. Personal disclaimer: I've never submitted a coin for grading. I have coins worthy of it, my collection is pretty big. Most I don't think I would spend the money on even though they are MS or old enough to be valuable below MS. The vast majority of of my collection isn't worth it. For me I don't want to spend money on that when I can buy more coins. I do buy slabbed and graded coins sometimes. Maybe I'm just cheap! Lol!

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