thatcoinguy's Blog

28 Aug 2021

Helpful Hints For Enjoying Coin Collecting: A Review

Coins | thatcoinguy

Hello fellow YNs and YNH!

First of all, Bill Fivaz did an AMAZING job on this book. Although it was published in 2004, it still holds true today, and is essential for anyone who wants to be a numismatist. It includes everything a coin collector needs to know, including handling/storage tips, grading information, convention tips, and a lot, lot, more.

The bulk of this book is taken up by grading techniques for 20th century coins between MS-60 and MS-65. A lot of collectors (including me😬) cannot properly grade in between these standards because the difference in grading these coins is a single point. That one scratch or blemish could mean the difference between a $300 coin, or a $30,000 coin. In addition to the grading tips for everything from the Morgan Dollar, to the Mercury Dime, Mr. Fivaz also includes a list of dates with common weak strikes, put together by knowledgeable collectors of the coins (credit to Hal Kritzman, Gary Sturidge, David Hall, and John Hunter).

If you are looking to buy/sell coins, Mr. Fivaz has also put together many CoinWorld quality paragraphs for you. He covers the liability to fee for insuring you package with the postal service, the best way to package coins for shipping, and even how to plan for an auction or convention (it's a lot more complicated than you think).

In summary, Bill Fivaz has put his knowledge of collecting and coins to good use in this book for beginners and experienced collectors alike!

Keep collecting,




Level 6

Bill Fivaz is The Man!


Level 7

Beginners need a good book. Thanks for that information I hope they take it.


Level 5

Looks like a good book for anyone. Grading in MS conditions? I don't know to much about how to grade MS condition coins. I've read about it, but never really tried to look at coin after coin, to determine an MS grade myself. Ive seen people post coins and ask for a grade. Usually you can get an idea based on nicks etc, and determine a coin is around low end of MS. I should study more on grading.


Level 6

Thanks for the review! ; )

I. R. Bama

Level 5

One of the courses in the ANA diploma program is on grading mint coins. I haven't done that one yet, I have that and one other to do. The 70 point scale is totally flawed. It was designed for large cents. I've often wondered about the rationale for a 70 point scale as Sheldon and I are both Psychologists. The best I can come up with he was trying to use a Likert scale and amplified it by a factor of 10. We really need to move to a 100 point scale. It's more scientific and removes another layer of subjectivity from the grading process

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