The Grading Game


Grading is a learned skill that requires the proper tools, the knowledge of the particular series, and lots and lots of practice. Many collectors shy away from grading because they are concerned that if they fail, they have the potential to lose a lot of money. The American Numismatic Association (ANA) believes that everyone can learn to grade proficiently enough to be able to grade the coins in their own collection.

There are four basic metals that are used to mint coins in the United States. The metals include gold, silver, nickel and copper. Because the metals have different amounts of malleability, they wear at different rates. Naturally, the design of a coin also plays an important role in the rate and location of wear.

Grading is subjective, so you may find yourself in disagreement with some assessments in the game. It is generally more difficult to accurately grade a coin from an image than actually holding the coin in your hand. Use this game as an entertaining tool to help you to become more familiar with the American Numismatic Association Grading Standards.

Special thanks to Chester L. Krause, Myrna Lighterman, Mark Lighterman and Brian Fanton for their contributions to this project.

How to Play

Notice that there are four categories, each one a different metal. You will choose a metal which will bring you to a screen of squares. Each square shields a different coin. Your job is to locate a pair of coins that represent the same grade. Your goal is to find all of the matched pairs in as few moves as possible. The game will keep a record of your moves so you will know how long it took you to complete all of the matches. Interested in playing again? Great, but fair warning, the location of the coins change each time you attempt to play so memorizing your moves before playing the game again will not help. Should you need to review the Sheldon Grading Scale, before you begin, click here. Happy grading!