What’s the right grading service?
I have been asked that more than once.
As a hobby newspaper editor in a field with more than one third-party grading service, how do you want me to answer that?
You can choose a grading service by what market share it might have.
This approach is like my neighbors buying Chevrolets when I was a kid. Everybody wanted to see the USA in their Chevrolet, so General Motors stayed on top.
You can choose a grading service by seeing which one members of your coin club use and have success with.
Perhaps you want to use the one designated by the American Numismatic Association.
Then you can study major auction results online and see what coins bring the best money and which slab are they in.
Yes, this takes a little effort, but it is not surprising that in a large market, results can vary.
If you want top dollar for your large cents, the service in question might be different from the one that does best with U.S. errors and minting varieties.
Certain grading services are known to have strong expertise in certain areas.
If you go to a major coin show, take a look at the grading services that have tables.
This might resemble the market share suggestion earlier, but you can get a personal feel for each business at their tables.
Take a look at submission rules.
How do you want to do it? How do the firms insist that you do it? Are these compatible?
This, of course, will take a little research on your part, but you will find the right grading service in this way – the one that is right for you.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."