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Community Voice Responses (October 16, 2018)

 (Image courtesy

(Image courtesy

From the Sept. 21 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:

Should coin collectors adopt a 100-point grading scale?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

Absolutely Not! Our numismatic hobby/industry already has enough problems addressing the current 70-point grading scale. The sole reason a 100-point grading system would be proposed and/or implemented is simply because of the greed factor. Is it proverbially carved in stone that the seller must squeeze out every last cent from every single grade and transaction? How about leaving a few dollars on the table for the buyer to profit from so it will result in a win-win situation for both parties? Realistically, you can’t take it with you when you are gone, so why not be a bit more generous while you are still here?

Sam Lukes
Visalia, Calif.

Definately not. The major benefit would be to major coin dealers. Coin collectors would probably throw in the towel due to the confusion this change would bring.

John Thill
Overland Park, Kan.

I give a “Big Noooo” on the 100-point system. It is all about the money. as Mr. Guth had said in his article. We never had half grades before, so who came up with the “star” and Plus designation just to make more money. (For) the people who run the grading services, the 100-point system is all about putting more money in their pockets, not about the true grade of a coin, and who cares who sent it in?

If you’re one of the main players in the “hobby,” you will get the grade the regular collector and small dealers (who do not send in tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of items) will not. The “hobby” is not what it used to be when the ANA started grading coins. It was for the small guy as well as the big, and if your coin was worthy of the grade, you got it.

Keep the system as is; it works fine for all except for the greedy, who only see dollar signs [and] not the enjoyment of the hobby. The main players in this hobby forget there are lots of collectors and small dealers who know as much as, and sometimes more than, they do on grading and certain coins or tokens, yet they look down their noses at us.

When you question them on things, they turn and blow you off as if you are nothing or do not know what you’re talking about.

I think the 100-point system will hurt the hobby and push the average collector out, as well as kids who want to get involved but will not be able to afford items due to greed.

Name withheld
Asaph, Pa.

I would love to see something like this put in place. My name is

Randy Becker
Wichita, Kan.

As the system now stands 1-70, it is almost impossible to tell an MS69 from an MS70. Add 20 or more points to the grading system and it’ll take a genius to differentiate the qualifications for the coin to fall into the higher 20-30 grades.

I predict this will be a signal to many a collector who bought and invested in MS70 or PF70 coins to back off from coin collecting and cause more confusion that will drive more people away from what now is a dying hobby. After countless millions of coins have been graded and encapsulated on a system of 1-70, we will now change the game once more and drive maybe the final nails into the coin collecting coffin.

Yes, (it is) a new marketing effort to remove even more money from the collectors pocketbook. I have been wrong before, but I’ll bet this one the coin collector won’t buy!

John Krupka
Stevens Point, Wis.

You have got to be kidding. I just read the article about Guth’s new scale, and I have never seen a more glaring, greedy coin collector rip-off in my life. The article included the only true reason for the coin collecting world to adopt this new grading system – that is, that every single coin ever graded and slabbed would have to be regraded, as the article points out, “for a fee – money makes the world go round.” I have been collecting coins since the late 1950s. If the collectors of our hobby go along with this rip-off, count me as one of the first to refuse to ever be involved in our hobby again.

Rick Anderson
Tucson, Ariz.

Adopt a 100-point grading scale? Absolutely not! The grading companies have already made enough extra money off their changing of grading standards via resubmissions over the years without having to resubmit a plethora of graded coins for possible higher grades on a 100-point scale! The hobby is in enough trouble via dwindling numbers of coin collectors, and the grading controversy over the years has undoubtedly caused some to just throw up their hands and quit the hobby. I’m not saying the grading services don’t provide a value via grading – but I see the certification of a coin’s genuineness as being of greater importance than an assigned grade.

Don Miller
Address withheld

Yes, the 100-point (scale) would add grade especially in the mid-range area. I think this would make the grade more accurate.

James L. Kirk
Address withheld

No! English collectors have to learn how to grade. There’s no reason American collectors can’t do that, too. It just takes time. And the words we already have are sufficient.

Jim Duncan
New Zealand

Yes, I most definitely support that. Just like school 100 = A, 90 = B, and so forth. The numerical system now seems to make no sense. I may have mentioned this before in the magazine (April 7, 2015). I also feel it is only a matter of time before coins and currency are graded electronically or by a computer software program.

Steven R. Angle
Glendale, Ariz.

It should be kept as simple as possible. The only people that want more in the grades are the people that really do not collect anything except to run prices way up. The young today have no interest, or the funds, to get into our numismatic collecting. Our hobby is in its death run today. Just look at stamps, pottery, and such.

The young are only interested in iPhones [and] gaming stuff. The others only invest in a quick profit. Just try to order stuff from the U.S. Mint. They only invest, and most do not know anything of numismatics at all and couldn’t care less.

I started collecting coins because of Boy Scouts. Today, the Scouts are on their way out, too.

No, I do not feel that a higher grade to coins will help bring in the young, and I have not ordered anything from the Mint in years. I can get what I want at my club meetings, or at shows, much cheaper later.

G.P. Vivian

I do not see the need to change the current system. 70 points or 100, the number is arbitrary. When Sheldon first conceived of number grading, his theory was that absolutely perfect coins were worth 70 times what he called a “basal state” coin, what we would now call Fair 1. That relationship may have been more or less correct 70 years ago, but is no longer. We already have 11 grades of uncirculated, and in theory, 60 other grades in the 70-point system. That is more than enough.

Tom Miller
Santa Rosa, Calif.

No. I was disappointed when it went to a 70-point grading scale. With such a big difference in value between MS65 and MS67 in some coins and no one but professional coin graders being able to tell the difference, why further complicate the grading system? I dramatically decreased my spending on top-graded coins when the scale went to 70 grades. I bought coins that personally appealed to me regardless of their grade. When the coin prices demonstrated a vast difference between two grades right next to each other, I buy the lower grade because it looks just as good to me, the average collector, as the higher graded coin. If you continue to split hairs even further from 70 to 100, the amateur or casual collector will be even more confused as to why coin values vary so much when they look virtually the same.

Leonard Benson
Leesburg, Fla.

Let me guess. Ron Guth lives in a state that has legalized smoking dope. The only rational explanation.

V. Kurt Bellman
Harrisburg, Pa.

Absolutely not! Besides making most coin value guides worthless, it would just be an open money grab on collectors by Third Party Grading services. If you can’t come up with a fair grade using 70 points, you need to find a new job/hobby.

Bill Rodgers
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

So I guess this is where I find out my 66’s are actually 90’s and worth less than they were back when they were 65’s. I’m honestly getting sick of it. But it would be another boon for the grading companies, right?

Lee Sanders
Address withheld

I feel that a 100 pt. grading scale would be great as it hopefully would erase the current baloney such as terms like MS 66++. No more specious idiocy like that; i.e., a coin is either an MS66 or an MS67. That’s it. No more baloney. Thanks for this chance to get my opinion out there. Have a great weekend!

David P. Ribar
Address withheld

No to a new 100 pt grading system for coins. Would obsolete all grading to date. Windfall for the “new & improved PCGS.” You must have stock in them. How about aluminum bars for major league baseball!!

Dan Hamelberg
Address withheld

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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