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e-Letters: June 15, 2022

From the May 20 Numismatic News E-Newsletter

What is your main objective when sending a coin to a third-party grading service: the grade, authentication, or something else?

For me personally I’d have to say that my reason for sending a coin to a third party grading company would be that I want to get my coin professionally graded by the experts. Grading, then authenticity and other things afterwards.

Alainna-Jean Asa
Lacey, Wash.

I submit raw coins to grading services to verify their authenticity and verify the grade it was sold as and my opinion thereof. The value of the coin is a contributing factor. Any coin priced over $100 is worth grading to me. I have had good results and bad. Good when I sent in a 1942-over-41 that I bought as VF and it came back XF. Bad when an ancient coin came back as Ancient Forgery or No Decision. I can always go back to a dealer or auction house armed with the grading service results if there is a problem. If I want to sell my graded coins in the future, there is less argument on grade. Selling a raw coin to a dealer always is a challenge. They may disagree with the grading service opinion, but I move on to another dealer.

Rich Vatovec
Birmingham, Ala.

Authentication is primary if I have doubts about a coin. Grade is primary if I already know the coin is real.

Ron Braun
North Newton, Kan.

Reasons: Authentication, independent grading, baseline valuation, help with estate valuation.

Joy Kassas
Address withheld

My main reason is to check authenticity as I don’t get items to sell, just for my collection. That is what I told my friend in California when he asked me the question. The only time that I had some cards graded otherwise was mainly to see how they graded them when I bought a set of the Orioles, Fred McGriff and Greg Maddux 1999 Topps Desert Shield from a soldier who came back from there. I wish that I had taken more as he had a complete set he completed while there.

Jerry Ray
Address withheld

I never send coins for third party grading. Those collectors and dealers that do seem mainly interested in obtaining a certification at a grade higher than what they bought the coin for. The end goal is to resell the coin for profit.

A coin may be sent in for authentication when a coin is suspected of being fake. Or, a coin might be sent in to settle a dispute over grade. Some like their coins sealed in plastic, but sending a coin in for that purpose is expensive!

When third party grading was originally introduced, I was not happy about it. Because grading is subjective, I disagree with the grades on certified coins just as often as those grades marked on uncertified seller holders. I won’t pay more because a coin is in a certified holder, but many folks do. Any coin that is good enough to be worth certification is probably too good for my collection.

Bruce Frohman
Modesto, Calif.

When submitting a coin, I mostly am concerned with the grade and any issues such as cleaning.

Donald Hudson
Address withheld

I submit coins for at least three reasons: authentication, certified grade and long-term storage. I feel like the certified grade will prevent my heirs from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous dealers.

Mike Thorne
Mississippi

My main focus is authentication, followed by the actual grade of the coin.

E.P. Arpin
Wisconsin

Since I only buy slabbed coins, my main objective is most often variety attribution, or crossover grading and variety attribution.

I only purchase ANACS, PCGS or NGC slabbed coins as I have learned from experience that they are the most reliable, knowledgable and trustworthy.

Charlie Bathman
Address withheld

When I submit coins to a third party grader I am primarily looking for a grade. However the authentication that the service provides is equally valuable because the one is worthless without the other.

James Evans
Leominster, Mass.

If I were to send coins from my collection to a third party grading service, I would do so more for authentication purposes.

Dave A.
Address withheld

Guess it would be to confirm my own idea of what a coin is worth, usually pretty close.

William Johnston
San Antonio, Texas

Certification is important (but not foolproof) for authenticity and weeding out problematic coins, but the grade assigned by a third party grading service doesn’t matter. Most of us have learned this lesson the hard way. When you attempt to sell any graded coin, the odds are quite good that you’ll hear, “I’ll buy this as an MS-64 but not as an MS-65,” or “I’ll buy this as Red & Brown but not as a Red,” or “I’ll buy this as a VF-30 but not as an XF-40.” There’s no law that requires a potential buyer to agree with an assigned grade. They may be right. They may be wrong. They may be just plain arrogant.

Paul Malone
Forest Lake, Minn.