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Resources

This page offers links to resources that will be of help to anyone buying or selling coins, as well as those wanting to learn more or appraise the value of their own coins.

Articles

  • Do Coin Auction Prices Represent ‘Retail’ or ‘Wholesale’ Values?” — Excerpt: “The prices that coins have sold for at auction contain very valuable market information. This information is used in a variety of ways. Increasingly, these values are used by buyers of coins who want to know how much like-kind coins have been bringing on the open market so that they don’t overpay for coins they are buying. This use has been greatly enhanced by the Internet.” [More…] Source: CoinWeek.com, 13 August 2015, by Mark Ferguson.
  • “NGC vs. PCGS: How Far Apart Are Their Grades?” — Excerpt: “As every serious coin collector, investor and dealer knows, PCGS and NGC have made a huge difference in the way coins are traded and graded. Over the last 20 years, the Professional Coin Grading Service has certified some 11,000,000 coins valued at an estimated $16 billion, with Numismatic Guaranty Corp. boasting similar large numbers. In common numismatic jargon, PCGS and NGC are the ‘premier’ coin grading services of the industry, followed by ANACS, ICG, SEGS, NTC and numerous ‘third tier’ grading services. As every serious coin collector, investor and dealer also knows, there is something different about the way PCGS and NGC grades coins.” [More…] Source: eBay, 24 Sept 2006, by West Highland Art Brokers.

Grading Services and Practices

  • NGC – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. “When NGC was founded in 1987, it heralded the introduction of a new standard of integrity in coin grading. From the beginning NGC focused on only one objective, a standard of consistent and accurate grading. As NGC has grown to become the leader in third-party grading services, we have maintained a steadfast and uncompromising commitment to this standard. The knowledge, integrity and dedication of NGC’s team of numismatic professionals ensures you a level of grading consistency unparalleled among grading services. This record of consistency, built over the years, has helped to foster greater stability throughout the rare coin marketplace. Grading is a team effort, with at least two professional numismatists examining every coin. To maintain impartiality, NGC’s coin graders cannot be involved in the commercial buying and selling of coins. Each coin is examined by one NGC coin grader at a time, who enters the coin grade into the system. The NGC grading team’s only interest is in determining accurate grades for coins. Once graded, the coin is sonically sealed in a holder made of inert material that won’t affect the encapsulated coin. At NGC we pride ourselves in our uncompromising standards and a commitment to integrity that makes us the leader in coin certification.” [More…]
  • PCGS – Professional Coin Grading Service. “Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) is the most respected name in third-party coin certification. By establishing a universal grading standard, PCGS has paved the way for coin enthusiasts to enjoy buying and selling coins with confidence.”
  • Sheldon Coin Grading Scale. “The Sheldon Coin Grading Scale is a 70-point coin grading scale used in the numismatic assessment of a coins quality. It is used by nearly all major coin grading companies, the main two being NGC and PCGS. The scale was invented by William Herbert Sheldon.” [More…]

News

  • Coin Dealer Newsletter. “The Coin Dealer Newsletter was first published in 1963, when the dealer community expressed a need for a weekly compendium of Bid levels from the four teletype systems then in operation. Orvil L. Payne, the founder, was one of eight independent coin dealers operating out of a single shop in Hawthorne, California; the Greysheet was created in the back room of Coin-A-Rama City. The very first issue was known as the National Coin Broker’s Bulletin, but with the second issue, the name changed to the Coin Dealer Newsletter (although most dealers refer to us as the ‘Greysheet‘ or the CDN). From the beginning, as now, the CDN examines all possible sources of information: teletype services, computerized trading networks, dealer trades, ‘buy’ lists, and auction Prices Realized.” [More…]
  • Heritage Auctions Coin News. “Collecting valuable objects uniquely rewards owners with beauty, history, personal satisfaction, and more. Unfortunately new collectors often overpay and become disillusioned, while inexperienced owners and heirs routinely receive too little when selling. For collecting to become a more credible and widespread vehicle for wealth creation, the playing field between experts and novices must be leveled.” [More…]

Pricing

  • Greysheet (aka Coin Dealer Newsletter). “The Greysheet was created in the back room of Coin-A-Rama City. The very first issue was known as the National Coin Broker’s Bulletin, but with the second issue, the name changed to the Coin Dealer Newsletter (although most dealers refer to us as the ‘Greysheet‘ or the CDN). From the beginning, as now, the CDN examines all possible sources of information: teletype services, computerized trading networks, dealer trades, ‘buy’ lists, and auction Prices Realized.” [More…]

Reference Guides

  • Glossary – Our handy glossary of coin terms is a helpful reference with key terms for discussing and researching coin characteristics. [Read…]
  • PCGS Coin Lingo and Terminology Guide – “Like all collectibles, the rare coin market has its own terms and slang. The following is a brief definition and explanation of the most frequently used coin collecting terms. This is a work in progress and we would love to hear your comments and suggestions.”
  • The Official Red Book – “In 1946, A Guide Book of United States Coins: The Official Red Book of U.S. Coins, the “Red Book,” was published to provide collectors with pricing information for buying and selling coins to dealers. These definitive pricing guides are still the industry standard.” (source)
  • Swiss America – Guide to Coins – Includes “Major Factors Determining Numismatic Value” and “Steps Before Buying Coins.”

Coin Photography

The video below describes a process for taking photos of coins in a way that produces clear and consistent results.