Author Topic: Grading coins  (Read 32132 times)

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akona20

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2013, 01:55:32 AM »
Sigh. I now have an offer for a BU coin that is now called BU for this type with a grade of MS 62. It really looks an ordinary coin. But hey, let's throw in another subject statement to make the process of slabbing  even more of an outrageous joke.

Going back to an older point made, how can you slab a coin that is not fully attributal? Well the system says you can so therefore you can.

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2013, 02:02:01 AM »
The whole world does not work to one set of rules, it is rather naive to both expect it does and to try to impose those same rules on everyone else.

But....

It would be nice if one set of rules / descriptions applied to coin collecting the whole world over.

You are definitely right about "imposing" a thing; fair and open discussion is the much better way. And I appreciate the opportunity for this one. Without irony of any kind, thanks. I understand something about UK coinage that I did not know before, and I am glad to know it.

 ;) v.

akona20

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2013, 02:10:44 AM »
The systems currently in use will always come under scrutiny and we now see the court issues over certain terminology allegedly taken from another person.

The best we can do as consumers is to understand what is going and ensure that we are not a victim of a changing marketplace or grading standards.

If you play the grading game then get it done by one of the big ones and if you suffer a loss in the future due to changes in systems front them up and demand restituition. It is a game for the well healed (and the money launderers), perhaps it is a game better not played by most of us.

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #48 on: January 16, 2013, 05:20:00 AM »
...A parallel problem is that the SCWC volumes are commercial products. They'll have to sell in sufficient volume or there won't be another edition. Hence...the continuous attempts to introduce funny "grades", like BU for coins that were never struck in sets....

Pardon me for highlighting this, but it goes to some discussion of comparative grading we're having elsewhere on the forum. Coming out of the American coin-tradition as I do, "BU" is for me just another coin grade; for folks in the UK however, "BU" appears to have become a method of manufacture--and this UK version of "BU" is the one put forth by WoC in one of its primary thread on coin grading.

Here, however, is yet another (what for me is a) foreign theory of "BU," that is, for a coin to be BU it must belong to a set.

The idea that a coin's "BU" status depends on whether it was manufactured in a special way seems odd enough to me, but the idea of "BU" as a mere matter of packaging strikes me as borderline bizarre. (As it sure did the first time I encountered it, years ago, in a trade with a Dutch collector.)

Bottom-line here for me is that the SCWC, on this point anyway, is on the right track: preventing cross-border confusion requires a choice, and for me the most logical and least eccentric choice is "BU" as a coin grade, not as a method of manufacture, and not as a matter of packaging.

 :) v.


This post was moved here from its original place in a thread discussing the Standard Catalog of World Coins. I regret the move, because I think a discussion of coin grading as it is presently evolving within that catalog is well worth having--and also because my post addressed a specific (and I think genuinely problematic) criticism of the SCWC that had been leveled earlier in the thread.

:) v.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:36:21 PM by villa66 »

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2013, 05:47:00 AM »
Comparative discussions are one of WoC's best reasons for being. In a thread elsewhere on the forum involving the SCWC catalogs and their efforts on behalf of the hobby's development of a cross-border grading system, further comment was made on "BU."

Again, coming out of the American coin-tradition as I do, "BU" is for me just another coin grade; for folks in the UK however, "BU" appears to have become a method of manufacture--and this UK version of "BU" is the one accented by WoC within this thread.

Mentioned in the SCWC thread, however, is yet another theory of "BU," that is, for a coin to be BU it must belong to a set.

The idea that a coin's "BU" status depends on whether it was manufactured in a special way seems odd enough to me, but the idea of "BU" as a mere matter of packaging strikes me as borderline bizarre. (As it sure did the first time I encountered it, years ago, in a trade with a Dutch collector.)

I think the SCWC, on this point anyway, is on the right track: preventing cross-border confusion requires a choice, and for me the most logical choice is "BU" as a coin grade, not as a method of manufacture, and not as a matter of packaging.

I wouldn't expect WoC to do likewise, but maybe we could revisit the introduction to this thread and at least treat "BU" as more problematic than we do? Let folks know right off that there are alternatives, so they can make up their own minds as to which makes the most sense for them?

 :) v.

paisepagal

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #50 on: January 16, 2013, 06:11:18 AM »
....to add fuel to the Fire, In India, Post 1947 proof coins are not designated as proof unless they bear the "B" or "M" mint mark if they were issued by the Bombay Mint. Coins with a diamond mint mark may be business strikes in uncirculated condition or UNC if they were issued in the collector set.  However, with the calcutta mint, its fair game, because the calcutta mint has no mint mark.
To further confuse you, I have received the CAG proof and UNC sets a couple days ago. However, the UNC coins are almost as good as proof coins, especially the Rs5 coins with their frosted motif on mirror background. This has been the case before too....

I totally agree, BU/Proof/UNC...these are basic numismatic concepts of coin grading and not what the package or the mint says.

Offline andyg

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #51 on: January 16, 2013, 08:25:37 PM »


The idea that a coin's "BU" status depends on whether it was manufactured in a special way seems odd enough to me, but the idea of "BU" as a mere matter of packaging strikes me as borderline bizarre. (As it sure did the first time I encountered it, years ago, in a trade with a Dutch collector.)


See post #46
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

akona20

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #52 on: January 16, 2013, 11:50:18 PM »
The bottom line is that you have to know your market. What happens is America is often not the same as Europe. there are different market drivers and just as you have to understand the coins you are collecting you must understand the market in which you are playing.

Some years ago I suggested to a number of well healed collectors that they had to understand the market they were going to sell in as well as the market they were buying in. the interent has produced a worldwide market but with unequal definitions and if you are collecting at the high end especially to make a profit you must understand the selling side as well as the buying side. The two are no the same.

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2013, 12:15:20 AM »
The bottom line is that you have to know your market...the interent has produced a worldwide market but with unequal definitions....

I couldn't agree more. Which is why, I think, that WoC should at the very least let folks know where the mismatches occur, and--better yet--work to eliminate these mismatches altogether.

 :) v.

Offline andyg

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2013, 12:40:33 AM »
The first post is one man's opinion of grades, ask the next man in the street and they will have different opinions.  So it's up to oneself, as a collector to decide.  There is no right or wrong, so therefore, by default, there is no battle to be won.

always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #55 on: January 17, 2013, 12:50:56 PM »
The first post is one man's opinion of grades, ask the next man in the street and they will have different opinions.  So it's up to oneself, as a collector to decide.  There is no right or wrong, so therefore, by default, there is no battle to be won.

I think a fair reading of the first post suggests that it was intended as a tutorial, and as such it’s a decent start. (Although I disagree with its introductory sentences, which to me seem much too dismissive of coin grading, and so, perhaps, somewhat discouraging to exactly the people most inclined to get real benefit from it.)

And I think it’s far from correct to suggest that coin grading is some sort of solitary activity, and that whatever answers we arrive at on our own are automatically…competent. No. I don’t think it works that way at all. Instead, coin grading is very much a process of consensus, and I strongly believe it’s a consensus the hobby should be continually working to refine—and expand—across borders. I want to be able to talk about coins with someone in...whatever country, and be talking (and listening) while using fundamentally the same body of basic coin-knowledge. And yes, by basic coin-knowledge, one of the first things I mean is a common idea of coin grading.

There are plenty of good reasons that ought to happen; one of the best, I think, is forming a common front against fraud. Historically, one of the best legal defenses that the unscrupulous have had against their victims is the lack of a consistent grading system within the coin hobby.  Today, because of a lot of work in developing a coherent grading framework, it’s a less useful refuge than it used to be—but only in some venues.

So that’s a battle that needs to be won in more places, I think, and the idea that “there is no right or wrong” when it comes to coin grading is, I think, a guarantee of early defeat, for collectors anyway.

;) v.

akona20

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #56 on: January 17, 2013, 01:53:16 PM »
"I think, is forming a common front against fraud."

Coin grading on the 70 point or similar grade system is THE fraud. it is a fraud because it is subjective in the extreme. It is a fraud because the rich have great power and the grading houses do buckle under power.

It is a fraud because grading houses offer to clean coins and give them a better "look" because it helps achieve a higher grade.

It is a fraud because coin cleaning is called coin conservation. The industry of this vast muli tiered system is a fraud. The old habit of sending coins off to various graders in the hope of achieving a better grade is in full swing today, and with a little help on the side.

PVC damage is removed (for how long no one knows0 and the coins can be comparartively highly graded. That fols is grading, in the 70 point system as it is happening as we speak. Influential people play the sytem and very large and rich auction houses exploit it.

Play if you dare.

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #57 on: January 17, 2013, 04:38:09 PM »
...Coin grading on the 70 point or similar grade system is THE fraud. it is a fraud because it is subjective in the extreme. It is a fraud because the rich have great power and the grading houses do buckle under power....

You're confusing a particular grading system with the third-party graders who use it.

But as to fraud, having a coherent, widely accepted set of guidelines--even if they can be gamed--is still infinitely preferable to the alternative.

 :) v.

Offline alglasser

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #58 on: January 17, 2013, 08:38:05 PM »
Akona 20 hit on why I really got turned off to certified coins and the whole game associated with the "practice". He said, "It is a fraud because grading houses offer to clean coins and give them a better "look" because it helps achieve a higher grade". VERY interesting comments all around but the one above really hit a chord.

Years ago when I was busy adding to my U.S. type set from the 18th and 19th centuries, I pretty much limited my new acquisitions to certified pieces. I just didn't trust my judgement as to the ability to detect cleaning (old cleanings especially) and I have been burned on a few "Seated Liberty Half dollars"  (1839-1891) that I purchased from a "respected mail order dealer". They were graded XF which he had gotten corretly but when I decided to submit them to PCGS, 2 came back as "cleaned". Well, they were not expensive pieces but I was so hoping to add the types to my collection. I did...but they remain "raw" with the PCGS documentation. Conversely, I already had a raw (uncertified) Barber Half Dollar (1892-1916) common date, in strong XF that I thought I would submit along with a few other coins to NGC. A dealer at a coin show I frequented was an authorized submission dealer and I showed him the Barber Half. He verified my grading but said that the piece could be "touched up a bit" so as to grade better. He wouldn't clean it, NGC would. Being nieve to the ceertifying game, I gave him the go ahead and in it went. It came back with "more eye appeal" certified as XF 45. Wait a minute...that's cleaning!!! I thought the certifying companies wouldn't "clean" coins but now I realize they do.

Another story...One of my long range goals was a "Draped Bust Dollar" (1798-1803) that I could afford. I finally found a really nice one in my price range (had to add a piano student or 2) certified by PCGS at VF 30. It arrived and was a really nice piece...but obviously had been cleaned. I still have it as it was the best I could afford and has wonderful detail and excellent surfaces, but again, PCGS accepted it for certification (not marked "genuine" or "cleaned"). I guess early dollars have a special status as the vast majority have been cleaned.

The policies of the grading services seem to be in flux, or even inconsistent, but I had learned my lesson. My U.S. type set is on hold (too expensive anyway)and my new interest in Music Coins is keeping me happy. I only have a few certified pieces in that collection, only because I couldn't find them raw but I do NOT hunt for certifed coins, nor will I submit any for certification.

Is certification a good thing?...couldn't tell you...but the inconsistencies, associated "games" and fluxuating standards are depressing at best. They are not an asset to the hobby.    Alan   Massachusetts

akona20

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #59 on: January 17, 2013, 09:59:54 PM »
"You're confusing a particular grading system with the third-party graders who use it. "

Well no I am not.

The alternative, or the old system, was subjective but, of course, within wider boundaries. This did not suit the well healed collectors of American coins whose particular coin had to be better than the millionaires down the road. It was deisgned and implemented for people who "invest" in coins rather than collect coins. It really has nothing to do with personal judgement because a third party does the work and you then hope the market you are in rises but you can track it just like any other market in which you want to take a gamble. So it is, in essence, an inverstors tool not a collectors tool. Therefore as such I am not interested because the large percentage of folks in the market care little other than how much will it make and can I make more if I get it graded higher.

Transparency and all balance was lost when the grading companies themselves offered cleaning services (if it had any real credibility before that) for coins before they were graded or re graded.

Hint 1 for players. DON"T send a coin graded by one company to another for checking or re grading. Make up your own mind why.