Last Updated on December 6, 2021 by Peter Townsend
If you’ve found, inherited, or purchased an uncommon coin to add to your collection It’s only natural to seek out how much a dealer will charge the price for your item. The value of a treasure depends on several aspects, with rarity as well as state of preservation being the most important. The better the state of preservation of the coin and condition, the greater its value.
Coin grading is a scientific method of assessing the condition of a coin based on some benchmarks that allow dealers to evaluate the quality of the coin. However, it is possible that grading a piece of a coin not always be a feasible alternative. If you own a circulated coin that is plentiful and valuable, it may be insufficient to justify the expense of the process of grading.
How much will it cost to have an item graded? Below, we’ll examine how expensive coin grading can be as well as the organizations that grade coins, and the significance of the process of grading coins. If you’re looking to determine the value of your coins this guide is ideal for you!
The Correlation Between a Coin’s Grading and Value
A coin’s worth isn’t necessarily exactly the same as the value that you pay for it. You can take a coin to the dealer and present it to sell. They’ll determine the value by taking various elements into consideration, including the rarity of the coin, its demand, the value of bullion, and the condition.
Modern coins are usually plentiful and have a very small value. But there are some exceptions to this. An error coin or coin with a distinct history could be a rare find which makes it more desirable. The older coins aren’t necessarily better value, particularly when they’re still readily accessible.
The condition of a coin also impacts its value. The type and condition of the item, its worth could be as high as several hundred or thousands when it’s in perfect, uncirculated, or Mint State (MS) condition.
What is Coin Grading?
The two most well-known companies for grading coins comprise The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) in Newport Beach, CA, and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGS) located in Sarasota, FL. They use the Sheldon scale for grading coins as it is a 70-point scale. This means that the third party grade the state of the coin using a scale of 1-70.
The grades on the Sheldon scale are:
- Mint State (MS) 60 – 70
- About Uncirculated (AU) 50 – 60
- Extra Fine (EF) 40, 45
- Very Fine (VF) 20, 30, 35
- Fine (F) 12, 15
- Very Good (VG) 08, 10
- Good (G) 04, 06
- About Good (AG) 03
- Poor (P) 01, 02
When third-party organizations grade coins they take the color and luster, as well as strike aesthetics, and surface preservation into consideration. They then use these aspects to assign the coin with a grade.
A coin that has a grade of PO-01 is clearly identifiable but is extremely worn. However, coins that have an MS-70 grade are nearly perfect and show no signs of wear. The majority of coins fall in the middle of these two grades.
When the coins have been graded the company that graded it will seal them with an airtight block to shield them from environmental wear and destruction, while preserving their original quality.
The Importance of Coin Grading
Grading isn’t the same thing as giving the value of coins. The grading company will issue the coin with the grade numerically according to its condition and let the market decide its worth.
When you purchase an item that has been graded by PCGS or NGC You can have the assurance that an independent and educated expert has evaluated and inspected the condition of the coin.
If you plan to market the coins, the grade will serve as evidence of the coin’s quality of preservation. A standardized grading process also removes any guesswork from the equation, which makes it easier for a prospective buyer to assess the value of the coin.
A coin that has been graded and certification is less prone to fluctuations in market prices than bullion coins. If you own an intrinsically rare and graded coin that is in mint condition and is in high demand, price fluctuations are unlikely to have any impact on the value of your coin.
In the end, grading may be required to:
- Verify the coin’s authenticity and confirm its legitimacy to prospective buyers
- Guard the coin from future wear and environmental contaminants
- Facilitate identification and estimation
- It can be used to determine the coin’s current market value
Noting that grading a piece of the coin does not automatically increase its value. If you own a coin that has an MS 70 or 69 grade it will be much easier to sell the coin for the most expensive price.
Coin Grading Costs
PCGS as well as NGC charge various fees to grade coins. Before you can send your coin to either of these organizations you have to join as an associate. They offer a variety of membership options according to the number of coins you plan to submit to be graded.
Presently, PCGS offers three membership different levels:
- Membership Silver ($69 for the year)
- The gold ($149 annually)
- Platinum ($249 per year)
All PCGS memberships provide members-only shows accessibility, direct submission, and quarterly grading promotions. But, you also get free coins gradings as part of the Platinum membership as well as, when you join Gold membership, you get four. Gold membership, you’ll get four.
The NGC memberships comprise:
- Cost-free (annual cost of $)
- Associate ($25 per year)
- Cost ($149 annually)
- Elite ($299 per year)
All memberships have accessibility to NGC online resources however you must enroll in the Associate membership in order to have direct submission rights. If you enroll in one of the top two memberships, you will receive the credit of $150 for grading from NGC. Elite members also qualify to receive the bulk rate of submission.
Along with membership fees in addition, you must pay a fee per coin that you submit to be graded. Each PCGS along with NGC charge fees for grading in accordance with the type of coin and value.
For instance, PCGS charges $17 to grade a modern coin that has the mint year of 1965, and a maximum value of $300. Mint error coins that have the maximum value of $10,000 are priced at $65 to be graded.
If you are looking to grade a standard coin worth between $2500 and $3500, then you will need to pay PCGS the fee for grading of $35. If you’re an Platinum members, you are able to bring in up to eight coins at no cost. You are also able to sign up for additional services, including for instance, the TrueView(tm) Imaging Service, at a cost of 5 dollars for each coin. Through this service, PCGS will send you the highest-quality image that shows your coins.
The cost of grading coins includes shipping and insurance. Based on the quantity of coins that you have submitted and the value of each one the postage and insurance rates could range between $22 to $200.
How Do I Know if a Coin Grading is Worth the Cost?
Some coins are not worthy of grading. You must conduct some research to determine if submitting an item for grading is financially feasible. The cost of grading, the intrinsic value, and the condition of a particular coin are important in determining whether a coin grade is worth the effort.
For instance the 1909-S, a brown VDB Lincoln Cent that has Wheat reverse, is extremely valued. Even with a grade for G-04, the particular coin has an estimated value of $660. If you own this coin, then grading it nearly always be financially sensible.
In contrast the 1910 brown Lincoln Cent, with the wheat reverse, is valued at around $4, with a grade of EF-40. Modern coins like 2003’s Lincoln Cent, is only worth grading if you’re certain that it will receive an MS-70 grade.
It is possible that the value for the exact coin may also vary significantly depending on an Mint State grading category.
For instance, a contemporary 2000 Lincoln Cent with a grading of MS-68 is worth about $80. The coin that has a grade of MS-70 has a value of about $2,500. If the coin is the grade of MS-63, it’s worth only $3.
An MS-63 cent and an MS-70 cent might appear identical to a not-skilled eye, but there’s a significant difference in their worth. If you’re certain of the fact that your coin has not been used and is in good condition, you should consider grading it.
How to Submit a Coin for Grading
The procedure of sending a coin is the same for both agencies. The steps to use to determine the grade of a coin comprises:
- The choice of a grading agency
- Joining a club of your preference
- Filling out the form, you must provide your address, the details of your coin and the insurance value
- Paying for the grade
- The coin is then sent to the grading organization
Grading can take about two weeks at a minimum. After grading your coins the grading company will send your coins in an airtight seal made of plastic with a certification of grade.
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