Grading Coins 101

I have been collecting coins for over 30 years. I have hosted hundreds of coin shows for various networks and I have worked with some of the most respected numismatists in the business. The question I get all the time is “Should I have my coins graded?

Before I answer these questions, let me provide you with a brief description of graded coins. Coins that are submitted to a professional grading service are inspected and assigned a grade. They are also certified authentic and are placed in a protective holder called a “slab.” Other information besides the grade may be placed on the holder such as the denomination, precious metal content, and sometimes the provenance or the source where the coins were discovered.

The reasons to consider grading or collecting graded certified coins are:

To establish a Coin’s Grade

Location is to real estate as the condition is to the value of the coin. The grade will establish this condition. For example, uncirculated coins will grade from MS60 to MS70. An MS70 will be more valuable than the same coin graded as an MS63. When you are ready to sell or upgrade your coin, it’s important to know its value so you get the most for it. The condition will always be an issue when buying or selling a collectible coin. Having the coin professionally certified and graded by a reputable company will eliminate any argument over its condition.

 To establish authenticity

1893S Morgan Silver Dollar
Here is an 1893S Morgan Silver Dollar that has been improperly cleaned.

Professional coin graders will reject any coin they believe isn’t authentic or altered. If a coin has been altered in any way such as cleaning, polishing, or modifying the design, it would be unfit to authenticate. You want to be assured your coin is the real thing.

To establish identity

Value of $1775 based on NCG Price Guide

 

It is the coin grader’s responsibility to identify any critical devices on the coin that may affect its value. A mint mark is one such device. A 1909 SVDB cent is worth much more than a 1909 VDB cent of the same grade (the “S” denotes the San Francisco Mint,“VDB” are the initials of the designer Victor David Brenner). Design changes may identify different “types” or “varieties.” A good example of this is the $1 gold coin that was originally minted in 1849. When Lady Liberty’s design was changed in 1854, it became a Type II.

Value of $25 based on NGC Price Guide

To protect your coins

Any damage to your coin may mean a loss of value. Damage could be caused by fingerprints, dropping your coin on a hard surface, or even environmental exposure. A slab is an airtight holder and protects your coin from these damages.

Credibility and Consistency

As mentioned, the grade of a coin is an important factor in establishing its value. You will want to choose a professional grading company that is reliable and consistent. The reputation of a grading service may also be a consideration when buying or selling a coin. They must follow strict grading guidelines of the ANA (American Numismatic Association). The four most popular grading services are:

NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation)

PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service)

ANACS (American Numismatic Association Certification Service)

ICG (Independent Coin Graders)

I hope this was helpful for those who collect coins or want to begin a collection. I will admit when I first started collecting coins, it was in the hopes of someday selling my inventory to raise a nice profit. The larger my collection grows, the more my original intent has changed. I can’t imagine selling many of my coins now, they have become treasured possessions.

Wally likes coins, too!
Please follow and like us:

My Favorite Childhood Toys

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s was vastly different than the experience of kids today.  No internet, bluetooth, cell phones, apps, or PlayStation.   In fact, it was’t until 1982 that the Commodore 64 computer came onto the scene.  Yet, like in every era, the toys of my childhood were accurate indicators as to how our young minds were focused by the times, our parents, and toy makers.
camaroMimicking our parents was a big theme because we just wanted to be like our parents. For my brothers and me, it was tooling around our patio in metal cars and fire engines like these in the pictures.  For other kids in the neighborhood, it was making cakes in the infamous Easy Bake Oven.

rock-em-sock-em
Plastics played a huge roll in toy making as many new types were in their advent.  From softer plastics used for the somewhat flexible Barrel Of Monkeys pick-up game to the heavily molded and mechanical Rock Em Sock Em Robots, designed to help kids take out their aggression in a game versus on each other.

mr-peanutMake and Do was one of my favorite genres as I like making things and using creativity to make one-of-a-kinds.  From snow cones portioned for Lilliputians, to peanuts we pulverized into butter with little help from Mr. Peanut (that was soooo hard to turn.  No wonder the crank handled busted) to the wildly fun Creepy Crawlers and shrunken heads we baked in our basement using the Mattel “Mystery” Goop.  Oh, and were those bottles ever really tested for toxicity? This was during the time when asbestos was in it’s heyday.  At the same time, how lucky was I that my dad was able to formulate endless supplies of  the Goop at work in the chemistry lab and bring home lots of colors for FREE!

 

creepy-crawlers

 

Building things was another favorite.  Like the Lincoln Log sets made out of real wood.  Or learning about leverage and a tension fit from the
Don’t Break The Ice Game.  But there was a limit to the amount of dont-break-the-iceattention I was willing to give things even back then. For example: Model Cars.  I loved them, and bought many of them.  But I never put more than 1/3 of a car together before I threw it all back in the box and put it back on the shelf.  The all-too-many extra pieces made no difference to me.  I just wanted to get to the good part of painting and detailing. Ever hear of the Real Wankel Model Engine? We never opened it.  Nope.  It would take a patient saint to read all those instructions and a special kind of kid that would even care to build an engine.  I’m sure the real value of that unopened gift will come to surface the day I put it in New, Unopened Condition on Ebay!!  monopolyMonopoly was fun but only for a while.  I don’t know any 10-year old with the patience for either.  By the time you started making some money, it was time for dinner.  Oh and battleship.  Talk about a game designed for twin boys living on a farm 250 miles from other children.  Boring!

 

pinball

Lastly, there was the big casino table top pinball machine our Grandpa Jim bought us one year at Christmas.  We just couldn’t believe it.  So cool. And so electrified with no less than a dozen D-size batteries.  Wish we would have taken care of that.  It would be worth a fortune today.

 

My two brothers and I were lucky kids.  We didn’t get a lots of toys, but we did get even the slightest of skills from the ones we played.   My mom, to this day, covets and keeps all the vintage toys under lock and key, as they are a source of fond memories she has of us when we were young.  I think she still doesn’t fully trust us with them.  “Our Lincoln Logs are the real ones made of wood”, she likes to remind us.

lincoln-logsWhat was your favorite toy?  Leave a picture of it below if you still have it.  Or grab one from Google images and post it with a memory.  Everyone can relate.  I hope you can remind me and others of toys we might have forgotten.

Please follow and like us:

Why Do Collectors Collect?

Kendy blog 2 2LThroughout my 30 years in the Home Shopping Industry, I’ve discovered that our customers love to collect. In the 1980’s, die cast cars, dolls, and capitamonte were the hottest collectibles.

Kendy blog 2 1LOnce the 90’s rolled around, sports collectibles, coins, and beanie babies were on the must buy lists of home shopping customers.

Today, watches, Tiffany style lighting, and Waterford Crystal are the collectibles of choice.

Kendy blog 2 1RI think collecting is an essential childhood hobby. It creates opportunities for curiosity and learning. It teaches kids how to take care of objects, spend money wisely, and cooperate when negotiating and trading. As kids, most of us collected marbles, trading cards, stamps, coins, etc. Kendy blog 2 2MMy children collected rocks and gems as they were curious about all of the gems I sold. Did you collect anything when you were a child? What was your favorite thing to collect and your prized possession? I wonder if kids collect as much as we used to Kendy blog 2 2Rback in the day . . .

I, personally, am not a collector of things at all. So, it’s curious to me why people become collectors. Really no one in my family collected anything, except my grandmother who had a plate collection on her wall. It makes me think that collecting begins as Kendy blog 2 3Ra family tradition . . . my parents really only collected family memorabilia, so I do the same in order to preserve the past. We preserve the kids’ photos, artwork, ribbons, letters of accomplishment, etc.

 

So, I’m curious . . .Kendy blog 2 3L

What do you collect?

Why do you collect?

How did you get started?

Is it a family tradition, passion, obsession, habit?

Do you collect for investment purposes, perceiving the items will increase in value over the years?

Kendy blog 2 3RDo you collect for status?

Has your collecting turned into hoarding?

What do you wish you had never collected?

What do you collect that Evine Kendy blog 2 1Mdoesn’t sell that you’d like to see us offer?

If you do collect things we offer, what are you missing in your collection that you’d like to see?

Please let me know, I’d love to hear about it!

 

Kendy blog 2 5L

Kendy blog 2 5R

 

 

 

Kendy blog 2 6M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us: