3 Tips For Grading Coins At An Auction

Posted on: 21 April 2017

Adding new coins to your collection can be a great way to grow your collection while expanding its total value. Attending auctions provides you with the opportunity to bid on coins that you like. In order to ensure that the coins you bid on have maximum value, it can be beneficial to engage in an amateur grading of each coin before you bid.

Here are three tips you can use when attempting to grade coins at an auction in the future.

1. Always look at the high points on the coins.

The best place to start looking at the quality of the coins you find in an auction setting is by conducting an examination of the high points on the coins.

The raised features on a coin are likely to experience wear before the recessed features, so you can determine a rough grade for each coin available at auction by looking at the amount of wear on the high points. Only bid on coins whose high points show minimal signs of wear to retain maximum value within your collection.

2. Check the overall aesthetic of the coin.

Many collectors feel that coins are small pieces of art. As you attempt to grade the coins that come available for auction in your area, be sure that you are paying close attention to the overall aesthetic of the coin.

If a coin has blotchy spots, obvious scratches, or discoloration where the exterior metal has worn thin, then the coin will likely not receive a high grade once a professional examines it. Trusting your visual reaction to a coin can be a simple way to determine if it will grade high enough to be worth bidding on and adding to your coin collection.

3. Look for hairline scratches with a magnifying glass.

Although they may be difficult to spot with the naked eye, hairline scratches can significantly lower the grade of a coin. If you want to ensure that the coins you are bidding on in an auction environment will grade highly before adding them to your collection, you need to bring along a magnifying glass so that you can carefully examine the coins for hairline scratches.

The more scratches a coin has, the lower it will grade. Be sure that you only bid on coins with few to no hairline scratches present under magnified examination.

Being able to complete a rough grading as you examine coins in an auction setting will allow you to add only the most valuable coins to your collection in the future. For additional information, contact a coin grading service in your area.