Nine of more than 100 contestants took home prizes in the Grading Contest presented by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) at the January 9-11, 2020, Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Show.
The number of participants, 103, was 15 more than last year, when the event debuted as part of the annual show in Orlando, Florida.
Contestants won prizes in three age categories. For both the Adult (26 and up) and Young Adult (18-25) categories, first prize was a $300 NGC grading credit, second prize was a $200 NGC grading credit and third prize was a $100 NGC grading credit. The Young Numismatist (13-17) category prizes were cash — $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place. The top 10 finishers in each of the three categories also received a special NGC “Sample Slab” with a 2004 Proof Silver Florida Quarter. Additionally, all of the participants received a special “Sample Slab.”
The contest was to see who could most accurately grade 15 coins in 10 minutes.
In the adult category, Ron Guth and John Baumgart tied for first place, both scoring 48 of a possible 75 points.
Guth had 7 of 15 exactly correct and 5 partially correct answers (within 1 or two grades). Baumgart had 5 of 15 correct and 9 partially correct. In a very close third place in the category was Jordan Miller, who scored 47 points, with 6 exactly correct and 9 partially correct grades.
Because of the tie, Guth and Baumgart will split the combined first- and second-place prizes, each receiving $250 in NGC grading credits.
In the Young Adult category, Jeffrey Schwartz graded 5 correct and 6 partially correct to take first place with 41 points, followed by a tie between Joshua Ramos and David Huang, who both had 37 points with identical grading results: 4 correct and 7 partially correct. Ramos and Huang split the combined second- and third-place prizes.
The Young Numismatists category was taken by Chris Alvarez, 17, who had 2 correct and 8 partially correct for a total of 32 points. Aaron Rosen, 14, was second with 3 correct and 6 partially correct for a total of 29 points. In third was Christopher Gatto, 13, who had 4 correct answers for 20 points.
The collectibles used in the contest were coins except for one medal and one token. They were a mix of countries, types and grades and included one not-genuine and one altered coin. Contestants graded the coins, which were in NGC Holders without grades, and entered their grades on a computer provided by NGC.