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Grading Companies – Please Explain Your Grades [Opinion]

Late last week, I took to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to lament that my 2020-S American Eagle silver coin had come back with a grade of MS-69, not 70, from NGC. As I’ve shared in the past, all of my coins that I have graded come from NGC. It isn’t that I think they are better than PCGS or ANACS, it’s just my preferred choice for my collection when it comes to grading companies.

After I had posted my Tweet, Anthony Preziosi commented in part, “I’d love to see an explanation when they grade coins. What would have made it a 70?”

Yes. Yes Anthony – and every other collector out there – it would be great to see an explanation of a grade by the grading companies.

Here is the deal ANACS, NGC, and PCGS: I’m not necessarily trying to pick a fight. What I am trying to do is educate myself.

All three of these companies have professional coin graders with years and decades of experience under their proverbial belts. They see thousands of coins and have the expertise to distinguish between a coins that is MS-69 and MS-70.

I do not.

As I have shared in this Mail Bag article, I find it very difficult to tell the difference between a 69 and 70 coin. I’ve been grading and studying coins for over 30 years and it is still a struggle. It would be great to get a report from the experts at these grading companies of why a coin graded at 66, 67, 68 or whatever. That gives me the perfect, guided opportunity to examine the coin that has been graded and see those imperfections for myself. All this does is help me better grade coins myself – coins that I have no plans of ever sending to NGC in the first place. Sorry, but I am not going to pay to have a 2020-D Roosevelt Dime graded as I’ll never recoup the costs.

So grading companies, consider offering this to your customers. Even if it is a $2-5 up charge, I suspect that many collectors would pay for it so they can see and learn from you how to better grade their other coins.

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