In this article, we cover details on the coin grading costs, these that the costs associated with getting coins graded today. A process that many gold and silver coin collectors will want to understand. After reading this, you will know all about coin grading, why it’s important, the costs involved, whether you should consider getting a coin graded or not, and more. Keep reading to learn about it all today. You’ll be able to answer your friends and family when they ask you, “How much does it cost to grade a coin?” Keep reading!
Maybe you’ve inherited some gold coins or have been lucky enough to find or buy an unusual coin in your connection, and you are wondering what it’s worth. You need to understand how grading a coin works and relates to your coin collection. Well, you are at the right spot, as here we’ll discuss the essential things you need to know about grading a coin and how much it costs to get a coin graded.
Table of Contents
What is Coin Grading?
Coin grading is the process of determining the condition or grade of a coin and is a crucial factor when determining the coin’s value. Coins are graded against six criteria: strike, preservation, luster, color, attractiveness, and the country they are minted in. In the USA, coin graders use the Sheldon scale, a 70-point scale with the following grades:
- (P) Poor – 01 to 02
- (AG) About Good – 03
- (G) Good – 04 to 06
- (VG) Very Good – 08 to 10
- (F) Fine – 12 to 15
- (VF) Very Fine – 20 to 35
- (EF) Extra Fine – 40 to 45
- (AU) About Uncirculated 50 to 60
- (MS) Mint State – 60 to 70
There are two most well-known coin grading organizations in the USA, the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGS) in Sarasota, Florida, and the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) in Newport Beach, California.
Based on the Sheldon grading scale, a coin with a grade of 01 is severely worn but still distinguishable, and a coin with a grade of 70 is perfect, showing no sign or wear. After a coin is graded, the grading company will seal it in a protective slab to protect against wear and damage, preserving its quality.
Importance of Coin Grading
Coin grading has a different application than assigning value to a coin. The coin grade depends on the coin’s condition, and the value of a coin is determined by the market (supply and demand).
A graded coin comes with a certification on the state of the coin’s preservation. It takes out the guesswork of the equation, allowing the buyers to evaluate the coin, and making it less susceptible to market price fluctuations. For example, if you have a rare, valuable coin that is graded to be in mint condition, it can reach a higher market price.
Overall, coin grading is necessary for the following benefits:
- Ensures the quality of the coin
- Protection against further wear and damage
- Much easier identification and valuation
- Better determining the coin’s market value
- Potential buyers can confirm its legitimacy
You need to note that even if you get a coin graded, it will not automatically boost the coin’s value, but it allows potential buyers to better determine what they are willing to pay for it.
What are the Costs of Coin Grading?
The NGS and PCGS, the two primary grading companies in the US, charge a fee for grading a coin. Still, to be able to submit a con for grading, you must become a member of one of the grading companies. They offer memberships depending on how many coins you have to grade.
The PCGS has three membership tiers:
- Silver membership ($69 per year)
- Gold ($149 per year)
- Platinum ($249 per year)
All PCGS memberships offer members-only show access, direct submission, and quarterly grading specials. You also get eight complimentary coin gradings with the Platinum membership, and with the Gold membership, you get four.
The NGC has four membership tiers:
- Free ($0 per year)
- Associate ($25 per year)
- Premium ($149 per year)
- Elite ($299 per year)
All NGC memberships include access to NGC’s online resources. If you sign up for the two top-tier NGC memberships, you receive a $150 grading credit, and the elite members are also eligible for bulk submission rates.
Apart from the membership fees, the PCGS and the NGC also charge a fee for every coin you send for grading, and the price depends on the year the coin was minted, the coin type, and the coin’s maximum value. So, you would have to pay a $65 grading fee for a mint coin worth $10,000 that was produced before 1965.
Please note that these prices don’t include shipping and insurance costs, and you will have to pay an additional fee that depends on the coin’s declared values, postage, and insurance.
How to Tell if a Coin is Worth Grading?
Telling if a coin is worth grading is one of the most important questions, as not all coins are the same. Whether or not a coin is worth grading depends on the worth it would receive after grading. A rule of thumb is to get your coins graded if you believe the grading cost is worth it, as it will add more value to the coin.
Here is a practical example: suppose you have a 1921 $1 Morgan silver dollar in an apparent mint condition. Ungraded, this coin would be worth about $30; if graded by the NGC or the PCGS, it would reach the following prices depending on the grade: MS60-$35, MS61-$35, MS62-$35, MS63-$45, MS64-$55, MS65-$140, MS66-$575, MS67-$10,000.
So if your coin gets a grade of 66 or over, you get a fantastic return on investment, justifying all the accompanying costs like grading, shipping, and insurance.
How to Submit a Coin for Grading?
It is, in fact, effortless to submit a coin for grading, especially if you are already a member of the NGC or the PCGS. Here are the steps you should take to get a coin graded:
- Select a grading agency and become a member
- Complete your submission form and account profile, adding your address, coin details, and insurance value
- Pay for the grading service
- Send the coin to the grading agency via the post
Grading a coin usually takes about two weeks, and after grading, the coin grading agency will send back your graded coin in a plastic airtight seal along with the grade certificate.
The Bottom Line: Coin Grading is Necessary for Quality Coins
Coin grading is essential for coin collectors and dealers, as it is a way to determine the quality of a coin. It is a way to discern the coin’s condition, and based on essential factors like strike, preservation, luster, color, attractiveness, and the country it was minted, the coin can fetch a different price value.
Now you know how much it costs to certify a coin. Sure, getting a coin graded can be costly if it is of low worth, but if you are lucky enough to have a high-value coin in mint condition, the price you’ll have to pay for grading will be worth it.
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