The following screed is, I should note, is JMO. I've read a lot of discussions about grades and how inexact it is. It seems that everyone has a different opinion on the grade a given coin should have. And this isn't a new debate. I picked up a book recently by Q. David Bowers published in 1992 called "A Buyer's Guide to the Rare Coin Market" and he takes a chapter to the subject. As has been regularly stated in these forums, he writes, "Grading has been, is presently, and probably always will be an art and a matter of opinion." And so we have a lot of discussions about what a coin should be graded, why it's graded wrong, and what the standards are. It appears a lot of grading is based on subjective opinions. There is a line in the book that I like. It goes, "To be sure, there are some elements of a science, such as the measurement of wear on a coin or the counting of nicks and scratches, but the final determination is a judgment call." He goes on to write that a computer can measure these things. So there can be an objective opinion for a coin. But the current grading system takes an objective opinion and combines it with a subjective opinion on looks into a single number. It seems to me a better way to grade coins would be to take a cue from ice skating competition. Each skater gets two scores, technical and artistic. Applied to a coin, the technical grade would give a collector an idea of the amount of wear and amount of dings, while the artistic grade would address luster and general eye appeal. Together, the collector should have a better picture of the coin. For now, I'm buying the coin, not the grade.