To learn how to grade coins properly and accurately takes time and a lot of work. It begins by reading everything you can find on the subject, and there's a lot to find. Both in the form of books and on-line resources. Then you have to study what you read, learn it, get to know it, become familiar with it. And that's still just the beginning. Then you have to look at coins, in hand, tens to hundreds of thousands of coins - and apply all of the things you read and studied to those coins as you look at them. You don't learn to grade, you cannot learn to grade, by looking at a hundred or even several hundred coins in hand. And when I say that I'm talking about just 1 type of coin. For example, if you want to learn to grade Morgans then you need to have looked at and studied thousands of Morgans in hand just to begin. Same thing goes for every different type of coin. Doing all of this is necessary because each and every coin is unique. No two coins are going to have marks in the same place, or the same number of marks, the same quality of luster, the same quality of strike, the same hairlines, the same eye appeal, be centered the same, have the same quality of planchet, scratches, fingerprints, the degree of severity for all of these - the list goes on. On each and every coin all of these things are going to be different. And it is the combination of all of these things that determines the grade of each coin. There there is the fact that there are many grades within each grade. But as a general rule a good grader only uses 3 - low, good, and high for the grade. In other words if a 100 coins are all graded MS64, they are not all equal to each other. Some will be nicer than the others, some will be roughly the same, some be worse than others - but yet they are all MS64. And that concept applies to all of the different grades from PO1 to MS70. Now just getting your head wrapped around that one idea is tough for a lot of people to do. Some can never do it, others grasp it right away. But it must be done or you never learn to grade properly and accurately. Now all of this is still just the beginning. Then you also have to learn how to recognize and correctly identify many different things you will see on coins. You have to learn how to identify all of the different kinds of problem coins, that's because problem coins cannot be graded. So if you're trying to grade coins you have to know one when you see it. And there's a lot of different kinds of problem coins. You also have to learn to identify things like die wear, die scratches, tool marks, die polish marks, planchet marks, roller marks, die cracks, die chips, die breaks, and probably a few others that I can't recall off the top of my head. All of these things, from top to bottom, have an impact on the grade of a coin. And you have to learn them all. Then you have to realize that there are many different sets of grading standards and each one is different from each of the others - no two are the same. And all of the things you read and study are going to be based on one, just one, of those sets of grading standards. And it is also important to realize that all of the grading standards have changed over the years, several times. Sometimes they became tighter, more strict, and sometimes they became looser, more lenient, with the latter being the most common. This creates a bit of a problem, especially if you are looking at a slabbed coin and trying to determine if it was graded accurately. For it then becomes necessary to be able to tell when that coin was slabbed, and by whom so that you know what set of grading standards was used, and how they measure up against the grading standards currently in use. And of course it also matters what set of grading standards you yourself adhere to. Now some, even many, want to dispute the idea that grading standards have changed. But it's documented fact. All you have to do see that for yourself is to read the books and articles written on grading standards, then it's right there in front of your own eyes in black and white. And you can also look at the coins and their assigned grades, the coins themselves are the very best evidence there is. Of course before you can see that evidence, you need to know how to grade yourself. --------------------------------------------------------- The purpose of this thread is learning to grade, so that is the topic that we should discuss. Anybody can say whatever they want to say, but the goal is to help, to post links that you think are or will be helpful. To mentions books, articles, written on the subject of how to grade, and post links to them when you can. Or even to offer your personal insights on the subject. So please don't sidetrack the thread by posting pics of this coin or that coin and arguing about the grade of that coin. If that's what you want to do, fine do it. But start another thread and discuss it there. Anything written on the subject of grading is useful. You can never read enough on the subject. Some information found at the links that some post will be good and some will be bad. But even the bad teaches you something. And some of it will be outdated for as I mentioned grading standards have changed many times. But post it anyway. I'll start off by posting links to books that I believe everybody in the hobby should own and study. The books are just the starting point, but that is where you should start. Everything else comes afterwards. I will also post some links to useful articles. http://www.amazon.com/Official-Stan...=1393340574&sr=1-2&keywords=ana+grading+guide http://www.amazon.com/Official-Grading-Counterfeit-Detection-Edition/dp/0375720502 http://www.coingrading.com/ http://www.ngccoin.com/coin-grading-guide/ http://www.pcgs.com/eyeappeal.html http://www.ngccoin.com/news/viewarticle.aspx?IDArticle=2259 http://www.usgoldexpert.com/articles-by-scott-travers/ This is just a start, I have many other links that I can post, and I will probably add some, but I want to see what others have to add. So discuss and post away.