The 70 Point Sheldon Grading System

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by jody526, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. Owle

    Owle Junior Member

    There is too much uncertainty in the value of many coins. Here is a recent example: I had a $20 Saint recently certified. It is a very high-end 66. A buyer agreed, but did not think it had a 100% strike to get the next highest grade which is worth a lot more money. The in-between grades are a big problem; type II $20s for example, huge spread between 62-64. So coin dealers and investors are tempted to do many re-submissions to get the higher grade. If there was a system that could assign a three number grade to the coin, the uncertainty around the inbetween grades would diminish. I realize this is a huge step from the current system, and it would require a powerful analytical system to accurately come up with an advanced numerical grade.

    The Rosen Numismatic Advisory has been suggesting the benefits of improving the current system. A lot of progress is being made. Richard Maybury, the guy who runs this site-- -- foresees a huge investor demand for certified coins. There are still a lot of hurdles to overcome before the variously graded coins are reliable as tangible assets.
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  3. kaosleeroy108

    kaosleeroy108 The Mahayana Tea Shop & hobby center

    by your idea owle you'd have to go back and regrade every coin thats certified to fit the new system ( unfeaseable for the average collector...). that would make sense.. if you offfered it for free .. but its not for the average collector .. thats for companies and stuff.. that wana charge insane rates.. to make a large hedge..
  4. Owle

    Owle Junior Member

    I would just hope there could be a more customer friendly grading system. The PCGS plus system, CAC and the like do nothing to assign money values to the in-between grades. A coin is $2000 or so in one grade and $10000 in the next grade up. There should be an analytical system to fill in the blanks.
  5. Dima

    Dima Member

    I agree with you. I think the issue is that regardless of how large the scale is, it is still a finite scale. And as for any finite number series, there are infinitely many numbers between any given numbers from the finite set. So we can redefine the grading scale to say 1-700, but x-years down the road, when people inspect coins under even heavier magnification they will again attempt to change the scale to incorporate their findings. This made sense in my head; not sure if it made sense typed out.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    You do realize that a large number of people believe that the TPGs do not grade coins, they price them.

    And there is never going to be a time when the blanks are filled in. That is because prices are largely based on a coin's availability in a given grade. So if there are a thousand examples known in 64 and only 20 in 65 then you can bet there is going to be a large price jump between the two.

    There is no way you could add enough grades to make up that differential.

    The point you are missing here is that there is more to it than just knowing how to grade coins. You also have to know the market. Now there are many people that know how to grade, and there are many people that know the market.

    But there are few people that know how to grade and know the market.
  7. Owle

    Owle Junior Member

    If you look at the Heritage Auction or other auction archives you will see a substantial range of prices for a given coin and grade. But you will not see a hugely higher hammer price in the $20 Liberty or SG series of a given date and grade unless the coin has upgrade potential. The saying "it's in the holder" forgives a lot with a coin unless it has defects which will detract from price but also may have been factored in with the grade the coin achieved.

    If a coin is a "liner", it will probably be resubmitted or sent for the CAC sticker or a plus designation. Extremely rigorous examination of coins for upgrade potential may be detracting from the enjoyment of the hobby, but that is another issue.

    Why not an AU59, or other unused numbers in the XF to AU 58 scale? If more numbers, fractions of numbers, etc. were to be added to the Sheldon Scale, it would probably create healthy competition for re-submissions.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Yes, and it is true of any series. There is also a good reason for that. Coins are not commodities and they never can be because no two are the same regardless of what the grade is.

    So it doesn't matter if you add forty eleven grades, no two coins will ever be the same. Each and every individual coin is unique. And it can only be priced/valued as such.

    That's the entire problem with the value grading that the TPGs are practicing now. It doesn't work. They need to just grade the coins, and there are plenty of grades as it is, and let the market work out the prices.

    The problem is people are lazy, beyond lazy. They want to be able to buy and sell coins as commodities because they are too lazy to take the time to actually learn anything about them so they know is a coin is graded accurately or not, and then learn the market so they also know which coins of any given grade will bring a premium.

    People with knowledge can do everything your talking about already - without adding any grades. It's only the lazy $%#@$*&(% that would ever need additional grades !
  9. connor1

    connor1 Collector

    Very true what you have stated ! Watched a PBS documentary on our (US) President Andrew Jackson,very sad what he did to the American Indians the Cherokee Nation "Trail of Tears" forcing them out of their land and homes even after they conformed to wearing our clothing & becoming Christians in some cases. But on the other hand he did away with The US Bankers hold over the power of nation. He was hated and revered by people & survived an assassination attempt when the assassin guns misfired !
  10. Owle

    Owle Junior Member

    Not everyone has the vision to be able to make a value judgment of any given coin, or all the books that would help, nor has taken all the courses others have. There are many areas of collectable coins that cannot be quantified from a dollar perspective, the market is an imperfect adjudicator of the value of collectables. I approach this subject also as a consumer advocate like Ralph Nader would. Hated by many, loved by many more people who owe there lives to the consumer advocacy of Ralph Nader and people like him. Those who would attack people who want greater accountability, transparency and better ethics in numismatics with name-calling should ask themselves how they have been helped by people with their investments, other hobbies, and so forth. Debate can be healthy if it is done in compliance with the standards set forth in the membership section.
  11. Cringely

    Cringely Active Member

    Regarding Mint State grades, a strong argument can be made that MS-64 is a full grade in itself. That is, the full grades are G, VG, F, VF, EF, AU, MS-60, MS-63, MS-64 and MS-65. This is based an an exhaustive pricing analysis of type coinage over the past three decades, relating Red Book pricing and grades.
    Basically, the relation between grade and price is an exponential one; for each step in in grade, the price increased by a relatively fixed percentage, that has been remarkably stable over the last three decades.

    As far as full grades above MS-65, there is insufficient pricing information in the Red Book to draw any conclusions.

    I have written an article addressing pricing trends for type coinage (to be specific, the 95 type coins listed in the Red Book). The article has been submitted to The Numismatist and I am waiting to hear back from the ANA; when I get word of its publishing date, I will post it.
  12. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    As always on CT great information!! :)
  13. magic_carpet_69

    magic_carpet_69 New Member

    Good read, thanks for the history of the system.
  14. leenco12

    leenco12 New Member

    For the same reason many of us use reference books written by a pedophile - the information is useful.
  15. leenco12

    leenco12 New Member

    Thanks for sharing. it's great

  16. coinman0456

    coinman0456 Coin Collector

    Of Course we all should know this is Walter Breen.
  17. coinman0456

    coinman0456 Coin Collector

    Can I nominate you for the best" truth" statement given by a CT member ?
  18. DoK U Mint

    DoK U Mint In Odd we Trust

    Always Learning

    I'm beginning to love this forum, even if GD is younger than my little brother I respect and honor his opinions.

    I believe he speaks the truth more often than most PLUS justly providing worthy opinion and I feel thankful for his vigilance here as the rest of us muddle about.

    As the Zen Master of Numies (Knows All & Owns Nothing) I salute and hope to encounter someone that can explain why Doug has so many initials, Doug himself someday or that elusive 1909 S VDB in MS. :dead-horse:

    But a Coin is worth One Thing to One
    And another thing to another.

    Good Times when they agree on the value.
  19. Owle

    Owle Junior Member

    Since I apparently triggered this salvo, I will just say now, many months after the fact that more detailed grading would be advantageous for all concerned. I was speaking to one of the major buyers the other day, and he said there is no advantage to submitting coins, for the collector/investor, because THEY, the all-knowing chieftans of coin commerce know how to grade coins and will make you the seller their best offer. Well, how can we be sure??? I have been a little too trusting, naive, non-legalistic, now perhaps I am over-compensating. I talk to my lawyer once a week at least, a psychologist when I need to, also. Trust the experts, as that old saying goes, pennywise pound foolish. I think it has something to do with money.

    Looking at a coin in an NGC mint state holder gives you certain advantages over looking at it raw. I can see all that wonderful luster, the strike, the date, the toning and so forth. I can grade approximately, but wouldn't last long at any of the grading services as a grader. Those men are phenomenal (I assume there are no female graders).
  20. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    There's no reason to dance around it. It was Breen. Facts are facts.
    bugo likes this.
  21. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    There are 295 collectable and about 57 NC varieties. If you can post pictures, there are several of us who can help attribute them. Middle Dates are also possible, but I can't help with the late dates.
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