What is the hardest skill to acquire in numismatics?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Leadfoot, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot there is no spoon

    For some, grading is difficult. For others, variety attribution comes slowly. Many have a difficult time putting a value to a particular coin. Some people have a great deal of difficulty spotting countefeits.

    So I ask...

    What is the hardest skill to acquire in numismatics? What do you have trouble with?
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  3. wiggam007

    wiggam007 Cut-Rate Parasite

    Photographing coins, as I was just trying to do with no success. I can't take a good photo of a coin to save my life:headbang: Just have to keep at it until I find something that works I guess.
  4. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes?

    Anything can be learned with enough practice, the right books, and a helping of patience.

    I would add to your list of difficult skills: AT/NT. Most people just don't understand the science of it, which means they really have no idea what they are talking about.

    Photography is difficult, yes.

    For me, one of the hardest things is determining AU versus UNC. Coins that fall on the borderline are among the hardest to grade, in my opinion. I guess this is just one aspect of grading, but I think its difficult.
  5. I would definitly say photography. I'm a semi-professional photographer, and I can't get photos to look good. I have resorted to scanning the coins in my collection!
  6. Firmso

    Firmso Coin Dawg

    To me, 2 things.

    1. Being able to determine whether my pocket change is or will be collectible.

    2. Grading pocket change.
  7. coleguy

    coleguy Coin Collector

    From all the time I've spent hanging out in my friend's coin shop, I'd have to say people have a hard time telling whats valuable and what isn't. I'm always amazed at the crap people bring in thinking they have a treasure trove of coins, when in fact they have coins worth little more than face value, if that.
  8. CrustyCoins

    CrustyCoins Twilight Photographer

    I've spent the better part of 5 years learning how to photograph coins and I'm still picking up new things. :)
  9. CrustyCoins

    CrustyCoins Twilight Photographer

    I'd have to say the toughest skill for me is counterfeit detection. I think I have a handle on it for the series I collect but shoot there are so many different techniques for all the different key dates from complete counterfeit to drilling small holes in the side to mount a new mint mark above on a legit coin etc.....
  10. Cloudsweeper99

    Cloudsweeper99 Treasure Hunter

    It used to be spotting a cleaning. But I've worked on that to the point where now I worry that I won't spot counterfeits if they are reasonably well done.
  11. GoldCoinLover

    GoldCoinLover Senior Member

    Spotting alterations is hard for me, I can spot most gold counterfeits, however some coins are harder than others. Gold dollars are hard because of their size, and 2 1/2 dollar indian US gold is very hard to detect, also because of its size and because of its design (sunken relief). When I took my counterfeit detection class, we were handed several 2 1/2 dollar indian heads. We were asked to look in the neck for toolmarks, ALOT of people had trouble spotting them on the neck. I couldn't spot it no matter how hard I looked..I don't know why.

    Detecting alterations can be tricky, but my thing I'm the worst at and have the most trouble is grading. I have a real hard time learning how to grade, especially having no mentor now.
  12. Just Carl

    Just Carl Numismatist

    Simple question. Answer: How to stop this hobby, go out and get some fresh air.
  13. mark_h

    mark_h Somewhere over the rainbow

    I agree with telling the difference between high grade AU and MS. And something nobody here has mentioned is my grading versus the tpg graded coins. I like the tpg coins to meet my definition and I realize I could be wrong. And I also agree with detecting fakes - even on the coins I collect I am sure some good counterfeits might get by me.

    To me photography is not part of the hobby - yes it really does help to sell and share on this site, but I think I am better servered learning other things. Of course - just my opinion on this one.
  14. Ardatirion

    Ardatirion Où est mon poisson

    I disagree with all of you! (big surprise, huh?) The hardest thing in numismatics are squiggle coins.


  15. TheNoost

    TheNoost huldufolk

    For me, its fundraising first. Next would be telling AU from UNC.
  16. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    I am completely at the mercy of the TPG's for authentication of most series of coins. I can't spot a counterfeit unless they are really bad.
  17. Speedy

    Speedy Researching Coins Supporter

    Just common sense - think about it for a min....most people would think that you would want to clean your coins, yet common sense is NO. I could go on and on, but I really think the hardest skill is the skill is LEARNING.

  18. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot there is no spoon

    The hardest thing for me to learn was patience.
  19. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast


    I have a cure for that. Learn to play middle to high limit Texas Hold-em.
  20. yakpoo

    yakpoo Member

    ...learning that Jack Danials and eBay don't mix. :eek:

    Seriously though...the newer counterfeits scare the hell outta me. :eek: I got a lot to learn about them.
  21. becky62

    becky62 Collector

    The hardest skill for me is selling for more $ than what I bought for. Not easy in this recession! :headbang: I do buy low but when I sell, the buyer offers even less, lol. So, I don't sell unless I can make a profit, any profit, small is ok but I won't take a loss.
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