How is a coin graded?
To get a coin graded, the coin must be sent to a grading service like PCGS or NGC. These companies provide unbiased, numismatic experts to grade each coin. The grade a coin receives can drastically affect its value, so it is important to use a popular, credible service that can handle your coin with expertise.
Each company’s grading process is slightly different, however, it follows the same general steps. The first step is to submit the coin you want to be graded to the company of your choosing. Each coin should be sent in a single plastic flip to preserve the coin. Along with the physical coin, the owner must send the specifications of the coin, along with the payment, shipping address, and other information needed by the company.
Once the coin is received by the company, the grading process starts. Upon arrival, the coin is identified to ensure it is the same coin as filled out on the submission invoice. The coin is entered into the database and put into a vault until the next phase of the grading process.
Once the expert graders are ready, the coin is taken from the vault and placed in the grading room. Each coin is meticulously examined and compared to reference coins to ensure the coin receives the correct grade. Every tiny detail can affect the grade. The coin is graded based on the condition of its edges, surface, luster, design quality, etc. This step also authenticates the coin to determine if it is genuine. The coin is also examined by at least two graders to guarantee consistency.
After the coin has been graded, it is sent to be encapsulated in a plastic capsule surrounded by a tamper-proof transparent slab. All of the grading information will be displayed on the slab. The coin is usually checked again for quality. The final step is to ship the coin back to its owner.
This process can be expensive, so consider your options and the costs involved before sending in your coins.