When it comes to coin collecting, I often hear customers discuss among themselves the value of their coins and the fact that no commonly accepted grading standard can be agreed upon. Often, I hear disputes between these hobby collectors about how much their collection is worth based on their own criteria, which is not always the most objective approach to coin grading.
Most of the experienced coin dealers or re-sellers I see on eBay don’t offer a coin grading in their listings without providing some type of disclaimer that they are not expert graders. Some are even more cautious and clearly indicate that “the grading is up to you”, or “we’ll let you decide what you think the value of this coin is”.
More experienced coin dealers or collectors are a step ahead of this and can determine from the selling price and seller’s feedback score what grading the coin may be expected to be but they will never offer a firm guarantee that their grading will be accepted by another coin dealer.
Nonetheless, without the aid of a standardized grading system, I am constantly faced with tough questions regarding coin grading and ultimately, the value of my customers’ coins. Questions such as whether is MS-63 the same as BU (Brilliant Uncirculated) often come up.
With respect to the lack of a standardized coin grading system, new collectors must often develop trust with their coin dealers, as these are the only credible resources. With that being said, a coin dealer is not necessarily an expert grader, but at least he or she can explain why they feel a coin deserves a particular grade.