Grading Issues Again
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Hello All, I have been a coin collector for over 45 Years (bought my first coin when a I was 10). My how things have changed !! This is not a rant about grading, just a slight rant as to a couple issues of the grading process. To start with I primarily deal with a local dealer in the business for over 30 Years. I would say between the two of us, we know pretty much what we are looking at. I recently read another post where the gentleman said he was looking at a coin for over a year, he had a coin graded and it came back as I believe "AU Details - Scratch". He could not figure out where the scratch was and the grading service does not tell you. He finally found the scratch. That really bothered me, because I responded on the post that if the scratch is not that obvious and that difficult to find, then it is negligible and the coin should have been graded. 

This just happened to me. I sent in an 1849 Seated Lib 1$. Me and my dealer went over this coin with a fine tooth comb. It was worn, we thought AU or at minimum as EF 45. The coin came back EF - Details - Scratch. I went ballistic. I sent some of the nastiest emails I have ever sent because I was insulted. There is no scratch on this coin, and as I stated in the other post, if the scratch is that difficult to find (especially in an EF 169 year old coin), then it is negligible and the coin should be graded. 

My contention is that I am finding and reading more and more that the grading services are using "cop outs" such as scratching etc to either bail out of grading a coin or make a person break it out and resend the coin in for another grade, thus making them more money. People are always complaining about the grading services, and the services (primarily PCGS and NGC) have these pompous attitudes because they are considered the experts in the field and they are never wrong. I have emailed PCGS about grades and they never even got back to me. 

It is looking as if the coin grading business is killing it for the common collector. First off they will no longer deal with the collector unless you are a member, or you need to have an authorized dealer send in your coins. These services used to for example grade a coin AU 50 - scratch. ICG still does that , but the other just say "details". An AU coin can have a large price difference between AU 50 and AU 58. so to just say AU - Details is an insult to the collector. My dealer has a practice that he will buy coins slabbed, but he will never waste money sending a coin out. His belief is that the grading services are businesses and in it for the money. I think as I have sent numerous coins in, and read numerous post, he is right. I have used PCGS, NGC and ICG, while some prefer one to the other, I have found that ICG is not really different from the others (again some may disagree based on their own experience). Maybe ICG needs to advertise more, who knows, but my belief is that things do need to change in the grading industry.

I also am astounded that in this day and age, there is no digital way to grade a coin and take the human factor out. There would be more consistency and less room for error. I am guessing that the grading services do not want to see this. It may take awhile, but such a program has to be possible. All the grading services and ANA say is "well educate yourself more". I'm sorry but I am educated, not the best but I do understand coins and their blatant issues when I see them. So does my dealer. So to be insulted with a ridiculous grade because maybe the grader was in a bad mood or having a bad day is not acceptable. Hopefully times will change and the grading services will get the hint that they are people off and they won't take wasting their money for much longer. But I don't see that happening anytime soon. 

For now, I will break the 1849 Seated from the slab, maybe send it to another service, maybe not, before I do me and my dealer will go over it again. But it will be awhile before I submit other coins for grading. I am also wondering, that since this American Money, would a complaint fall under the Treasury Department for possible fraud? Just kidding. 

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