How much does it cost to have a coin graded? Please post your experiences.
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There have been many posts lately in which a dollar value or range has been suggested for determining which coins should be graded. Some say a coin should be worth at least $100 in order to make it worth the cost. Others say $150 to $250. I would like to hear from people who have actual experience submitting coins - individually and in groups, with detailed descriptions of all costs involved.

Please list all costs associated with your submission(s). For example, a post may read something like this:

I submitted three coins to (x) company under (x) tier. The cost of grading was (x) per coin, and I also paid (x) for a variety attribution for one of them. Shipping and insurance amounted to (x). I paid (x) for packing materials, and ( if you consider fuel an expense) I traveled (x) miles each way to the post office. Any other expenses that apply to your submission should also be included. If you want to include the value of your coin before submitting, and any value difference after, please do so.

Hopefully, if several people will give examples, we can determine a fairly accurate number or range to pass on to new members. I do realize that, even if we can arrive at an actual average cost per coin, it will still not answer the question of whether a coin should or should not be submitted, since there are other factors that figure into the equation, but  it should at least provide a starting point.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

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This is easy to answer.  Just call each of the four major services and ask or download their submission forum.  As this is an NGC web site, that's all I'll write.  :whistle:

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The key is to try to determine the market value of the ungraded coin, vs. the market value, if graded. And then weigh that estimated difference in value against the cost of grading and postage. The benefit of any added liquidity of a graded coin should also be considered.

Some coins of values less than $100 are still worth getting graded. On the other hand, other coins worth $1000 or more - such as some generic gold coins - coins aren’t necessarily worth getting graded. 

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You should have a coin graded if the value of the coin after grading is greater than the value of the coin raw + the cost of grading. 

I've had rolls of $20 coins graded because the coins sell raw for $1-$2 and the grading fee was only $5. 

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An expense in getting coins certified that is frequently overlooked by collectors is the time lost while the coin is out-of-inventory.  So if a coin takes 60 days to get certified, it could have been bought-and-sold several times over during that period.  Dealers are much more keenly aware of this hidden expense, though.

Of course, a collector who doesn't plan to sell the coin anyway loses nothing while the coin is away - the hidden expense applies only when the plan is to sell the coin(s) and reinvest profits in new inventory.

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don't forget, that coin value and how many coins not only affects the purchase price, but things like shipping and insurance (not to mention, whether you're submitting internationally or not)

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One example for NGC:

Submitted 5 coins, no special labels, did not request scratch resistant slabs.

Modern Tier

Shipping and Insurnace to NGC: $20

Grading was $16 per ($80 total)

Return Mint Packaging:  $5

Handling Fee:  $8

Return Shipping:  $23

Total for 5 coins:  $136 or $27.20 per coin

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Sorry I cannot be of any help, I have submitted twice in the last year but as I am a collector (and those two submissions were not for resale of the coins) those costs are sunk and I did/do not care about tracking the costs.  Overall there is no single number that can be defined as the correct breakeven point as too many variables are involved.  Roger often throws out his $250 number as the baseline value for submitting, but Rodger is not a collector or dealer so that number is only relevant to him and not to anyone else.  As has been noted the only number that matters is has the value been enhanced enough to recoup the costs of the grading process if selling is the end goal.  For collectors who may have other goals besides an eventual sale the value enhancement may well be a secondary concern and thus not the most important concern.  While I don't make a habit of this I too have submitted coins with sub $50 values because selling the coin was not the primary goal.

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4 hours ago, Morpheus1967 said:

Total for 5 coins:  $136 or $27.20 per coin

That seems to be in the ballpark for moderns.

My last submission, in September:

Submitted 12 coins, no special labels, scratch resistant slabs, conservation, variety plus, images, etc.

World Modern Tier

Membership Fees $0 (I have a Premium membership which costs $149 but comes with a $150 NGC credit, so it's basically a wash as long as you use it, I think the base membership is $25, no credit)

Packaging, Shipping and Insurance to NGC: $26.90 (Priority Mail 3-DAY)

Grading was $17 per ($204 total)

Return Mint Packaging:  $0

Handling Fee:  $10

Return Shipping:  $30

Total for 12 coins:  $270.90 or $22.58 per coin

I could have saved some on shipping to NGC if I used a slower service. On average I submit around 14 coins and the cost has been between $20 -$23 per coin. There was no coin that would have a value over $90 (raw) on this submission, four of the coins were for my personal collection the remaining eight I sold. Each of the sold coins were profitable with grading and selling fees (when applicable) calculated into my final cost.

While I think it is a good idea to err on the side of caution when recommending whether or not to submit, I do think it is a good lesson for people who have put some time in, learning what they can about their coins and go into it with eyes wide open. Regardless if it may be monetarily worth it, high risk or they disagree with others evaluations. You got to learn some how.

 
Edited by Fenntucky Mike
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Whether a coin should be submitted depends on more than cost, as mentioned above. As a collector I have coins graded so that my collection is uniform and protected. This often means that I don't buy raw coins (such as modern type) as the economics work far better and there is relatively little wait time when the coin is already graded. The raw coins that I do buy and have graded tend to be foreign coins that are virtually impossible to find graded, in which case I'm sure the economics are poor, but I end up with an attractive and secure set. Of course liquidity is a major factor for anyone as sooner or later you or someone will almost certainly want to liquidate your collection. In this world of fakes and altered coins, I would guess that the dollar/grading threshold is pretty low for coins that are often misrepresented, such as a low-end 16D Merc. 

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One of my recent submissions:

12 coins submitted to NGC under Economy insured for $2500.

Postage & insurance Priority to NGC $3.70 per coin

Grading and photo $30 per coin ($22 + $8)

Return shipping and Insurance 3.75 per coin

Cost per coin: $37.45

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On 11/5/2020 at 4:57 AM, Conder101 said:

This can also be a good example of why you DON'T just submit a single coin.  So if he had sent one coin instead of five, the cost breakdown would then be.

Shipping and insurance $20

Grading $16

Return mint packaging $5

Handling fee $8

Return shipping $23

Total for 1 coin $72

My question is it says if the coin is worth $25.000 its $350 + tier which I dont know what tier means and I knew u had to be a member to submit so I just bought the $25 membership and if the coin is worth $10,000 its $175 + tier.$3,000 is $80 and $300 is I think $18 well if you've never had them graded before how do u know if they're worth $25,000 or $10,000 and so on because that's what we're asking them to do but they're asking us to determine the value of our own coins and we're not professional traders and I'm unsure if I have a couple of double dies or not I dont have a microscope so I guess I'm just gonna have to call ngc customer service

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On 7/26/2021 at 7:55 PM, Melissa6456 said:

My question is it says if the coin is worth $25.000 its $350 + tier which I dont know what tier means and I knew u had to be a member to submit so I just bought the $25 membership and if the coin is worth $10,000 its $175 + tier.$3,000 is $80 and $300 is I think $18 well if you've never had them graded before how do u know if they're worth $25,000 or $10,000 and so on because that's what we're asking them to do but they're asking us to determine the value of our own coins and we're not professional traders and I'm unsure if I have a couple of double dies or not I dont have a microscope so I guess I'm just gonna have to call ngc customer service

I’m sure if someone submitted a $25,000 coin they would do the walk through tier I wouldn’t send $25,000 coin in mail and sit around waiting for it to be graded I’d drive there myself . If your asking for inexperienced person sending some coins in for grading ? It probably best to see local coin dealer get idea what coins you have what are they worth more sorta like a appraisal some dealers will charge for that. Most collectors know what they have I’m sure if someone mistakenly send a $300(max value) coin in $25,000 tier Grading NGC will contact them ? Perhaps ? Or if there is some other mistake NGC will contact you about it … Now if you bought the coin raw ? Your value of each coin you’re sending in for grading is what you paid or what the current Raw market is for that coin in that condition , thats easy look up a bunch places see what they are selling for price wise that = value 

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On 7/26/2021 at 6:55 PM, Melissa6456 said:

My question is it says if the coin is worth $25.000 its $350 + tier which I dont know what tier means and I knew u had to be a member to submit so I just bought the $25 membership and if the coin is worth $10,000 its $175 + tier.$3,000 is $80 and $300 is I think $18 well if you've never had them graded before how do u know if they're worth $25,000 or $10,000 and so on because that's what we're asking them to do but they're asking us to determine the value of our own coins and we're not professional traders and I'm unsure if I have a couple of double dies or not I dont have a microscope so I guess I'm just gonna have to call ngc customer service

You don’t.

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Ultimately it comes down to personal preference but I have decided to minimize the number and type of coins I buy that will need submitting later to market it properly to recover my money.  Yes, this means I don't like most coins enough to buy it.

Right now, I have two submissions pending with one recently returned.  The one returned was under the "World Standard" tier which cost $38 each (X2), plus a $10 handling fee plus the return shipping by registered mail.  I valued these two at $1150, though one came back in a lower grade than I hoped.  I don't intend to sell either but the one below my expectations, I'll crack it out if I do, as it's now worth more out of the holder than in it.

The second submission is for a regrade due to a spot appearing to develop in the holder.  I intend to file a claim under the grading guarantee if it comes back in a lower grade or as a "details".  I have to pay a $30 conservation fee, $38 grading fee, handling fee, and shipping.  Total is about $100 for a coin I valued at $1200, if it comes back with the original grade.

The third submission has five coins which I valued around $1750.  Two will grade under "Standard" and three as "World Economy" which costs $22.  The combined cost will be about $300.  I would have preferred not to have these coins graded, only conserved so that I can see what the coins look like first.  However, NGC discontinued that option since the last time I submitted.  Yes, it's another annoyance, as it potentially means I will end up with one or more "details" coins which I would never knowingly have graded.  I might have before but the cost is too high now.

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On 7/30/2021 at 11:09 AM, World Colonial said:

The second submission is for a regrade due to a spot appearing to develop in the holder.  I intend to file a claim under the grading guarantee if it comes back in a lower grade or as a "details".

Guarantee does not cover coins that "go bad" (develop spots, tone etc.) after slabbing.

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On 7/26/2021 at 7:55 PM, Melissa6456 said:

My question is it says if the coin is worth $25.000 its $350 + tier which I dont know what tier means and I knew u had to be a member to submit so I just bought the $25 membership and if the coin is worth $10,000 its $175 + tier.$3,000 is $80 and $300 is I think $18 well if you've never had them graded before how do u know if they're worth $25,000 or $10,000 and so on because that's what we're asking them to do but they're asking us to determine the value of our own coins and we're not professional traders and I'm unsure if I have a couple of double dies or not I dont have a microscope so I guess I'm just gonna have to call ngc customer service

If I thought I had a couple dd coins I would have a coin dealer or expert look at them first to make sure they are worth grading. There are many many dd coins out there that are not worth much at all. There are very few that are valuable. Way more that are not than is. I've been searching and searching and only found one ddo in the wild and it is not worth a premium. Just because it is a dd doesn't make it valuable. 

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On 7/31/2021 at 12:54 AM, Conder101 said:

Guarantee does not cover coins that "go bad" (develop spots, tone etc.) after slabbing.

Well, at least it came back MS-65 which is an upgrade from MS-64.  i was worried it might come back AU details with spot removal.  Total cost though is $104 since I had to submit it alone.

Edited by World Colonial
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So it was a 64, it grew a spot, you sent it in for a regrade, and it came back a 65.  Yeah that makes sense.  :)

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On 8/3/2021 at 3:53 PM, Conder101 said:

So it was a 64, it grew a spot, you sent it in for a regrade, and it came back a 65.  Yeah that makes sense.  :)

I can see the image of the coin but have not received it back.  Once I do, I'll look at it under magnification.  My assumption is that the spot I THINK I saw didn't go into the surfaces as I thought it might.  Also, the coin must have been dipped as part of conservation, as it looks a lot more lustrous.  I'd prefer the coin with color but it was already untoned (and somewhat dull) prior to resubmission.

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I missed that you had it conserved.  If so it could be possible the spot is gone with no damage and then it would just be a case of them changing their opinion.  And since grading is an art and not a science that could be justified.

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