How accurate is the Grading Process.
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23 posts in this topic

The second coin is not "more worn" it has a more subdued luster and more bagmarks..  63 is probably the correct grade for it.  The first coin might be a little undergraded, or it might just be a more eye appealing 63.  This is why the idea of slabbing making coins fungible failed.  All coins of the same grade are not equal in value or equally desirable..

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Grading is an opinion given at one point in time, it is not a completely repeatable science but more of an art form under todays market grading structure.  When comparing coins and grades you have to take both sides of the coin into account, as yo have only provided one side we can only give feedback on that side not the coin in total.  Also you have two different coins with photos that were taken by two different individuals under different lighting conditions which also affects the outcome.  So with all that in mind here are my thoughts on your coin, the obv fields are very clean with good luster, there are some heavy bag marks in the prime focal areas.  The strike is good but not completely full, noting some weakness in the cotton balls and the cheek is not fully struck up.  This date is usually seen well struck with great luster, I would score the obv as an MS64 and perhaps the rev of your coin brought down the grade.

For your reference this is my example and it is graded MS65, note how much cleaner (less marks) the devices are on my example than yours.  I can certainly sympathize with your feelings as I thought this would go MS66 when I sent it in, but that is the grading game.

 

1897Ssdcomp.jpg

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9 hours ago, NevadaS&G said:

Hi all here's my 1897-S Morgan that came back graded as MS-63. It's the first picture.

The second picture is of a much more worn 1897-S that was graded MS-63.

Have I been bamboozeled by the TPG companies. What do you think

cert_40553195_obversesingle_202934607_Max.jpg

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You've got a frosty, well-struck 97-S with nice eye appeal. Definitely at the top of the grade range, (assuming the Rev is typical or better.) If it were in a 64 holder it would be viewed as a 'low-end' coin and knowledgeable buyers would want a discount.  As a 63 a seller would be justified in asking a fair premium.

That 2nd coin is almost certainly not Choice BU/MS63. The hits on the cheek are far too deep, and tho it looks like it may be semi-PL, that only serves to highlight the scruffiness in the fields. It's got, 'negative eye appeal', and that defies the very notion of a "Choice" BU coin. Unless that 2nd coin has a beautifully toned Rev, it doesn't deserve a 63 grade, and that pic is definitely all I need to make that assessment.

You weren't bamboozled, you've just got a 'sight-seen' coin that was graded using a system designed to facilitate the "sight unseen" trading of coins.

Edited by ProfHaroldHill
clarity
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Wow thanks for all your comments and feedback. Yes the reverse of my coin looks better than the Obverse, which I didn't post a picture of.

But thats what initially brought me here. Thanks Again, I will try to resubmit my coin to NGC to see if I can get a 64 one day in the future.

Edited by NevadaS&G
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5 hours ago, RWB said:

"Grading" by TPGs is an opinion. There are no clear, empirical standards, and no organization to support such standards. (ANA abrogated this responsibility 30 years ago.) The application of numbers does not mean "greater accuracy"  - only finer divisions of the same opinions.

My thoughts are that TPGs' greatest values are:

  1. Authentication
  2. Separation of uncirculated from circulated
  3. Error recognition and classification
  4. Variety attribution

 

Shame on them ! I guess that's why they make the Big Bucks

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1 hour ago, NevadaS&G said:

Wow thanks for all your comments and feedback. Yes the reverse of my coin looks better than the Obverse, which I didn't post a picture of.

But thats what initially brought me here. Thanks Again, I will try to resubmit my coin to NGC to see if I can get a 64 one day in the future.

Before resubmitting the coin, you should try to show it to someone who is knowledgeable about grading and find out what MS63’s and MS64’s are actually trading at. 
Based on the image, it looks accurately graded, but regardless, the current difference in value between a 63 and a 64 probably doesn’t justify the cost of regrading and postage.

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5 hours ago, ProfHaroldHill said:

You've got a frosty, well-struck 97-S with nice eye appeal. Definitely at the top of the grade range, (assuming the Rev is typical or better.) If it were in a 64 holder it would be viewed as a 'low-end' coin and knowledgeable buyers would want a discount.  As a 63 a seller would be justified in asking a fair premium.

That 2nd coin is almost certainly not Choice BU/MS63. The hits on the cheek are far too deep, and tho it looks like it may be semi-PL, that only serves to highlight the scruffiness in the fields. It's got, 'negative eye appeal', and that defies the very notion of a "Choice" BU coin. Unless that 2nd coin has a beautifully toned Rev, it doesn't deserve a 63 grade, and that pic is definitely all I need to make that assessment.

You weren't bamboozled, you've just got a 'sight-seen' coin that was graded using a system designed to facilitate the "sight unseen" trading of coins.

I'll take that as I could have been slightly Bamboozled :grin: thanks.

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34 minutes ago, NevadaS&G said:

I'll take that as I could have been slightly Bamboozled :grin: thanks.

All is opinion. You are paying for hopefully well informed opinion. Maybe you got it, maybe you didn’t. I agree yours is nicer. I think perhaps the other one is over graded. Caveat: Lighting can both reveal and conceal. You can easily make a 1 to 1 comparison come out any way you want by playing with lighting angles. 

Edited by VKurtB
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I absolutely love Morgan dollars and successfully collected all five Morgan mint marks in MS-64 grade. It’s important to point out that I’m a Brit, not American, and getting Morgans shipped over here is not easy because of crippling customs charges. The 20% VAT (Value Added Tax) our government automatically slaps on silver purchases is another major obstacle which is why collecting Morgans is something of a niche market this side of the pond.

I’m totally flummoxed how all my five Morgans look completely different but were all graded MS-64. I’ve cracked all my Morgans out of their PCGS slabs, encapsulated and catalogued them as BU. I’m honestly at a loss to explain with any finesse why most of my MS-64 Morgans look indistinguishable from your second MS-63 Morgan even right down to the cheek scratches. Coin grading is one of the most complex areas of numismatics but unfortunately absolutely essential to a coin’s value.

Edited by S3R3NDIPITY
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On 11/27/2020 at 3:54 PM, RWB said:

"Grading" by TPGs is an opinion. There are no clear, empirical standards, and no organization to support such standards. (ANA abrogated this responsibility 30 years ago.) The application of numbers does not mean "greater accuracy"  - only finer divisions of the same opinions.

My thoughts are that TPGs' greatest values are:

  1. Authentication
  2. Separation of uncirculated from circulated
  3. Error recognition and classification
  4. Variety attribution

 

Yes, I agree with you entirely which is why I favour slabbed Morgans over raw ones for peace of mind. I want to own real Wild West silver dollars, not replicas. The US and British Royal Mints are overhauling their Eagles and Britannias with new security features like the Canadian Maples because of the counterfeits. I’m not a big fan of modern security-laden holographic coins. The counterfeits are being churned out on an industrial scale like never before which is why I value the authenticity of coins slabbed by TPGs. The higher prices for authenticated slabbed coins are a small price to pay compared to putting the counterfeiters out of business.

Edited by S3R3NDIPITY
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Bamboozled is a strong word. Like you, I have two  coins only with two different dates and two different grades. Now imagine how you would feel if your upper coin which, given a choice, a buyer would reach for, were graded MS- 63, while your lower coin with all the distractions graded MS-64. I don't have any intention of doing anything about my quandary principally because grading as presently practiced is not a science.

Edited by Quintus Arrius
Clarification
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