There are a number of different companies and organizations that can grade coins. If you are thinking about having your coins graded, you may be wondering what company to pick. To help you narrow in on the right grader and figure out which services to expect, you may want to ask the following questions:
1. Do You Charge a Flat Fee or Pegged to Value?
Some companies charge a flat fee per coin, but you may be able to get a discount if you have multiple coins graded. On top of that, you may need to pay postage or other costs. Make sure that you understand the pricing structure before you choose a company.
You may also want to find a coin grader that pegs the price to the coin's value. With that approach, you will end up paying more to grade high-value coins, but you won't end up paying too much for low-value coins.
2. What Grading System Do You Use?
There are actually a few different coin grading systems. Your grader may use a word-based grading system that runs from very poor through fine and up to brilliant uncirculated. Alternatively, they may use a European system that runs from good to mint, or the company may use a numerical grading system that runs from one to 70.
Make sure that the company uses a grading system that you understand. Also, if you're selling or registering the coins, make sure that the grader uses the system preferred by your buyer or registry company.
3. Do You Offer a Registry?
Some coin grading companies also offer registry services. A registry is when you register your coin collection, and it appears in an online database that other collectors can check. Some collectors like the prominence of this approach, and if you are planning to create a registry set, it may be helpful to get grading and registry all at once.
4. What Paperwork Will You Provide?
A grade is just the first step. You also want physical proof that your coin has that grade. To that end, you should ask the grading company what type of paperwork they will give you. Perhaps, they will give you a framed certificate or a digital document. Just make sure what the company offers works with your needs.
5. Do You Offer Valuation Estimates?
Grades impact the value of a coin, but they are not the same. If you also want the approximate value that your coin is likely to fetch at auction, you may want to ask the company if it can provide that for you.