Learn About Coin Grading
For more than 30 years, collectors and investors have valued the third-party grading system, which provides independent assessment and certification. APMEX has taken an industry-leading step in making it easier than ever for shoppers to compare and buy certified coins. Learn more about coin grading below or discover CoinGrade+® here.Shop Now
Coin ratings allow multiple parties to agree on the state of preservation of a particular coin. Similar coins, of the same date and mintmark, are valued similarly when their state of preservation is the same. One coin that is bright and new-looking is generally valued higher than the same coin that has been worn and does not look brand new. Instinctively, people gravitate toward the coin that “looks better” than a similar coin that looks older or more worn. However, lower grades are not without their own unique appeal. Many collectors search for these “low-ball” examples rather than the popular high-grade coins.
Prior to 1985, there were a small handful of coin grading services. For a fee, these companies would examine a coin, then take a hi-resolution photo of the coin and send the coin and photo back to the owner. The photograph would state the grade of the coin. In 1985, a group of coin dealers got together in hopes of standardizing the coin grading process. Since some elements of grading coins are subjective, definitive standards were of critical importance. Grading needed to be consistent for each certified coin. They also developed a sealed holder (“slab”) to protect and guarantee the coin’s condition. Coin certification is now standard across metals and country, easing the minds of buyers and sellers.
Proof coins are struck specifically for collectors and feature sharp devices with mirrored fields. The blank planchets are polished and struck at least two times. Proof coins have fields that appear to be black. Some of these coins may have a Cameo, or frosted, appearance while others may exhibit a Deep Cameo (DCAM) surface.