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What Type Of Services Can You Expect From A Coin Dealer?

by Bruce Lawson

A volatile stock market often makes people look for other, more stable investments. One of these is often precious metals like gold or silver. If you have old coins around the house that you collected or inherited, they may be worth more than you realize. One of the best ways to determine their worth is to visit a coin dealer. They can provide you with several services that will not only determine the value of your coins but provide you with much more. Here are a couple of services you can expect to find.

Coin grading

Any time you or others handle a coin or the money comes in contact with other coins; it causes wear. The amount of wear a coin experiences can impact that coin's value. A coin is priced based on its condition or grade. Coin dealers use a specific coin grading scale to rate your coins. The scale grades the coin as one of the following:

  • Good
  • Very good
  • Fine
  • Very fine
  • Extra fine
  • About uncirculated
  • Uncirculated and proof coins

Each of these grades has specific things the coin dealer looks for. For example, for a coin to receive a grade of good, the date must be fully readable, but the rims may be worn down to the tops of the letters, and the coin will be fully outlined. But for a fine grade, your dates must be bold, and all letters and legends must be clear. Although your coin will still show moderate wear, all the significant elements in the design will show separation. 

A dealer cannot grade all coins. Sometimes this is due to a coin being counterfeit, improperly cleaned, or damaged.


Once your coin dealer grades your coin, they may also provide you with a certification. This certification is a unique label that verifies the coin's authenticity and quality. The higher the grade your coins receive, the higher the price your coin commands.

The grade is only one component that influences your coin's value. The dealer will also judge your gold and silver coins on the Sheldon Grading Scale, with a rating ranging from a low of 1 to a high of 70. The higher the grade, the better the coin's condition, and the higher the price.

Certified coins do not have the same level of volatility as ungraded or uncertified coins. The certification means during market fluctuations your coins will retain better value.