Once upon a time a coin would be worth its weight in gold, silver, copper or bronze. Today, and mostly since 1964, the base metals that inhabit our pockets are merely tokens of exchange, although designs, compositions and values continue to change, the function remains the same.
Throughout history rare coins have captured the imagination of collectors and investors for their aesthetic beauty and intrinsic value. Those who have ever held a quality rare coin that has been preserved for many years, holds a piece of history in their hands.
Interest in coin collecting has grown rapidly, especially over the last 50 years, but the hobby has been with us for centuries, even back to the Roman times. Growth in the interest in rare coins has steadily increased over time, and today, this is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding hobbies available. With the increase of new collectors and the interest spurred by investors looking to diversify their investments, as well as the hoarding of coins by those who feel insecure about the current monetary systems, the coin market is an active and highly charged arena reacting to the laws of supply and demand.
A system of coin grading began in 1948 by Dr. William Sheldon. The grading scale ranged from 01 through 70 on the theory that 70 would be worth seventy times as much as a one. Although coin collectors agreed on the scale they could not agree upon a standard. In 1985, an industry wide grading standard for coins was established to bring consistency to the grading of coins. This virtually eliminated the problem of dealers grading the same coin differently. It also established a system where there is standardization, a grading guarantee and a sight-unseen trading. Three widely recognized and respected grading companies are the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), and ANACS (Amos Numismatic Authentication and Certification Service).
Pricing consideration for numismatic coins is derived by using many sources including price guides, reference books, mintages and population reports, auction records and dealer quote systems.
Coin collecting is an interactive science and study and at the same time a marvelously enjoyable hobby.