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How long does a grader take to grade a coin?

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It is interesting that some coins can be graded in rather short order, while others require lengthier inspection. For many graders, the most commonly seen pieces such as Morgan and Peace Dollars, certain gold pieces, certain 20th Century type, are graded quicker versus coins of the early 19th century. In large part, this is due to the quantities seen over the years by the graders. Also, their individual specialty seems to allow for a more rapid determination of the grade for a coin.


There are many series of coins that grade quicker due to "typical" states of preservation they are found in. For example, so many Morgan dollars that come out of bags are obviously uncirculated, with the primary determinations being the amount of contact to be considered. On the other hand, when one encounters a lightly worn $3 gold piece, close inspection must take place to determine authenticity first, then to inspect for any repairs, mount removals, rim filings and the like (which are found often enough on this series), and then the grading process itself begins.


Coins that require additional inspection for designations also increase the amount of time spent on each piece.


In the end, to answer your question, while grading a fresh Morgan dollar might only take 10-15 seconds, there are plenty of coins that can take a minute or two to come to a conclusion on.


Then of course there are those special coins that you just don't want to put down. Even if the grading only took a half-minute, you can't help but admire it for another several minutes. Yes, it still happens after all of the coins we've seen.


Rick Montgomery

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