As convenient as the Internet is for making purchases, before you buy coins online it is important to learn as much as you can about this collectible item. A novice collector can easily make serious errors when purchasing, which could lead to significant losses.
The process of coin grading involves examining the item to determine its market value. The value is determined by the level of wear and damage and the preservation of the metal. To enter into this arena, it’s essential that you learn how to examine and grade coins so you know how to value items you consider buying.
Collectors use the numeric Sheldon Scale to grade coins. The scale includes grades of poor, fair, good, very good, fine, very fine and extremely fine. The top grade on the scale is “mint state perfect.” An item given this grade would be considered perfect in every way without any flaws whatsoever.
When learning the grading process, sit in a work area with a direct light source with at least a 100-watt light bulb. You will also need a magnifier with a strength of 5x to 8x of effective magnification. The first step in grading is to determine whether the coin falls into an uncirculated, about uncirculated, or circulated category. From this determination, the third step involves comparing the coin to the Sheldon Scale description of each grade to decide where it fits in the scale. With practice and trial and error, you will soon have a reasonable idea of how to grade coins.
Once you understand grading, explore the collector’s world to learn how the products sell and the prices at which they sell in the market. Knowing retail values will help you determine fair prices as you peruse sales listings. It can also help to learn about the history of coins so you understand individual designs, important dates, and distinguishing varieties. This knowledge will help you recognize fair deals when you see them. It will also help you organize and add to your collection in a methodical manner. Try attending collector shows to gain more knowledge and to enable you to see the products with your own eyes.
Internet auctions are a popular way to find new products to buy. When shopping online, check the item and seller’s information carefully. Avoid any sellers from China because it’s likely that the products that will come from this seller will be counterfeit. Never rush into a sale because you’re afraid that someone else will buy the item. A rushed sale is likely to end in error if you don’t complete your research before making the purchase.
To protect yourself from fraud and loss, always make your Internet payment with a credit card. Credit card purchases have buyer protection that will enable you to make a fraud claim if anything goes wrong with the transaction. Keep careful and complete records of every purchase you make, including sale date, type, where you purchased it, and the price. If you ever want to sell the product later, this information will be invaluable.
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