Tipsico Coin
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WElcome to Tipsico Coin

About Tipsico 

Tipsico Coin LLC is a well established, full service mail order coin firm. We buy, sell and trade all manner of coinage, currency and exonumia (tokens, medals and related items), but we concentrate on U.S. collector coinage of the popular series.  We also offer more individual services such as servicing want lists.  We principally attend coin shows in the Pacific Northwest, but also travel to major shows in other areas of the U.S.

WElcome to Tipsico Coin


These pages and associated links include material for our customers and others needing useful, accurate and truthful information on subjects all collectors need to know in order to survive and thrive in the coin hobby. We have sections on grading, authentication and other matters.




Grading - The Root of All Evil

I am joking of course, in using the title above, but determining the accurate grade of any object is the primary way to establish a reasonable value for the item.  This is true whether it is a coin, token or medal, 1965 Mustang, baseball card or little red wagon.  Traditionally, the biggest conflict in the coin hobby between the dealer and collector has always been over this issue.

One only has to look through our "Rogues Gallery" section to find coins that were misdescribed or over-graded - the differences in value are considerable.  In most case, the customer simply trusted the dealer and did not know enough to realize that the coin was badly over-graded.  Regardless of whatever an individual may claim as to their honesty and integrity, it is still incumbent upon the customer to know enough to protect their own interest.  After all, even the most honest person makes a mistake every now than then.  I recently purchased a collection in which there are a couple of coins that I misattributed and/or mis-graded some years back, and which I am buying back from the customer at the price paid (more than they are currently worth) due to my error.

Below is a basic primer on grading, including standard terms used in the hobby and on this website, and will offer some tips on how to grade, learning how to grade (not necessarily the same thing) and some reflections on value.

Standard Grading Terms:

Tipsico Coin uses the standard grading terminology defined by and used in the American Numismatic Association "Official A.N.A. Grading Standards for United States Coins"©.  While the specific listed standards for each grade defined may be subject to interpretation, the basic terms used are the industry standard, having been in general use for over 60 years.  We recommend that every collector (and dealer) should have a copy of this text, as well as others that are available.

Grading Abbreviations:

These are the typically used adjectival (verbally descriptive) grade "points" used in industry practice, followed by the typically accepted NUMERIC equivalents, such as used on Certified coinage.

Adjectival GradeNumeric EquivalentCommonly Used Shorthand Version
About GoodAG-3Abt. Good, AG
Very GoodVG-8V. Good, VG
Very FineVF-20V. Fine, VF
Choice Very FineVF-30Ch. V. Fine, Ch. VF
Extremely FineEF-40E. Fine, E (sometimes called "Extra Fine"
Choice Extremely FineEF-45Ch. E. Fine, Ch. EF
Almost UncirculatedAU-50AU
Choice Almost UncirculatedAU-55Ch. AU, AU/Unc