Coins We Love: JC's CAC Grading Experience

Coins We Love: JC's CAC Grading Experience

Having been in numismatics nearly all my life as a collector, dealer, and now full-time buyer and numismatist at DLRC, one thing I have never gotten to do is try my hand as a coin grader. That all changed last week when John Albanese and company invited me to guest grade for a day. What a day it turned out to be!

I started the day taking “first base” on roughly 150 raw coins, where I was able to grade everything from a 1921 Chapman proof Morgan Dollar to a damaged, Good Details 1899 Liberty “V” Nickel. Later, I enjoyed reviewing crossovers in PCGS and NGC holders. Quite a wide range of material crossed my desk, and honestly, it was amusing grading everything from common circulated cents to superb gem dollars. Contrary to what one might think, the work was not monotonous nor intimidating at all! An ongoing conversation slowly emerged amongst the graders as we discussed the coins that lay before us. Every grader in the room was willing to openly share their thoughts and ask one another for opinions. Questions like, “Do you think this deserves a plus grade?” or “Do these surfaces look natural to you?” were tossed around with some regularity. It was a truly open discussion among professionals, and I was encouraged to take advantage of my time there and ask an abundance of questions.

In addition to the lively discussion throughout the day, I was impressed by the lack of ego in the room. These graders are the best of the best, and I know some of them personally. But as submissions went to finalization, there was no “I’m right and you’re wrong” attitude or a chip on anyone’s shoulder. On the contrary, if there was a significant difference of opinion on a coin before finalization, yet another respectful discussion would ensue. The lack of defensiveness was remarkable because the shared goal in the grading room was to get the coin right, not just to be right. Each submission really does get a “fair shake” at CACG!

My experience at CAC Grading was useful, educational, fun, and challenging all at once. I look forward to another opportunity to be in the grading room soon, so I can expand my knowledge of the intricacies of grading. With all honesty, I can say that CACG is doing things the right way, consistently grading coins, and zeroing in on what I view as a proper standard. Plus, they’re just a fun group of people to work with, just like my friends and coworkers here at DLRC, whom I appreciate every day.

Numismatically Yours,

John Call

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