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#9790572 - 02/05/17 03:17 AM Graders use microscope when grade coins?
toyonakataro Offline
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Registered: 01/28/02
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I read a bolg by a Japanese dealer stating how precisely fake coins are made these days.
He says some coins are hard to tell their authenticity without using microscope and that he detected some fake Japanese coins in genuine (PCGS / NGC) slabs.

I think I have read somewhere that graders usually grade coins just with their naked eyes, but I may be wrong.
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#9790618 - 02/05/17 07:19 AM Re: Graders use microscope when grade coins? [Re: toyonakataro]
MarkFeld Offline
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Registered: 09/23/02
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Hi Taro,

I believe that in the very large majority of cases, graders grade with their naked eye or a glass. And that use of a microscope would be extremely rare.


Edited by MarkFeld (02/05/17 08:37 AM)
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#9790645 - 02/05/17 08:00 AM Re: Graders use microscope when grade coins? [Re: MarkFeld]
toyonakataro Offline
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Registered: 01/28/02
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Loc: Japan
Hi Mark
According to his opinion, that would mean grading companies would keep on allowing fake coins into their holders, but have you heared about troubles about that?
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#9790651 - 02/05/17 08:18 AM Re: Graders use microscope when grade coins? [Re: toyonakataro]
James_OldeTowne Offline
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A microscope, or at least a high-powered magnifier, can help immensely in authenticating a coin, for example, to look for an added mintmark. But high magnification is useless for grading. ALL coins look horrible under strong magnification, since tiny, unimportant surface anomalies can look like huge, gaping craters.
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#9790776 - 02/05/17 10:03 AM Re: Graders use microscope when grade coins? [Re: James_OldeTowne]
GoldFinger1969 Offline
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Mark, on this subject, given the increases in microprocessor and computing power today vs. 10 years ago -- let alone the 1980's when the TPGs came into existence -- how long do you think it will be before all coins submitted to PCGS or NGC are given an automatic scan that checks metallic content, checks dimensions, strike quality, imperfections, etc ?

Not necessarily to grade the coins...but to look for counterfeits. A scanner or analyzer should be able to work 50-100x faster than graders if not more. Once a coin was confirmed as authentic, graders could concentrate on the aesthetics and other gray areas that humans excel at but computers can't do (yet).


Edited by GoldFinger1969 (02/05/17 10:03 AM)

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#9790822 - 02/05/17 10:41 AM Re: Graders use microscope when grade coins? [Re: GoldFinger1969]
BillJones Offline
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Registered: 03/09/02
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I am nearsighted and do my initial sharpness grading with my naked eyes. I know up front 95% percent of the time if I'm interested in a piece for purchase from my unmagnified inspection. I use a 3X glass now and then for grading, and always use 10X when I'm looking for signs of cleaning and authenticity concerns. The 10X is around my neck, and I use it on everything I'm serious about buying,

I have a microscope at home. I use it to get up close when I really want to look at the details, but it's useless for grading. That level of magnification makes EVERY coin look bad.

Interestingly enough the ICG grades use a scope at the shows all the time. I couldn't grade that way, but each to their own.
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#9790835 - 02/05/17 10:52 AM Re: Graders use microscope when grade coins? [Re: toyonakataro]
WoodenJefferson Offline

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 Originally Posted By: toyonakataro
Hi Mark
According to his opinion, that would mean grading companies would keep on allowing fake coins into their holders, but have you heared about troubles about that?


In some (or most, depends who you talk to) cases, not only is the coin a fake replica but also the very plastic slab containing the coin turns out to be a fake replica...even down to the hologram.
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#9790854 - 02/05/17 11:03 AM Re: Graders use microscope when grade coins? [Re: WoodenJefferson]
BillJones Offline
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Registered: 03/09/02
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Loc: Florida
 Originally Posted By: WoodenJefferson
 Originally Posted By: toyonakataro
Hi Mark
According to his opinion, that would mean grading companies would keep on allowing fake coins into their holders, but have you heared about troubles about that?


In some (or most, depends who you talk to) cases, not only is the coin a fake replica but also the very plastic slab containing the coin turns out to be a fake replica...even down to the hologram.


Although the leading companies have been fooled by counterfeits in a very small number of well publicized occasions, the vast majority of the time it's been a counterfeit coin in a counterfeit slab.
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#9790879 - 02/05/17 11:16 AM Re: Graders use microscope when grade coins? [Re: GoldFinger1969]
Six Mile Rick Offline
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Registered: 01/23/11
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Loc: Six Mile, S C
 Originally Posted By: GoldFinger1969
Mark, on this subject, given the increases in microprocessor and computing power today vs. 10 years ago -- let alone the 1980's when the TPGs came into existence -- how long do you think it will be before all coins submitted to PCGS or NGC are given an automatic scan that checks metallic content, checks dimensions, strike quality, imperfections, etc ?

Not necessarily to grade the coins...but to look for counterfeits. A scanner or analyzer should be able to work 50-100x faster than graders if not more. Once a coin was confirmed as authentic, graders could concentrate on the aesthetics and other gray areas that humans excel at but computers can't do (yet).


This would never work. Sounds good though.
The coin entered for the so called analyzer would only deem the same exact coin as genuine. All others with higher grade, lower grade, spots, wear, varieties, doubling and so on --- would be listed as fakes by the analyzer.
Technology at it's finest. \:\)
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#9790912 - 02/05/17 11:40 AM Re: Graders use microscope when grade coins? [Re: toyonakataro]
reid1836 Offline
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Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 542
I'm no expert ! Let me state that right out front !
But I have enjoyed the numismatic hobby for about 45 yrs now .
I normally buy strictly slabbed coins and tend to re-grade them myself.
Using a 7x magnifier and for variety coins like over dates and double dies ,I
might use a 10x. With gradeflation being what it is today. Many of the the currently
slabbed coins do not pass muster of their given grades in my opinion. I'm delighted when I find some that do !
But , alas you know what is said of opinions ! 🙄
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