After you find a suitable coin dealer, you still need to learn and improve your knowledge in coin collecting. By learning, you will get valuable information and knowledge so you can be more comfortable when dealing with coin appraisal process. Understanding the grading system is very useful when you want to improve your coin appraisal knowledge.
When you understand this coin grading system, you will have knowledge to evaluate and determine the value of a coin. Obviously a collector who can spot a rare coin that is in a good condition will have essential advantage in coin collecting. There are some coin grading systems developed to determine the condition of coins and one of the most common ones is the letter grading system.
The grading system classifies the condition of the coins using English words and letters. The lowest grade is Poor (PO) or Basal, which means that the coin is barely recognizable. Most coin collectors do not want to collect poor graded coins unless they are extremely rare or have a sentimental value. The next grade is Fair (Fr) where the coin has a slightly better condition, although it still looks worn. The higher grade after Fr is AG or Almost Good and this is followed by G or Good and VG or Very Good.
Other high grades are Fine (F), Very Fine (VF), and Extremely Fine (EF or XF). Usually this is the grade that a circulated coin can get. For uncirculated coins, there are higher grades called Almost Uncirculated (AU), Uncirculated (Unc), and Beautiful Uncirculated (BU).
Even if you have been a coin collector for a long period of time, coin grading can still be a complicated task. Asking advice from professionals is still a good idea when you want to find out the grade of a certain coin. There are some well known companies that provide coin grading system services, such as Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS), American Numismatic Association Certification Service (ANACS), and Independent Coin Grading Company (ICG).