Calling on Professional Graders and Attribution specialists

Aspie_RoccoAspie_Rocco Posts: 1,143 ✭✭✭✭✭

I have lots of questions about how the professional graders and attributors got their position. I have a desire to one day work as a professional with Variety attributions. Rather than say any more, I hope to get the thread moving with some commentary from the professionals, past or presently employed...

Comments

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,409 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Be careful what you wish for. I know that I would find the work to be a grind. You have time quotas to fill, and for every great and interesting coin you might see, there will probably be 10 to 20 others that will be "just stuff."

    I know I'd go crazy trying to attribute Bust Half Dollars. The series does not interest me, and I have never found the Overton book to be user friendly. I know that there is a new book. Maybe it's better.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 8,455 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll may write more this weekend but lately, the fast track seems to be by attending the ANA Summer Seminars.

  • KollectorKingKollectorKing Posts: 4,142 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Aspie_Rocco said:
    I have lots of questions about how the professional graders and attributors got their position. I have a desire to one day work as a professional with Variety attributions. Rather than say any more, I hope to get the thread moving with some commentary from the professionals, past or presently employed...

    You sure you’re not @Insider2 s son or bro :o

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 15,358 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, I started my own business doing variety attributions several hours a week to earn some money to spend on coins. I don't know that I'd want to dedicate myself to doing it all day, every day, on someone else's schedule. It would be quite the grind. Some coins go quickly, some take a while and are frustrating to attribute.

  • topstuftopstuf Posts: 11,236 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk said:
    Well, I started my own business doing variety attributions several hours a week to earn some money to spend on coins. I don't know that I'd want to dedicate myself to doing it all day, every day, on someone else's schedule. It would be quite the grind. Some coins go quickly, some take a while and are frustrating to attribute.

    How many millions of bucks have you gotten for your efforts? ;)

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 8,455 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 9, 2018 3:31PM

    @KollectorKing said:

    @Aspie_Rocco said:
    I have lots of questions about how the professional graders and attributors got their position. I have a desire to one day work as a professional with Variety attributions. Rather than say any more, I hope to get the thread moving with some commentary from the professionals, past or presently employed...

    You sure you’re not @Insider2 s son or bro :o

    Fortunately, they broke my mold; however, he sure does post as I do! :wink:

  • Aspie_RoccoAspie_Rocco Posts: 1,143 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 9, 2018 3:46PM

    Great minds... something something dark side? No, there is some quote about... in Crete minds think alike... or Great Lakes think of minds... it sounds like the crepes mine, think I like it...
    yeah

    @KollectorKing said:

    You sure you’re not @Insider2 s son or bro :o

    Lol. I actually imposed a similar concept question on him directly before making this thread. With his suggestion of making it a more public Q & A, I posted this to maximize input and information for all.

  • gtstanggtstang Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭✭

    I think one question you'd want to ask yourself is will you want to still work on and build a personal collection outside of work. You may tire of looking at coins all day as a professional.

  • HemisphericalHemispherical Posts: 344 ✭✭✭

    @Aspie_Rocco Based upon what I have seen and read here you have a great attention to the minutest detail. I would think you would do great as a grader/attributor... but, doing this as a job versus hobby is a big jump.

    Regardless, I think you can do it. The fact that you are actively seeking advice from current and former specialists in the field indicates to me that there is a certain passion for what you are seeking. I do recall a similar post of yours awhile back.

    I would try to seek some type of apprentice position so you actually get the feel of the occupational versus hobby aspects.

    You have probably have seen these but others may not.

    Forum’s host grading procedure (graders start at the 1:50 mark):

    Other vids:
    https://www.pcgs.com/education

  • ilikemonstersilikemonsters Posts: 307 ✭✭✭
    edited November 9, 2018 5:41PM

    "I have lots of questions about how the professional graders and attributors got their position." How do graders get their positions? By being a good grader.

  • rickoricko Posts: 61,780 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have often wondered how graders do get their positions... However, I am not curious because I would like to do that work... on the contrary, no way could I sit at a position and view coins for 8 hours a day....That would quickly have me running out the door... :s Cheers, RickO

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 8,455 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 10, 2018 8:20AM

    @Aspie_Rocco

    As Bill and Riko posted, grading coins is not what most imagine, I think I've had the best overall situations every place I've worked as it is only on rare occasion that I've ever felt pressure and I have never wished I were doing something else.

    Company profit is generated mainly by volume. An ideal service would be funded by the interest from a massive endowment so even if it got no business, the total expenses would be covered and it would still generate a profit. After I joined the ANA's authentication service it was generating more income than expenses. We made more money than the rest of the ANA combined. We were the "tail wagging the dog." That's one reason it was moved to CO in order to get the income under better control of the ANA. Total independence on the whims of the market, and submissions means a grading standard can be "fixed" and remain in place no matter what! This is the standard, use us or not. There is no ideal TPGS's. For some of the luckiest employees, it can be an ideal job.
    The new folks that are burning their eyes out grading modern Proofs and bullion may not agree but it is a foot in the door and advancement is common. :)

    Obviously, the smaller the volume, the less strain on a grader. The largest company I ever worked at was still a relatively small operation that generated big profits yet was an easy-going family-like group back then. We were told to get up and take a break anytime and a great carry-in lunch was provided. If I wished to spend five minutes recording a coin's diagnostics, no problem. It is not the same there now since I've moved on.

    I've already posted that the Summer Seminar is the fast-track. Make yourself like a sponge, join coin clubs, read, take classes, volunteer at a local coin shop, etc. Acquire knowledge and get noticed. Many in my generation were basically self-taught. It is much easier today to do this with the Internet and chat boards. I got my "break" when a local dealer recommended me to a board member when ANA was looking for a clerk. Within two weeks, it became obvious that I could be of better use in the authentication room and my training began. :)

    You are the key to your future. Another way into a TPGS is to first become a successful coin dealer.

  • Batman23Batman23 Posts: 2,787 ✭✭✭✭

    @Hemispherical said:

    Forum’s host grading procedure (graders start at the 1:50 mark):

    Looks like they were still using the first blue label slabs that had series and coin numbers on them when they recorded this video. I wonder if things have changed much over the years.

  • savitalesavitale Posts: 285 ✭✭✭

    @Hemispherical said:

    I would try to seek some type of apprentice position so you actually get the feel of the occupational versus hobby aspects.

    You could do this on your own. On Monday, buy a monster box of 2018 Silver Eagles. Grade the whole box. Every day for the next 4 days grade the same box of ASE’s again. If by the end of the day on Friday you don’t want to kill yourself, you probably have The Right Stuff!

Sign In or Register to comment.