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What do you think about the idea of a "coin grading camp"?

SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 11,361 ✭✭✭✭✭

Witter Coins recently held a "camp" for YNs. I understand it turned out to be a successful event.

While looking at forum threads last night (including those whose topic is the current turnaround time for coins being graded by our host) I thought about the possibility of a "coin grading camp".

As a collector I have often imagined what it would be like to have a job at a TPG as a "coin grader". I imagine that it would be both interesting and tedious.

It would be interesting to sign up and participate in a "5 day coin grading camp" [i.e. like the one week summer basketball camps I attended as a high school player], during which ten "campers" live and breathe coin grading 24/7. Each of the ten campers would pay a fee to participate in the camp.

The coin grading camp could be sponsored by a TPG.

Have the 10 campers learn about grading for the first 3 days and then for the 4th day have the 10 campers actually grade 1000 coins for 10 hours (100 per hour) under the real life performance expectations placed upon actual graders.

Have 1,000 coins preselected (i.e. 200 2021 MS ASE coins; 200 Proof ASE coins; 50 AGE MS coins; 50 AGE Proof coins; 50 Modern MS clad coins; 50 Modern Proof Clad coins; 100 MS, Proof and Circulated pre 1965 20th Century US coins; 100 18th and 19th Century MS, Proof and Circulated US coins; 100 MS, Proof and Circulated World and Ancient coins; and 100 MS, Proof and Circulated Error Coins).

If 1,000 coins is too large, reduce it by half to 500 and adjust things accordingly.

Have the ten campers sit at well lit tables laid out in a row. Feed the 1000 (or 500) coins to the first camper in the row of tables to commence the grading. Once the first grader finishes with a coin, have that coin passed along to the second and subsequent camper in the row. Repeat until all 1,000 (500) coins have been reviewed and graded by each of the ten campers. The grade assigned to each coin by each of the ten campers is recorded.

Start the grading by the ten campers at 6:00 a.m. or 7:00 a.m. and finish at 4:00 p.m. or at 5:00 p.m.

After the 4th day grading marathon finishes have the ten campers and coin camp staff go have dinner and talk about the day's events. Make sure that they have a copy of their recorded grades for the 1,000 (or 500) coins.

While the ten campers and staff are having dinner take the 1,000 (or 500) coins and have them actually graded by TPG grading staff. Have the actual grades assigned by the TPG to the 1,000 (or 500) coins recorded.

On day 5 of the camp have a session where the ten campers are given the results of the actual grading of the 1,000 (or 500) coins. Have them compare the results of the actual grading with their own personally assigned grades. Then have a session where the TPG graders who actually graded the 1,000 (or 500) coins meet with the ten campers and discuss the individual coins and results of the grading of same by the ten campers and the TPG graders.

If 1,000 coins is too large in number, reduce it by half.

I do not know if our host would think that the idea of a "coin grading camp" is good idea or not (i.e. would it be beneficial to TPG to a degree that would justify the time and expense of setting it up and conducting same). However, from the perspective of a collector, the idea of immersing yourself into the fine details of the real world of coin grading is intriguing.

What do you think and would you sign up as a "camper"?


  • amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If the spirits and food are good, why not! :#

  • cccoinscccoins Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭

    I would be interested in something like this.

  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,475 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would definitely be interested in something like this if it was offered at an existing show, like Baltimore or FUN. Also, I'm not that much into Moderns or Ancients and just gravitate towards 18th-early 20th Century Type. If there was a specialty class in the subtleties of (for instance) Bust coinage, that could get some traction...

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  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 26,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'd like to attend something like that myself

  • Batman23Batman23 Posts: 4,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would like to attend a coin grading camp. Mostly for grading and for surface problems/details. Grading to include known series and strike variances. Some coin dates for example are mistakenly graded low because of die/strike issues. I would not be interested in the 1000 coins marathon. But I also am not interested in being a professional high speed grader. I keep hearing about the ANA grading classes and one of these years I might actually take the time to find one.

  • rmorganrmorgan Posts: 246 ✭✭✭✭

    I attended the ANA's two-day grading class. We had lectures with screen images and practice gradings (followed by the professional graders telling us the answers and why). What you are suggesting is already being offered, but probably in a more streamlined way.

    I posted a review of the class, and the link is here:

    My strategy is about collecting what I intend to keep, not investing in what I plan to sell.

  • neildrobertsonneildrobertson Posts: 1,146 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll just go to ANA summer seminar if I can ever justify taking a week off of work for coins (not going to happen for at least 5-10 more years).

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  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,388 ✭✭✭✭✭

    An interesting idea for those who have the time and the money to spend, I personally think that even 500 coins is far too much but that is just my opinion.

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  • BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 7,211 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Who would be the camp leader?

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  • labloverlablover Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Would I get to drink wine while I grade? That's what I usually do. Could explain my DNC's. Have always wanted to do a class.

    "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers
  • labloverlablover Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:
    I’d recommend the ANA’s advanced grading class, first - somewhat smaller steps. And forget about 1000 coins a day. 😉

    Perhaps Mr. MFeld could lead the class?

    "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers
  • ElectricityElectricity Posts: 307 ✭✭✭

    I wouldn’t mind having an,”Online Grading Camp”. Learning how to grade from a photo isn’t such a bad idea these days as a good amount of business is done online. Plus I can drink the Wine from my living room 🥴

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting idea... and the plan outlined by @SanctionII looks like a program to develop/train professional level graders. Pretty intensive. I would add intermediary checks though, to allow the participants to gauge their progress. Cheers, RickO

  • TPRCTPRC Posts: 3,734 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 25, 2022 6:20AM

    @MFeld said:
    I’d recommend the ANA’s advanced grading class, first - somewhat smaller steps. And forget about 1000 coins a day. 😉

    This! I've taken a half dozen of these classes. It's been years and I'd love to get back. At least in the early 2000s, the advanced grading classes, several of which I was fortunate to attend, divided into groups of 4 with 3 graders and a finalizer, Then, each group would grade a slabbed coin whose grade was covered ("blind-grade"), a team of pros who taught the class would also blind-grade the same coin, the grade would be revealed, and a short discussion ensued. We did not grade 1000 coins a day, not even close, but I learned a great deal at those classes. And while I was pretty good, I was not as good as the pros. I attributed it to lack of experience, and the fact that I don't do it full time. The pros were especially good at spotting counterfeits and problem coins.

    It is the best way to learn. And you cannot grade 1000 coins, since you need to get immediate feedback and have an opportunity to learn from your misses and oversights. So, if you want to learn how to grade, take an ANA grading class. It is the best mechanism available. Of course, you probably need to go to Colorado Springs, but even that is pretty affordable. I'm not saying grading camp is a bad idea. I am just saying that it is already available and it is organized and sanctioned by the ANA, with professional graders there to help you along the way.


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