Home U.S. Coin Forum

How are coin show exhibits judged?

A thread ATS got me thinking... It would be interesting to see (or better understand) an exhibit scorecard. What actually goes into scoring exhibits against each other? What is the process? Are there weighted points for accuracy, presentation, completeness, rarity, etc? These exhibits can have extremely different qualities, so how does a judge compare an apple and an orange sitting side-by-side? Do judges ever like exhibits the same (for different reasons), and cannot decide?

@BillJones and @winesteven (and others) - how were your experiences as an exhibitor, and can you shed light on the process at all from a judges perspective... or, is the judging criteria not shared?

I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.


  • Options
    2ndCharter2ndCharter Posts: 1,642 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you go on the ANA's website, you can find an example of the rating sheet that the Exhibit Judges use. As both an Exhibitor and a Judge, I can tell you we don't rate exhibits against one another, at least in the individual classes. Each exhibit is rated individually and, within a class, the exhibit with the highest score wins. Now, while Objective criteria are used within the classes, it's different for Best-In-Show - then it's more Subjective with eye appeal entering into the picture. While my personal specialty is Paper Money, I've judged Coins, Errors, Foreign, Medals, you name it. If I have a question, I'm not shy about asking a specialist in that field to make sure I haven't missed anything. All judges have their individual quirks but we all try to do the best job we can.


  • Options
    NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 897 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks - I found the link and post it below for anyone see curious:

    https://www.money.org/uploads/2019 PIT Exhibits Rules.pdf

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

  • Options
    winestevenwinesteven Posts: 4,078 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's a hotlink to the Judges sheet used at FUN. Three separate judges score each exhibit within the same "Category" (like US Coins). As such, each exhibit in the same category has the same three judges. Different judges may judge exhibits in other categories, such as Paper Money, Foreign, etc.

    http://funtopics.com/content/PDF/Exhibits/2023 Judges Rating Sheet.pdf


    A day without fine wine and working on your coin collection is like a day without sunshine!!!

    My collecting “Pride & Joy” is my PCGS Registry Dansco 7070 Set:
  • Options
    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This year's FUN judging was the fairest I have ever seen, but there have been other years when it was strictly political. When I lived up north, politics also played a huge role. When I lived up north, there was one guy who got Best of Show every year. They had a rule which stated that a Best of Show award winner could not be entered as a competitive award contestant in future years. This guy won Best of Show one year and won it again the next year with the same exhibit. What can you do? Be the stinker at the awards ceremony who mentioned that the rule was broken?

    One year I had a one judge score me with a 92, another said 89, but the third one gave me a 73, Really? A low score like, the 73, spoils any chance of getting Best of Show or #1 in a category. The 73 was bogus, but there is no appeal.

    One rule that should be cast is stone is if you have a competitive exhibit, you cannot be a judge. That applies even if you are not judging in the area where you are competing because you can still effect the Best of Show award.

    One thing that gets me is how you can have judges who have little knowledge in the area they are judging. Sure, they can judge things like design, neatness and proof reading, but if they know nothing about the subject they are judging, how can they render a proper score?

    The best way to approach coin show judging is to ignore the results, and take advantage of good tips the judges give you. Enjoy the fact that you might be helping some people learn about about the hobby, and forget how they give out the awards. Most judges are honest people who try to do a good job. But others are crooks who take care of their friends and themselves.

    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. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • Options
    NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 897 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I will likely never have a collection worthy of an exhibit. However, this subject is fascinating, and there is truly more to it than I thought. Thanks for the replies.

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

  • Options
    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I used to like dog shows, then I found out about judging in that arena. Now, I just enjoy dogs. Enough said.... Cheers, RickO

  • Options
    CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,605 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones Seriously, I think you should be a judge at one of these shows!

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file