We will run occasional grading checks on Proxibid auctions so you can see how we bid based on condition. These coins are from Silver Trades auctions in October. We grade on PCGS standards as found on Photograde, admittedly more conservative than grading of most auctioneers but still the standard in numismatics. Click pictures below to expand.
We call a coin:
“Gem Uncirculated” if will grade at NGC or PCGS at the MS65 or higher level. We agree with this grade. We see two small dings that may be faint staple scratches on the left fore thigh and on the body. We won’t bid because of that.
“Slider” if it will grade at NGC or PCGS at the AU58. Silver Trades calls this a slider, AU58. We agree.
“MINT STATE or UNCIRCULATED” if it will grade at PCGS MS60-63. We see a combination of what appear to be slide marks and hairlines (lines going in two directions, across and then sloping up from left to right). Coin appears to have luster and full breast feathers. We’d call this “Mint State Details,” indicating it may not slab.
“Almost Uncirculated” if it would grade AU50-58. We agree with this grade. But we also see rim damage at 12 o’clock. We won’t bid.
“MS64” if the fields are relatively clear with a strong strike and undamaged devices. We agree with this grade.
“MS63″ if bag marks and dings are kept to a minimum in the choice devices and fields, such as Lady Liberty’s cheek. We agree with this grade, but also see what looks like a staple scratch from “Unum” on the right side of the coin. We won’t bid.
“MS62” if bag marks and dings happen in choice devices and fields. The coin also should have luster. This one doesn’t have much. We see wear on the hair by Lady Liberty’s ear. We say this is a slider, AU58, possibly cleaned.
“Choice AU” if the coin would grade Au55-58. This is an 1897-O, a rarer coin, which usually has a soft strike. We agree with the grade.
“Mint State Gold” if the coin shows good luster and devices such as feathers feature a strong enough strike in an incuse style (images sunk into the coin). We disagree with this grade. We say AU55, cleaned.
Generally, in our subjective but nonetheless expert opinion, we feel Silver Trades provides lots of numismatic content in its descriptions, and that’s a value added. While we do agree with most of its grades, we also note when flaws are overlooked. To its credit, Silver Trades has sharp, expandable photos, so the knowing collector can make determinations themselves. And on choice lots, Silver Trades offers buyback guarantees. On some coins, within one point, and that includes coins sent to PCGS.
Silver Trades starts with high opening bids, but then lowers them considerably when you attend the auction online, if there are no prebids on coins. The company does see maximum bids, and it can bid up a coin, too, as indicated in transparency notices. But we often attend the online sessions because the auctioneers sing their descriptions and obviously love numismatics.
As noted, grading is in part subjective, and is difficult to do via online photographs. Our designations are based on how we bid and why. Thus, the overall grade on Silver Trades grading based on our criteria: B.
Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.