Grading Black and Gold Auction

Black and Gold

We will run occasional grading checks on Proxibid auctions so you can see how we bid based on condition. These coins are from Black and Gold’s timed auction ending Feb. 16. 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:


    UNCIRCULATED if will grade at NGC or PCGS at the MS60-62 level. We agree with this grade.


    ALMOST UNCIRCULATED PLUS if will grade at NGC or PCGS at the AU58 level. Chuck Price calls this “AU 58++”; the condition looks like that, but the photo doesn’t capture luster well enough for us to tell if we see slide marks (caused by plastic inserts from albums) or cleaning. Worse, we have that indescribable feeling that something with this coin isn’t right. It’s probably the photo; in any case, we’re not bidding.


    ALMOST UNCIRCULATED if it would grade AU50-55. We agree with the grade here and think it is conservative. This just might be AU58. Once again, though, in the right field, we see what could be very light hairlines from a long-ago cleaning. We’ll place a low-ball bid.


    EXTRA FINE 45 if it would grade at that level at PCGS. But this very rare 1916 half dollar looks almost uncirculated to us. This is a very conservative grade. We’ll bid high and hope to win.


    VERY FINE if it would grade VF20-35. Chuck calls 1921-D very nice for the grade. We agree. We also see a little glue residue. We can remove that with a wash of MS70 Coin Cleaner. (Don’t attempt this if you do not know how to use cleaners; also, this is not a dip, which harms coins.)


    FINE if it would grade F12-15. We agree and call it F12.


    GOOD if it would grade 4-6. Chuck calls this Good. We say the obverse is G6 and the reverse AG3; it’s a toss-up at a top grading firm, the kind of coin that some dealers resubmit until they get a G4. Nonetheless, it is a very rare coin and we’re bidding.


    VALUE ADDED if the auctioneer notes on GSA dollars the condition of the box and certificate. This lot lacks a box, and Chuck notifies bidders of that.


    VALUE ADDED if the auctioneer describes coins that may be replicas. Chuck not only does that, but provides the gold data and weight. Would that more Proxibid auctioneers do the same!


    VALUE ADDED if the auctioneer has reference books to describe world coins and their content. It appears that Chuck does, using the Standard Catalog of World Gold Coins to describe this 1960 medal.

    Generally, in our subjective but nonetheless expert opinion, we feel Black and Gold Auction is conservative or accurate to PCGS standards in almost all of its lots. This stands in stark contrast to the vast majority of auction houses on Proxibid. Better still, Chuck only charges a 10% buyer’s fee with APN and reasonable, quick shipping. The only weaknesses we saw were “fair” photos that were not always able to capture luster and detail and lack of the descriptor “cleaned” for a few lots that appeared to be so. This was made up for with helpful value-added numismatic descriptions.

    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 Black and Gold grading based on our criteria: A-.

    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.


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