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Photograde: Official Photographic Grading Guide for United States Coins Paperback – June 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Whitman Coin Products; 18 edition (June 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307993612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307993618
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,631,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

They make for very interesting reading.
Thomas Fox
It is a superb reference for new and experienced rare coin collectors alike.
David Krieger (gcssite@gte.net)
All together it is a wonder full book!!!
A. M.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Fox on November 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Ever since the invention of the Sheldon Scale in 1949, our hobby's first numerical coin grading system, the complex and confusing art of coin grading started to become more logical and clear. Originally, this grading method was only intended for valuing our country's first cents minted from 1793-1814, but instead was gradually applied to all US coins. Even though popular, and improved into the modern ANA grading system we have today, it isn't flawless. It still can be quite frustrating, no less argumentative at times when we have our own opinion of what each grade should look like. This is where the book, Photograde has been an invaluable help for straightening out this touchy side of the hobby, even before numerical grading was fully used. From the first time I bought this book from Amazon.com, I have regarded it as one of my wisest purchases of numismatic books. Its many black and white photos gives the reader a visual aid for grading a particular US coin along with helpful descriptions. Sadly though, it does not include photos for the uncirculated grades as they are very difficult to photograph accurately. Nevertheless, in addition to grading, it also has many excellent chapters about the minting process, cleaning coins, storage, authenticating, etc. They make for very interesting reading. I get a kick out of how they list several ways of retoning (or recoloring) coins that have desirable surfaces. One way they mention is to fry coins made from nickel in a frying pan mixed with a little cooking grease! Bye George! there is even a little humor stirred in! This is indeed a book that beginners and veteran coin collectors will use till the binding falls apart!
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By David Krieger (gcssite@gte.net) on February 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
As the owner of a popular Internet rare coin store, I receive many e-mails requesting information on the current value of gold coins and silver dollars that have been inherited, found in lock boxes, or given as gifts many years ago. Almost all are described as being in "good" or "almost new" condition. The majority of those who seek information know very little about their coin, even what denomination or type of coin they have. Many want to think their coin is new, but the majority of these coins are not. There can be a huge difference in the sales price of a coin based on small differences in condition.
"Photograde" is the first reference we provide whenever someone is not sure about what coin they own or what "grade" that coin may be. James F. Ruddy did a magnificent job in carefully assembling black and white photos of all United States minted coins from the late 1700's to the present day. "Photograde" was first published in 1970 and has had several revisions. In 1972, "Photograde" was designated as an official grading guide by the American Numismatic Association. It is a superb reference for new and experienced rare coin collectors alike. These photos are much more than simple reference pictures, however. For each specific coin type, up to seven pictures are used to demonstrate the subtle wear differences between minimally graded coins and those considered "About Uncirculated." Coins graded About Uncirculated (or better) normally are worth significantly more than lower graded coins.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. M. on December 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
It is accurate! Yesterday I graded a coin VG 8+ in less then a minute it is easy to use and the descriptions are great. The only thing is it is not in color which makes it harder. All together it is a wonder full book!!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Zendicant Penguin on February 11, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is exxentially an extended version of the coin conditions/states table that you'll commonly find in coin magazines. This book is much, much more complete and comprehensive as it covers all U.S. coins in circulation (no commemoratives) and has photos and key points of wear for each grade from About Good to About Uncirculated. This edition also has interesting chapters concerning the cleaning of coins and artificial toning. This reference is a great help to inexperienced collectors of USA coins who are building eclectic collections. Don't feel that you need to buy this book new, the grading information is static and, as you will learn much from this book in a short time, it won't be used much thus used copies are likely to be in excellent condition. Four stars because, as the young reviewer below states, color photos are sorely missed in this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
It is very helpful if all that you have to go off of is the Guide Book of United States Coins 2003: The Official Red Book, And I dont know what Wayne Lukert was thinking but they are real photographs. Gives a nice description of coins and a black and white photograph of every grade. also If you dont have any books on cleaning care and other helpful topics it has page after page about that stuff too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Fernandez on October 19, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Almost useless for AU and MS grade coins. Very, very small and poor quality b/w pictures of coins. Dissapointing as it could have been great if high resolution pictures were used and enlarged. Also, not including pictures of MS60-67 grades truely limits this book.
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