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Grading Coins by Photographs Spiral-bound – December 1, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Whitman Publishing (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0794827012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0794827014
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,488,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jon Ryan on April 17, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound
A Review of Grading Coins by Photographs by Q. David Bowers

I started coin collecting in the 1950's and was familiar with Q. David Bowers experience in coin collecting from his advertisements in Coin World magazine. I sold the majority of my collection in the late 1980's but having just retired, I decided to resume my favorite hobby and realized that I had a lot of "catching up" to do. For example, the numerical grading of coins was completely new to me. Consequently, I purchased "Grading Coins by Photographs" by Q. David Bowers. This is an excellent book for educating novice coin collectors regarding the grading of coins, and is an important reference book for experienced collectors looking to expand their collections to include coin types in which they may have limited knowledge.

The first five chapters were a good introduction to the in-depth review of key characteristics associated with assigning a grade to a coin. I enjoyed the history of coin collecting and how it has evolved to the present, the development of the numerical grading system, metals and their interaction with the environment, cleaning of coins and consideration of features other than those commonly associated with a particular coin type. Photographs next to each discussion section were particularly valuable in illustrating each point the author was making.

The in-depth review of grading coins was very good. The brief review of each coin type preceding grading of each coin or incorporated into the grading discussion enhanced grading information and served to educate the reader regarding factors affecting the strike and sharpness of coins. I wish more information could be given that exactly distinguishes 64, 65, 66, 67 and 68 coins.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I buy and sell coins and do most of it over the Internet. That makes grading a difficult task. Even a certified coin can be a low grade or high grade within a grade. But having this book in my hands when searching ebay or whatever, gives me the advantage. Grading is not a science, but an art and everyone seldom agrees on the grade any given coin should get. The author stresses this. But having the knowledge you need to know what to look for in a coin is priceless.

The author writes in a clear, easy-to-read style that quickly puts you up to speed. In the first part of the book, you'll want to read what he says about grading and related topics. It's very valuable information and fun to read.

The pictures are not the best in the world. But I've been using an old black and white grading book and even that is a tremendous help and has saved me lots of money and mistakes. So this one is far better. The important thing is, you see what to look for and avoid and you see what a coin should have to be a certain grade. You'll quickly be able to grade any coin with a high degree of accuracy.

Each coin is pictured in the grade described. Then you read what to look for on the obverse and the reverse.

If you buy and sell coins, especially online, you need this book and I highly recommend it.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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Format: Spiral-bound
Great idea, but poor execution. The photos are not nearly clear enough or large enough to see the fine details that are essential to successful grading. It is often just about impossible to discern any difference between the photos of adjoining grades. In the case of early bust coins, unfortunate choices of varieties with known striking weaknesses have been used that completely confuse the reader. Sometimes a photo of the normal grade is used and at other times, a mid grade is used. For example: for Capped Bust Reeded Edge Half Dollars, AU uses a photo of an AU58 coin, but Lettered Edge Capped Bust Half Dollars uses an AU50 coin. Huge difference. I'm quite sure that David Bowers knows better. Mr. Bowers: what this book REALLY NEEDS is a companion CD or DVD with High Resolution photos that also include intelligently chosen examples of all mid grades. Maybe PCGS will let you photograph their reference set...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have not seen the actual book. I bought the Kindle version of the book to view on my Kindle for PC version. I was very disappointed when it came to using the photos for grading. First, I expected a recent edition of the book to contain more information other than the basic grades. Second, even on a large monitor (23 inch), I could not read the text with the photos as it was too small. I tried to increase the font size but since the text is actually part of the photo, I was not able to. I tried using a software based magnifier to see the text and the photo but the resolution of the photo was so bad that this was useless. The photos are about the size or smaller of the coin that they represent so they were indeed small even on my large monitor.Grading Coins by Photographs
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This book uses phtogoraphs to amplify and fix a picture in your mind of what a particular coin should look like in a specified grade. It quaaaantifies things that re really very fuzzy and subject to seller interpretation. Sure, the coin you're selling looks a lot better to you than to a buyer, So it's hard to be objective. This book helps inform the collector so they may buy better and buy at the right grade. For that reason, is give it a "two-thumbs up." Now, even within grade, there are prices and then here are prices. That book has yet to be written. So it is still tough game for buyers. S The first rule is s...take your time. there will always be another coin at the grade you want on another day. Sometimes i think they are still minting them. At least with this book, you'll gain enough knowleddge to shoot the breeze and he buzz wwwwwwith the s-s-s-s-s-eller.
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