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What is the Difference Between Certified and Uncertified Coins? 

The biggest difference between certified and uncertified coins lies in the formal evaluation, certification, and grading process. Both certified and uncertified coins provide unique advantages.   

Certified coins have been graded by an authoritative third party like the Professional Coin Grading Organization (PCGS) or Numismatic Guarantee Company (NGC). Grading can be a vital component to weed out counterfeit coins and coins that have been tampered with.  

These coins have been thoroughly evaluated and have a higher premium than uncertified coins. That premium assures a coin’s authenticity, as well as the coin’s grade and value.  

A coin that has been certified will come in a tamper-evident encapsulation or slab from the organization that certified and graded it. This slab will have the necessary information to verify the coin’s grade and authenticity.  

Uncertified coins, sometimes called raw coins, have not been graded by a third party and will have a lower premium than a graded coin of the same type and issue.  

While uncertified coins are less pricey than certified coins, they lack the security of a grade and authentication from a grading organization like PCGS or NGC. Their prices are more likely based on the seller’s assessment of strike and eye appeal. 

Do I Need to Buy Certified Coins?

When you buy certified coins, you can be confident that your coins are genuine and have been authenticated and graded by a third party. The final grade a coin receives results from a consensus of three or more expert graders.  

It is a sign that the coin is authentic, in a verified condition, and verifies the quality of the coin. 

Should I Have My Coins Certified? 

Collectors will want to get a coin certified before they sell it. If this is your intention, make sure that your time and money are spent well and that the coin will be worth more than the grading cost.  

If it is a coin from a very low mintage, a very old coin (more than 200 years old), or one in near MS-70 condition, it may be worth the cost to have it certified. 

It can also be worth having an error coin graded, but you may want to make sure it is not a common error first like a low-degree rotated die error. 

Who Should Buy Uncertified Coins? 

Buying coins that have not been certified creates a very hands-on experience for collectors. This requires a deep knowledge of numismatics, a keen eye for assessing coins, and a willingness to take risks when buying coins. 

There are some in the numismatic world who prefer to buy uncertified coins in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough. These collectors rely on their own years of experience and knowledge when they are making a purchase and are motivated by the thrill of a rare or valuable find. 

Some of these collectors and numismatists may conjecture that the grading process is subjective or that their preferences differ from the grading organization.  

If you are new to coin collecting, buying uncertified coins can bring challenges in assessing a coin’s grade and authenticity. In this case, making purchases from a trusted retailer is essential.

Coins that have been graded and certified by one of the two premiere coin grading organizations provide investors and collectors with many benefits over uncertified coins. 

Certified coins offer a level of trust in the accuracy of both the grade and the authenticity of the coin itself.  

Uncertified coins do not offer the same level of assurance in their validity, but they are available at a lower price. Uncertified coins can make excellent investments for the buyer who knows exactly what they are looking for. 

When it is time to choose between two identical coins, one certified and the other uncertified, it comes down to personal preference, risk tolerance, and a level of trust in the transaction. 

Quick Guides to Investing

Step 1:

Why Buy Physical Gold and Silver?

If you are concerned about the volatility of the stock market, you’re not alone. The extreme highs and lows of the stock market often lead investors towards safe-haven assets, like bullion. Historically, the Precious Metals market has an inverse relationship with the stock market, meaning that when stocks are up, bullion is down and vice versa.

Step 2:

How Much Gold and Silver Should You Have?

This question is one of the most important for investors to answer. After all, experts suggest limits on how much of any types of investments should go into a portfolio. After deciding to purchase and own Precious Metals and considering how much money to allocate, one can then think about how much and what to buy at any point in time.

Step 3:

Which Precious Metals Should I Buy?

With the frequent changes in the market and countless Precious Metal products available, choosing investments can be difficult. Some want Gold or Silver coins, rounds or bars while others want products that are valuable because of their design, mintage or other collectible qualities. Also, collectors may shop for unique sets and individual pieces for their collections.

Step 4:

When to Buy Gold & Silver

After considering why, how much, and what Precious Metals products to buy, an investor’s next step is when to buy them. This decision requires an understanding of market trends and the impact of economic factors on precious metal prices.

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