O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

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morganman
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O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by morganman » Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:26 am

Thinking about posting this topic for some time.

Another pet peeve of mine- My bitch session at 4 am= LOL
Im up thinking when you are sleeping !! lol

Like to hear what you think ???

IMHO- The Sheldon scale is so old and antiquated it growing moss & losing much
of its appeal. Can you believe it is s old withot much revision.

As testiment to outdated, consider the coin/coins that are barely say ms63 & their
counterparts that are almost 64 and plus eye appeal.
This industry needs positive revision in grading scale updating/revision
IN with new-out with old

A digital scale seems most appropriate, maybe say in 1/4 .25 graduations, or
something similiar but kept simple. This type approach would also lend to better
graders, providing less SLOP within grade designation. Boy if i was younger i would
simply create a better niche, and kick several TPG ass. LOL

What do you all think of current scale & your ideas on a solution to a age old issue ??
:|

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messydesk
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by messydesk » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:49 pm

When wondering if something should be replaced, one must ask if that which one is considering replacing is useful.

The Sheldon scale is usually useful for its intent - a proxy for a coin's value. It's also a well-understood lingua franca of the hobby. Grading services have revised the scale by introducing more precision (note: precision is not the same as accuracy), adding grades like 61, 62, and 64, which weren't part of the original scale. Then they added plus grades. Splitting hairs? Yes. Useful for its intent? Yes. Even useful for its unspoken intent of getting people to pay to have coins graded again.

So now when wondering if something should be replace, one must ask if the replacement is more useful.

Simply changing the scale doesn't accomplish that and disrupts what is currently understood. It would be functionally equivalent, but less useful.

Using a 4-dimensional grade (strike, luster, surfaces, eye appeal), or 5 if you include wear (although wear isn't exactly a basis vector when the others are considered) conveys more information about the coin, but it becomes less useful as a proxy for price. ANA did this in days of yore, and it wasn't brought forward by the hobby in general to be something demanded of TPGs. Most people just want to have an easy way of looking up the price or value, and going from 4-dimensional grade space to 1-dimensional value space isn't an easy proposition. Imagine trying to explain to a newbie how to use a Red Book, the one book they're all told to get to start with, to figure out value.

Special designations like FB, FH, FBL, PL, Cameo, and * complicate things a bit, and it's because they appear to add a second dimension to the grade. In reality, however, the strike designators actually remove strike from the 4D input space (mostly), leaving us with a 3D input for the grade and a 1D input for a very low-precision strike designation (e.g., FB or not FB), leaving us with a 2D grade (composite number, strike designation) and corresponding 2D price guides. Likewise for PL and Cameo with respect to luster, although that's a little more complicated. Worst is the *, which simply means "there is something special about this coin along one or more of the quality basis vectors that isn't adequately captured by the 1D grade."

I have no solution for this, by the way. My main point is that a single, 1D scale cannot capture the quality of a coin and be used as an effective proxy for price all the time, no matter what that scale looks like. It is up to hobbyists to be able to figure out what goes into the determination of how much they should pay for a coin. In a strictly technical setting, where there is no possibility or desire to map the condition to the value, such as an academic or museum setting, then and expression the condition in terms of a series or scores and/or sterile descriptive text is more useful than the 1D or 2D grades we have in today's market grading scales.
Welcome to the VAMWorld 2.0 discussion boards. R.I.P. old VAMWorld.

morganman
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by morganman » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:24 pm

WOW JB, and Thanks Much
I admit to being a layman/no expert on the deep technical
issues of the composition of grading, or the technical stuff of
almost anything. LOL
:|

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alefzero
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by alefzero » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:10 pm

Some years back a certain grading service proposed a new 100-point scale. It would have been a confusing fiasco with the obvious intent to both control the standards and force millions of coins back through their service to the benefit of shareholders. Plus grades effectively did that on a much smaller scale.

Sheldon was graduated linearize valuations for circulated coins. We used to do uncirculated as BU (brilliant uncirculated), and enhanced by ChBU (Choice BU) and Gem BU, Sheldonized as MS60, MS63, and MS65. And even later Superb Gem BU (MS67). It was initially deemed ridiculous to split hairs adding MS64 and MS66. But they did. Some even advocated split grades: one for the obverse and one for the reverse. ANACS certificates, back when the ANA had the operation, employed those, While arguably useful, they presented issues in standardizing valuation by grade. Market grading was hip for a while and is still to degrees. Many Morgans would have split grade like MS64/MS67 or MS63/MS66, since the reverses a lot of the time present much freer of contact marks in primary and secondary focus areas for the series.

It is funny how grading has evolved. We didn't have four grades of VF, even rarely saw VF+ on a coin. And also interesting how certification came to dominate the scene. It was really more about authentication of rarer pieces. Alan Hager (Accugrade), I seem to recall, started the slabbing and grading more generally. But he fell out of favor and I won't even go there in discussion.

What I saw really accelerate things was when Bernard Rome started Teletrade. It was a telephone and BBS auction with paper lot listings as a center pull-out in Numismatic News (and maybe Coin World). That gave the certification of much more common coins a platform to commoditize them. What really helped and is overlooked is that Teletrade was very good in their lot descriptions. There were no photos in the little auction catalogue and this was before the popular internet. They had agreements with the third party graders too. In those days, you didn't pay an annual fee to be able to submit coins. You had to go to an authorized dealer, who would scrutinize them and send in worthy and gradeable ones for you. A big side of Teletrade was consignors would send raw coins. Gradeable ones would get slabbed and listed in auctions and the dreck returned. It was a good gig for everyone.

The other auction companies were slow to join the game. Stacks continued auctioning only raw coins it seemed like forever, the major hold-out. Bowers & Ruddy/Merena had a split for a while. Heritage came aboard at one point. They and B&M really got into handling certified coins when the Eliasberg (non-gold) collection hit the block in the mid-1990s. That is also when the market finally heated up from the doldrums that had set it back since the 1980 Hunt Brothers' silver cornering attempt. The Eliasberg collection demanded a systematized grading. Heritage was the next to go to online auctions. Teletrade had sold to a sports card auction company and moved from NY to CA and soon went to the internet. It was pretty smooth. Heritage was rocky at the start but they obviously got very well coordinated in the game. Now it is a lot of marketing and grade expansions are a big part of the marketing. But with such cheap and accessible very high quality digital imaging, it is hard to advocate for more expansion. But I am rambling. Many of us know all of it, because we were there. Younger collectors might find the history interesting.

DHalladay
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by DHalladay » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:59 pm

One more ingredient deserves to be mentioned in this growth in grade importance history: Set Registry programs. It was an amazingly brilliant idea by David Hall at PCGS that I suspect far exceeded even his expectations.
When in doubt... don't.

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Longstrider
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by Longstrider » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:38 pm

Wow! OK, I am used to coming here and proving I don't know much about VAMs. Now I see I don't know much about even more things. I am old enough, sadly, to have been around for all this but I sure don't know the facts. Thanks all for this history lesson. @morganman You sure brought up a great topic. Very interesting.🐍

morganman
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by morganman » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:56 pm

I feel strongly that the Plus designations were and are a piss poor attempt to kinda
upgrade the old died in wool system, useful guide yes. The CAC sticker is also a good
indication of quality eye appeal. I think things will evolve/change over say 100 yrs LOL
Question is??= Do we as collectors deserve a better system after umteen years and i say
darn right as its our money paying for all this period.

if i decide to run for president, watch out folks, i will bankrupt PCGS & NGC LOL
:|

blh74
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by blh74 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:53 am

I agree with a change could be needed. I see huge gaps in the "Circulated" areas. I would leave the "Uncirculated" as it is.

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messydesk
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by messydesk » Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:16 am

morganman wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:56 pm
I feel strongly that the Plus designations were and are a piss poor attempt to kinda
upgrade the old died in wool system, useful guide yes. ...
What I like least about the plus designation is that I can no longer write something like, "difficult variety in MS63+," and mean MS63 and up. Not only that, but everything written in that manner before plus grades came out is now confusing.
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Kurt28
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by Kurt28 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:50 pm

I believe that it is only a matter of time before someone comes up with a scale from 1 to 100.
And if that scale is accompanied with a computer scanning process to assign a grade, that person will shake up the industry.
Imagine the number of coins that will be resubmitted for grading.
I'm not saying it's a good idea, or even beneficial to the hobby. But where there is a possibility for profit, there will be interested parties.

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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by JASONKFLO » Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:38 am

in my opinion it would be nice to have a standardized grading system with such wide pricing margins between some grades . How to accomplish that though I am not sure
Jason Floyd
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VamHelsing
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by VamHelsing » Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:50 am

IMO, I don't see anything changing...

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alefzero
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by alefzero » Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:55 am

Kurt28 wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:50 pm
I believe that it is only a matter of time before someone comes up with a scale from 1 to 100.
And if that scale is accompanied with a computer scanning process to assign a grade, that person will shake up the industry.
Imagine the number of coins that will be resubmitted for grading.
I'm not saying it's a good idea, or even beneficial to the hobby. But where there is a possibility for profit, there will be interested parties.
PCGS did table the idea. It was the central topic at the annual FUN lunch years back. That was the obvious motivation, possibly when they were going to take it all public as Collectors' Universe. But I forget how the timelines fit together at this point. I do know it was the last luncheon I went to at FUN, skipping them ever since, so it had to have been a long time ago. I think I bumped into Dave Bowers there; so really a long time ago.

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alefzero
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by alefzero » Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:57 am

It was resurrected again only a couple years ago.

https://www.coinworld.com/news/precious ... scale.html from Guth.

https://coinweek.com/education/coin-gra ... -proposal/ from Willis as a reply.

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messydesk
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by messydesk » Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:27 pm

alefzero wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:55 am
Kurt28 wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:50 pm
I believe that it is only a matter of time before someone comes up with a scale from 1 to 100.
And if that scale is accompanied with a computer scanning process to assign a grade, that person will shake up the industry.
Imagine the number of coins that will be resubmitted for grading.
I'm not saying it's a good idea, or even beneficial to the hobby. But where there is a possibility for profit, there will be interested parties.
PCGS did table the idea. It was the central topic at the annual FUN lunch years back. That was the obvious motivation, possibly when they were going to take it all public as Collectors' Universe. But I forget how the timelines fit together at this point. I do know it was the last luncheon I went to at FUN, skipping them ever since, so it had to have been a long time ago. I think I bumped into Dave Bowers there; so really a long time ago.
2006. If I recall, that was an "off site" luncheon that you had to take a bus to, and it was specifically a panel discussion about it. Julian Leidman was there in addition to Bowers and Hall. There was a fourth person on the panel, too, but I can't remember who it was.

In 2018, PCGS publicly reaffirmed its commitment to sticking with the current grading scale. It would be suicidal for any TPG to be the first to use a different scale.
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by RogerB » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:13 pm

The so-called "Sheldon grading scale" was illogical and obsolete before his book was printed. Its conditions applied only to a small proportion of copper large cents, and only for a few weeks of buy/sell conditions among a small sub-set of coin collectors. It was a very poor choice by every organization and publisher for use in trying to quantify a subjective interpretative agglomeration.

morganman
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by morganman » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:01 am

VERY well said Roger- I personally am in agreement
Sometimes change is good
PCGS DID NOT WANT TO REVISE because it would upset their financial empire as
Good ol boys club (stock etc) would be affected
The 100 pt scale that was suggested at the time was to complicated period
Keep it simple- keep it workable for all
I also agree with others here that nothing is about to happen anytime soon, especially
in these tougher numismatic times, with premiums deterioting
:|

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LateDateMorganGuy
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by LateDateMorganGuy » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:12 am

I use the LDMG scale. If Iike the coin, and I can obtain it for what I think it is worth, it meets the LDMG grading system 8-)

RogerB
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by RogerB » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:46 am

morganman wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:01 am
VERY well said Roger- I personally am in agreement
Sometimes change is good
PCGS DID NOT WANT TO REVISE because it would upset their financial empire as
Good ol boys club (stock etc) would be affected
The 100 pt scale that was suggested at the time was to complicated period
Keep it simple- keep it workable for all
I also agree with others here that nothing is about to happen anytime soon, especially
in these tougher numismatic times, with premiums deterioting
Keeping it simple, and easily communicated demands a system built on adjectival descriptors and a modest, but fixed progression of grade points. This means that a viable structure is likely to have not more than 10 bins per grade name, and equal spacing between grade names. This means a lot of change in definition especially in the "big money" numerical "grades" where TPGs and all the greedy SOBs rip the guts out of a once-enjoyable (if confrontational) hobby.

morganman
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Re: O/T Outdated Sheldon Grading Scale

Post by morganman » Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:27 am

Quite frankly i got into Numismatics at age 10 of which i knew nothing about what
grading or numismatics was. over yrs i learned that coins were irs non reportable, and
the light bulb went off. No taxes=really, I was off to races
over 50 yrs i have amassed some 425,000 Morgans & 40,000 US gold coins with my
favorites being indian 2 1/2 $5 $10 $3 and $4 stellas

I am a PL/DMPL nut= been selling some high grade dmpl/pl to heritage, as the premiums
are still decent
I really enjoy your posts Regards Scott The Oregon Collection
:|

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