‘Auctions are the best way to achieve market price for a coin,’ says Andreas Afeldt, founder and managing director of The Coin Cabinet. ‘There’s a symmetry to it — you have a buyer wanting to pay the lowest price, and a seller hoping to realise the highest.’ He’s outspoken when it comes how coins are traded, and why he believes the industry is being transformed by technology.
‘Online auctions became really popular when platforms became secure enough for people to participate wherever they were,’ he continues. But beyond the technology and the drama of the auction, there’s the objects themselves: how does a coin — with its mix of intangible ‘collector’ value, precious metal content and rarity — reach its hammer price at the close of sale?
For a transparent, truly global marketplace to become a reality, it requires an established, independent grading system to assess the authenticity and condition of every coin.
‘You need catalogue descriptions and images that you can rely on, that have global recognition and standardisation,’ Andreas confirms. ‘The rise in third-party grading has coincided with the growth in online auctions — it means you can bid with confidence.’
Third-party grading has become a linchpin of the online coin trade. Knowing that an independent, unbiased company has graded and authenticated a coin gives buyers confidence — and sellers a degree of certainty of the coin’s value. When a coin is encapsulated, it effectively becomes ‘commoditised’, its value recognised by the market.
‘We've seen examples of raw [ungraded] coins that haven’t sold at particular price levels — perhaps unfairly,’ says Andreas, who has long been a champion of third-party grading. ‘Although we provide grading estimates when cataloguing raw coins, clients increasingly see encapsulation as the ultimate authority. It’s the way things are moving, and the prices achieved for graded coins confirm this.’
An 1847 Victorian gothic crown, Great Britain, encapsulated by NGC, reverse view of shields design created by William Dyce and engraved by William Wyon, RA
The Coin Cabinet’s coin grading service
‘It’s critical to value your assets correctly,’ Andreas asserts. He sees The Coin Cabinet’s integrated grading service as an important resource for consignors, as well as those wishing to catalogue, value and enhance their personal collection. ‘We take on the process by grading on clients’ behalf — from there we can enter their encapsulated coins into an auction as part of the consignment process, or return them as required,’ he continues, adding, ‘we work with the world’s two most trusted grading companies.’ To emphasise this, clients who consign coins through the grading service receive a discounted seller’s commission — 9% instead of the standard 10%.
Take advantage of the discounted seller’s commission for coins graded through The Coin Cabinet. Start the process here.
The Coin Cabinet’s partners, NGC and PCGS, provide the industry standard for coin grading, authentication, photography and packaging. Coins are assessed using the 70-point Sheldon scale, a figure that appears on the encapsulated coin alongside (if applicable) the coin’s date, mintmark, denomination, variety and unique identification number. Both US-based companies work with qualified numismatists in a secure environment, treating each anonymised coin with equal care and expertise.
Security in a few simple steps
Should you wish to grade your coins with The Coin Cabinet, the first step is to complete a grading form. Once submitted, a member of the team will contact you to discuss the next steps. You can make special requests on the webform, such as special labels, oversize holders and with PCGS, high-resolution TrueView images.
Grading with The Coin Cabinet — takeaways
- Discounted seller’s commission: Our standard seller’s commission is 10%, reduced to 9% for coins graded through us
- Security: The internationally recognised industry standard for objective grading
- Consign with confidence: Graded coins achieve higher prices at auction
- Priority grading: Ensure that your coins receive preferential service
- Regular updates: Automated status updates by email throughout every step of the grading process
- Simplicity: The Coin Cabinet manages the whole process, from shipping to insurance.