How to Become a Certified Coin Grader

By Elizabeth Greenleaf
Expertise in coin grading and evaluation takes knowledge and practice.

Coin collecting is a well-loved hobby for some and a lucrative enterprise for others. If you decide to go from being a casual collector to a professional numismatist, you'll need to develop the skills necessary to evaluate and grade coins. While there is no formal certification for coin graders, or to become a numismatist, there are steps you can take to ensure that you are as knowledgeable as possible about grading coins.

Become a member of the American Numismatic Association. Membership enables you to take advantage of programs and services that will build your skills as a coin collector and seller. As of December 2010, there are three levels of membership: basic for $28 a year; regular for $46 and lifetime ranging in price from $600 to $1,200, depending on the member's age.

Enroll in the Diploma program offered by the American Numismatic Association. The six courses can be taken one-at-a-time or consecutively. Successful completion of all six courses, plus the final exam enables you to obtain a Numismatic Scholar Certificate.

Purchase a copy of The Official Red Book: A Guide Book for United States Coins. Use this guide to verify the value of U.S. coins based on age, composition and weight.

Have the basic valuation tools you'll need. Purchase a coin loupe and magnifier, scale, caliper, microscope and cotton gloves for handling the coins.

About the Author

Elizabeth Greenleaf is an experienced writer and copy editor. She has worked for companies such as Bookspan, Nederlander as well as "People" and "Working Woman" magazines. Greenleaf holds a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University.