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.