Grading Coins 101

I have been collecting coins for over 30 years. I have hosted hundreds of coin shows for various networks and I have worked with some of the most respected numismatists in the business. The question I get all the time is “Should I have my coins graded?

Before I answer these questions, let me provide you with a brief description of graded coins. Coins that are submitted to a professional grading service are inspected and assigned a grade. They are also certified authentic and are placed in a protective holder called a “slab.” Other information besides the grade may be placed on the holder such as the denomination, precious metal content, and sometimes the provenance or the source where the coins were discovered.

The reasons to consider grading or collecting graded certified coins are:

To establish a Coin’s Grade

Location is to real estate as the condition is to the value of the coin. The grade will establish this condition. For example, uncirculated coins will grade from MS60 to MS70. An MS70 will be more valuable than the same coin graded as an MS63. When you are ready to sell or upgrade your coin, it’s important to know its value so you get the most for it. The condition will always be an issue when buying or selling a collectible coin. Having the coin professionally certified and graded by a reputable company will eliminate any argument over its condition.

 To establish authenticity

1893S Morgan Silver Dollar
Here is an 1893S Morgan Silver Dollar that has been improperly cleaned.

Professional coin graders will reject any coin they believe isn’t authentic or altered. If a coin has been altered in any way such as cleaning, polishing, or modifying the design, it would be unfit to authenticate. You want to be assured your coin is the real thing.

To establish identity

Value of $1775 based on NCG Price Guide

 

It is the coin grader’s responsibility to identify any critical devices on the coin that may affect its value. A mint mark is one such device. A 1909 SVDB cent is worth much more than a 1909 VDB cent of the same grade (the “S” denotes the San Francisco Mint,“VDB” are the initials of the designer Victor David Brenner). Design changes may identify different “types” or “varieties.” A good example of this is the $1 gold coin that was originally minted in 1849. When Lady Liberty’s design was changed in 1854, it became a Type II.

Value of $25 based on NGC Price Guide

To protect your coins

Any damage to your coin may mean a loss of value. Damage could be caused by fingerprints, dropping your coin on a hard surface, or even environmental exposure. A slab is an airtight holder and protects your coin from these damages.

Credibility and Consistency

As mentioned, the grade of a coin is an important factor in establishing its value. You will want to choose a professional grading company that is reliable and consistent. The reputation of a grading service may also be a consideration when buying or selling a coin. They must follow strict grading guidelines of the ANA (American Numismatic Association). The four most popular grading services are:

NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation)

PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service)

ANACS (American Numismatic Association Certification Service)

ICG (Independent Coin Graders)

I hope this was helpful for those who collect coins or want to begin a collection. I will admit when I first started collecting coins, it was in the hopes of someday selling my inventory to raise a nice profit. The larger my collection grows, the more my original intent has changed. I can’t imagine selling many of my coins now, they have become treasured possessions.

Wally likes coins, too!
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Saying Goodbye to Old Friends

kimberlyWith the changing of the seasons comes the perfect time to declutter, purge, deep clean and say out with the old, in with the new! But when was the last time you actually dove into your closet, your home or your garage and took a good long inventory of what exactly you were using and what was just taking up space?

The art of decluttering our lives seems like an ordinarily easy task from a ‘things acquired’ perspective. But have you honestly really tried it lately?

When moving from my large 3-story home to my tiny little apartment, a friend told me about a book by Marie Kondo on tidying up your life.

The philosophy is simple: touch each thing and ask yourself ‘does it bring me joy’? If so, place in one pile, if not – out to the dumpster it goes.

So I sat upon the task of starting with my wardrobe, since Marie recommends tackling categories in your home one at a time.

As I pulled clothes from the shelves that I hadn’t seen, let alone worn in years, some still with tags on them, I realized I had my work cut out for me.

First task-anything with a tag was bagged for Good Will. I figured if I hadn’t worn it yet, it wasn’t important. Were those clothes bringing me joy? I didn’t even know they were there – seems easy enough, right?!

Next came the varying size chart of my hanging clothes-I seriously could have opened a ladies clothing store! I had garments ranging from Size 2-Size 14 and everywhere in between…yet I still stressed about ‘not having anything to wear’! So what to do? My heart said keep the clothes cuz ‘when you finally lose the weight you’ll have stuff to wear.’ My head said ‘IF and WHEN you lose the weight, you’ll want to reward yourself with something new NOT something that’s been sitting in a closet for several years and probably out of style anyway’.  Was looking at all those clothes and feeling sorry for myself about my current weight bringing me joy? Absolutely not !! Fifteen-some odd garbage bags later, I delivered those clothes to several women’s group and shelters. NOW I was beginning to be filled with joy!!

Hardest part? Walking down Nostalgia Row. Opening boxes that I hadn’t looked through in years took me down a slippery slope and had the potential to derail my declutter train. But I took Marie’s advice-if you haven’t needed, wanted, missed or been curious about what was in those boxes for at least a year-don’t even open them-get rid of them immediately! And bam-that dumpster was filled to the brim in less than 2 days!

I continued this joyful movement throughout my entire house and, man, did it feel good! My new place is very small and very minimalist by design. But I can honestly say I’ve surrounded myself by only the things that I truly love and that I can use and appreciate everyday.  It’s a very freeing feeling!! Whattaya think? Feel like finding some JOY today? xx

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Another life . . .

I love my life as a host at Evine, a wife, and a mom.

At one time, however, there was my first love . . . dance!

These blogs have been a wonderful way to share more about our other passions that we don’t often get to talk about on air.  I couldn’t wait to share my discovery of salsa dance!

fatima-blog-3-1I found dance late in life, well, relatively.  I was in my early 20s and my girlfriend dragged me out to a salsa club.  As I started to learn the steps and become familiar with the music, the obsession . . . oops, I meant passion, grew intensely.

It wasn’t long before I was out dancing 4-5 nights a week, pouring over YouTube videos, and traveling all across the country in search of the ultimate dance fix.

The community of dancers is one of the reasons that I dove in so deep.  Not just locally, but anywhere I traveled, the environment was electric with people from all cultures and all walks of life sharing a common thread and a universal love of music and dance.

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Within our local community, many of us attended classes and events at a dance studio.  I began teaching there, and soon after, started performing with the dance teams.  I have to admit, my favorite part of performing was the costumes!  And yes, there were many hours spent “bedazzling” .

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Another huge draw to being on a performance team was the challenge of each new routine and creating something unique and special with our groups.  We did most of our own choreography and having it come to life was such a thrill!

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Being so immersed in the world of Latin dance, I quickly became intrigued and enamored with the Afro-Caribbean rhythms melded with jazzy big band sounds that create this genre of music. Salsa, Cha cha, Bachata, Merengue . . . I love it all! I became a fiend and began amassing a collection of music that may be enough to start a small radio station.  At some point, I think my weekly iTunes budget was more than my grocery budget!  I was truly eating, sleeping, and breathing salsa.  The next step: I started DJ’ing salsa music.  That was a whole new level of indulgent fun.  I would put together a playlist of my favorite songs and dance on the job.  Work and play came together as one . . . it was a beautiful thing 🙂

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Fast-to post knee injury and a one-year old at home.  Salsa dancing may now be a seldom enjoyed delicacy but, to me, it’s just as juicy and sweet as it’s always been. The great news: it’s like one of your oldest and dearest friends.  You may not see one another for ages, but the moment you reconnect, it’s like no time has passed.

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Why Do Collectors Collect?

Kendy blog 2 2LThroughout my 30 years in the Home Shopping Industry, I’ve discovered that our customers love to collect. In the 1980’s, die cast cars, dolls, and capitamonte were the hottest collectibles.

Kendy blog 2 1LOnce the 90’s rolled around, sports collectibles, coins, and beanie babies were on the must buy lists of home shopping customers.

Today, watches, Tiffany style lighting, and Waterford Crystal are the collectibles of choice.

Kendy blog 2 1RI think collecting is an essential childhood hobby. It creates opportunities for curiosity and learning. It teaches kids how to take care of objects, spend money wisely, and cooperate when negotiating and trading. As kids, most of us collected marbles, trading cards, stamps, coins, etc. Kendy blog 2 2MMy children collected rocks and gems as they were curious about all of the gems I sold. Did you collect anything when you were a child? What was your favorite thing to collect and your prized possession? I wonder if kids collect as much as we used to Kendy blog 2 2Rback in the day . . .

I, personally, am not a collector of things at all. So, it’s curious to me why people become collectors. Really no one in my family collected anything, except my grandmother who had a plate collection on her wall. It makes me think that collecting begins as Kendy blog 2 3Ra family tradition . . . my parents really only collected family memorabilia, so I do the same in order to preserve the past. We preserve the kids’ photos, artwork, ribbons, letters of accomplishment, etc.

 

So, I’m curious . . .Kendy blog 2 3L

What do you collect?

Why do you collect?

How did you get started?

Is it a family tradition, passion, obsession, habit?

Do you collect for investment purposes, perceiving the items will increase in value over the years?

Kendy blog 2 3RDo you collect for status?

Has your collecting turned into hoarding?

What do you wish you had never collected?

What do you collect that Evine Kendy blog 2 1Mdoesn’t sell that you’d like to see us offer?

If you do collect things we offer, what are you missing in your collection that you’d like to see?

Please let me know, I’d love to hear about it!

 

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Summer fitness ideas!

Unleash your inner childish beast with fun summer fitness ideas! (as well as some nostalgic sing along opportunities along the way!)

As a kid, I remember the anticipation of summer break like it was yesterday! No early morning alarms, no homework, the excitement of sleepovers, summer camp and endless hours of just being outside and playing. Life was good!! But then we grew up, got jobs, family responsibilities and along the way, we kinda forgot how to play!

(Sing along) I like to ride my bicycle….

There was no greater feeling of freedom than my daddy giving me that final push as the last training wheel came off of my bike- woo-hoo! This was fantastic – I would ride around for hours, never once thinking about the ‘workout’ I was getting.  Today, it’s still so cool exploring the Twin Cities and beyond from the freedom of my bike!  I can ride just about anywhere I need to go, from the grocery store, to a Twins game, to lunch with friends and more! So, dust off that old banana seat, bell and basket and enjoy the ride!

Kimberly bicycle

(Sing along) Ohhhh I got a brand new pair of roller skates ….

Anyone fancy a good old fashioned ‘all skate’? Obsession doesn’t even begin to describe my love affair with roller skating as a kid. I even convinced my parents to give me lessons ‘cuz I was SURE it was going to be an Olympic sport and I was gonna win gold! Well, 40 years later, the yellow pom-poms may be gone and the wheels have been upgraded to blades…but I still get a thrill taking a spin on the trails. Inline skates are, to my generation, the hover boards of today.  We skate vs glide, all the while getting a great lower body workout that we don’t even think about –  and its fun! Who knew?!  Just remember to wear your knee pads and wrist guards!

Kimberly rollerblade

Brain rollerblade(Sing along)  A my name is Alice…..

And, while my boyfriends name isn’t Arthur, I can still remember being a jumping fool and begging my friends for one more spin! Yet, why is it so darned hard as an adult?  So, grab your shoes, put on the Rocky soundtrack, and go for 3, three-minute intervals of good, old-fashioned jump roping- whew!!  Your heart will get pumping, you’ll work every single major muscle group of the body and I guarantee it’ll make you smile as you think back on the good ol’ days of summer!

Kimberly jump ropeKimberly jumprope2I’d love to hear about your summer outdoor plans this year!  Keep cool, stay hydrated & have fun! After all, it’s ‘summertime and the living is easy….!’  Enjoy!!

 

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