Let it forever be known as Eckberg's fourth rule: it is very difficult to tell the difference between MS and AU in photographs. An unworn coin with no luster is no better than EF45 (some might say AU50), and photos never capture both details and luster accurately.
Consider making your project a video (s) with spoken word descriptions. I carry my iphone everywhere I go.
I would be willing to lend photography skills to the project.
Great to hear that, Tom! Will be greatly appreciated.
I think that the inclusion of several of the Eckberg rules should likely be folded into the foreword of the book. 4,5, and 6 would work nicely to explain exactly what it is that we're attempting to do.
It's official! The EAC Grading Guidelines book project is going to be a topic of discussion at the annual EAC Board of Governors meeting May 5th at the Buffalo convention! The agenda was just sent out to the Board members and the project is included under New Business.
I hope you're all as excited as I am! It's been great to watch this idea develop here and progress to the next step so quickly. Congratulations to all involved!
Hi guys! Here's a summary of our discussion on the EAC Grading Guidelines project.
It was generally agreed that a publication that explained the overall processes by which EAC grading is accomplished was a good idea. EAC grading is daunting to many collectors who have become familiar with "traditional" grading and we would like to alleviate that initial fear new collectors of early copper have regarding our grading methods.
There was some concern as to the scope of the book. We all know EAC grading is VERY subjective. One type of flaw that one person deducts 10 points for may not bother another collector nearly as much. I for one hate rim dings. It's a deal breaker. I'll take a lower grade undamaged coin over a high grade with rim dings every time.
The consensus was that the project is very beneficial. It's still in the initial stages of development and a tight plan of action needs to be hammered out. But the project can expect the support of ther club once the particulars are finalized and a draft is in the works.
Guys, this should be viewed as a victory. The project is viewed as a legitimate endeavor and we just need to see some forward movement on a plan of action. I'll tell you publishing a definitive catch all volume on the ins and outs of EAC grading in full color the size of a Breen isn't going to be successful or even achievable. I think we need to focus on shedding as much light as possible on the characteristics that affect grade AND condition. Let's read our CQR all over again and then take a look at what we can realistically accomplish with this volume.
One other note: Greg Heim, our Region 2 chairman, has expressed his interest in being a part of this project. Expect him to weigh in soon!
OK, it's Greg Heim and I am going to weigh in:
"EAC Grading" is a philosophy and methodology which essentially evolves the thought process with respect to a coin's evaluation and valuation. To express it with pictures, and in some ridiculous large tome is not only impractical, but downright absurd and has no utility.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
Most mainstream collectors in any numismatic area who use commercial grading standards often suffer from a fatal flaw: THEY OVER-EMPHASIZE THE AMOUNT OF DETAIL, OR SHARPNESS OF A COIN WITH RESPECT TO ITS ACTUAL VALUE.
On the other hand, many seasoned, forward-thinking collectors IN ANY NUMISMATIC AREA often think like this:
I have an 1896-S Barber Quarter. This AG3 is a really awesome coin loaded with tons of eye appeal, but this G06 coin has that sharpness, but there's a mark on there that my eye is focusing on every single time I look at it. At this point, I am not concerned as to which coin the guy buys because it's subject to personal preference and not germane to my point.
What just happened? This non-copper collector just employed inplicitly the thought process of the "matrix method" of Jack Robinson's CQR (Copper Quotes by Robinson). In all deference to Jack, Jack's presentation of the process is not the best, and therefore it is difficult for the neophyte or in many cases the intermediate collector to master with precision and efficiency.
In my talk at EAC 2012 on "The Reality of Die Variety/Marriage Attribution," I discussed that the best way for beginners to attrubute coins efficiently and accurately was to have them answer questions that are asked OF THEM. When it comes to the topic of "EAC Grading," it is imperative for the individual to come up with the questions that they need to answer. Think about it, there's a big difference.
Getting back to the CQR Presentation, what needs to occur is an actual, physical matrix chart illustrating the relationship between sharpness, net, and condition ALL IN ONE, NEAT PACKAGE with the proviso that there can be some variation off of this - call it a mild, artistic difference.
When people learn things for the first time, they need a solid frame of reference to work off of. That frame of reference is not a cure-all, for with experience it can be tweaked - but you need experience and expertise in order to do that.
Clear, concise, contemporary. Can be done, needs to be done.
Thanks for listening.
Region 2 Chairman for NY and NJ