Note that there was initially a hardback version of this book which sold out very quickly, was re-printed and sold out again. The current edition is a paperback with a blue cover (as shown) and with excellent b/w images. The hardback with colour images (if you can find one) has a brown cover. The eBook version is full colour throughout.
“This really is an incredibly important book that can easily earn it’s value back each time a new coin is purchased! Online sources of old coins (especially eBay) are full of badly described and over-graded examples. All too often, coins that are only worth a couple of pounds seem to sell for £30, £50 or even more. The reason they sell for vastly more than what they are worth is because the sellers’ call them ‘VF’ (for example) when in reality they are only ‘Fair’ (for example) and lots of ill-informed coin collectors seem to rather naively believe these descriptions!
Just recently I saw a GVF (Good VF) George IV farthing with some quite ugly edge knocks, labelled as ‘Lustrous’ sell for £29.00. It wasn’t lustrous at all, it had previously been cleaned and had some very noticeable wear. Clearly the seller had never seen a truly lustrous example, as most of the sellers genuinely seem to be ignorant, rather than consciously conspiring to defraud. If I were selling that coin on predecimal.com I wouldn’t have the cheek to ask more than £4.00 for it! Even without the edge knock damage and the damage caused by it being cleaned I would have only priced in at about £12.00. Someone somewhere is treasuring a £29.00 coin that one day they will learn is worth less than £5.00. As a serious coin dealer, that infuriates me. It puts the industry in a bad light and such discoveries made by young collectors potentially put them off coin collecting forever!”
I know that as the publisher of this book I can hardly be considered un-biased, but I’m am very much writing this as a coin dealer and I truly believe that if you buy or have any involvement at all in British coins (1797-1970) and have been involved for less than 10 years (or more if it’s only a passing interest) then you really do need this book, no matter how good you may think you are at coin grading. It’s now available as an eBook), so you can take it anywhere and there simply is no excuse for buying over-graded and over-priced coins on ebay or anywhere else!” – C H Perkins, Boxing Day 2013.
The Standard Guide to Grading British Coins is a photographic and descriptive record of the recognised states of preservation (grades) of all British coin types from 1797 to 1970.
The “Where’s wear” of British numismatics! The first book of its kind – a detailed photographic and descriptive record of all British modern milled pre-decimal coins (1797 to 1970) in all their collectable grades.
The grade of a coin dictates it’s value. The age, type or specific date are all of less importance than the condition. But what is Fine, VF, EF or Uncirculated? If you are new to coin collecting or specialise in different coin types, how can you say without doubt that a coin is a certain grade? Until now you could only guess. Now, at least you can make a very educated guess based on the images shown in The Standard Guide to Grading British Coins.
The photos of every obverse and reverse type are illustrated at 2x or greater magnification (the current paperback has black and white images, the eBook is in full colour) and the text describes where to look for the wear first. An invaluable guide to anyone who collects coins, especially at the moment, with huge amounts of overgraded coins being offered on the internet.
Tane McManus –
This is a Rabelasian achievement and a wonderful addition to anyone’s collection. For once you can grade your coins realistically and it’s aimed at us collectors who do not have FDC everything. Good images overall (A few are a bit cloudy) and great descriptive notes, its amazing how much territory is covered here and almost anyone could get their coins and grade fairly decently.
He also adds some funny and opionative comments here and there and uses a complementary tone so if you have Fair or Fine coins only, you are not penalised – he even praises a Fair penny as an attractive coin despite its wear! Best of all its very cheap and cost me under $25 to get one sent to New Zealand.
A couple of cons – the paper is quite cheap, its black and white and some images are dark, but you get 2x detail or more and some extra shots of AU and UNC, however the 4 grades shown are EF, VF, Fine and Fair meaning if you have a AU or UNC coin, don’t always expect to see it that way as some of the EF coins are really setting the bar high. British in general grade strict and British EF is pretty much high AU everywhere else.
Also don’t expect images of QE2 coins in fair or even Fine in some cases, they may not exist in collector circles but I am sure old florins and shillings that circulated until 1990 may exist in fair.
He offers a useful chart comparing the foreign grading systems like Sheldon to British and this includes MS61 – 70.
Overall this is a stunning book that belongs in your collection!