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Hi all -- I've been thinking about the prospect of automated coin grading. Slabbed coins from PCGS and NGC seem overly expensive, and people here have been reporting problems with them (e.g. the recent red spots thread).

Would you personally prefer an automated solution, if it was cheaper? By automated, I mean computerized, using machine vision and perhaps various multispectral scans of the coin beyond human vision. I know a bit about machine vision, and an automated solution to coin grading seems inevitable. I think it would be a somewhat easy task for machine vision experts, relative to the kinds of problems they solve currently, like understanding what's in an arbitrary photograph (faces, people, sky, balls, grass, cars, etc.). Coin grading would be a smaller, more delimited problem for them – the software would always know what coin it was grading and what it's supposed to look like at various levels of quality. It wouldn't have to worry about arbitrary objects in an image.

I'd be all for it if it cost a couple of dollars. It would also be nice if a service offered a more careful slabbing process, using a nitrogen atmosphere or vacuum sealing.

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On 22/12/2018 at 02:18, shortstack68 said:

If you grade a coin then slab numbers always count for that community, people tend not to buy what's inside the slab, but the number that's on the slab seems the most important thing, i wonder what those great collectors would have done back in the 1800-1900s without grading companies.........Oh wait......they had great collections lol

Anyway, to your main point of automated grading, i already hear this sort of thing is in the pipeline, how far along it is i've no idea, but if a coin is graded it will always cost more due to price of grading and the slab number, you either buy or leave it alone, some people are prepared to pay over the odds for certain numbers

Oh, I'm sure the automated process would yield a number in line with the current grading scales. It would be hard to sell otherwise. I just want to see the price premium shrink to something more reasonable than what these subjective services charge. And I think they're leaving air in the slabs (!).

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5 hours ago, shortstack68 said:

All grades are subjective. I recently spoke to a European dealer who was selling 2 hammered English coins that both had been through both Londoncoins and Baldwins auctions previously, their grades in both these auctions for both coins were VF, the dealer was selling them in EF, so basically i asked how they gained a full extra grade and his reply was "its our opinion" blah blah blah, so dealers will grade a coin much higher to make more money, needless to say i won't be buying from that dealer

But an automated system wouldn't be subjective, at least not in the normal sense we use that word. Of course anyone could say that in their opinion a coin is a higher grade than my hypothetical Automated Coin Grading system determined, but that's not a knock on automated grading. That's just shady people.

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