US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for Mar. 18, 2024: Measuring ability

MyCollect’s “Guess the Grade” lets you know where you stand in your ability to grade coins with the clock ticking. The game requires a decision in less than a minute.

Image courtesy of MyCollect.

I’m not afraid of a challenge.

I’ve been known to take quizzes from online platforms, play along with game shows on TV (even almost qualified for one) and play “Jeopardy” on nearly a daily basis thanks to Alexa. It’s a way of learning. I have no illusion of being the best.

Wait, that’s not true. The nagging, long-standing desire to win lurks very near the surface. Second place is the first loser. That’s never more evident than when you are outbid for a desired coin during a Whatnot auction.

When I read about the “Guess the Grade” game being offered at MyCollect, I knew I had to see it for myself. Getting to the game was simple enough. I considered that my first victory, knowing I would probably have to take them where I could get them and maybe lower my standards along the way. Once I had signed in to the MyCollect account, Guess the Grade was prominently located on the left side menu.

You have an opportunity to read the instructions before getting started, but some of us are not wired that way. The operation is extremely simple and the methodology is what you would expect. You get a high-quality picture of the obverse and reverse of a selected coin. The key here is that you get 45 seconds. Essentially, that means it’s not just how well you grade, but how well you grade quickly. When you think about it, 45 seconds is really pretty generous considering what the professionals go through. The difference here, in addition to time, is that making a mistake in Guess the Grade had far less consequence than the real thing. It’s a scoreboard, not a paycheck.

The first coin came up. What strike – Business or Proof? Get it right, that’s two points. Now what is the numeric grade? Is it a plus grade? You have to be exact to get the 16 points; any deviation means the score is proportional reduced…and the timer is still going. Got the number, now what about the suffix ­— things like DCAM, Full Bands, etc. could come into play. Hit submit and the results are “Well Done, Almost”.

Let’s move to the next one. It’s a 1904-S Liberty gold double eagle. I think it’s not Proof, so we go Business. I would put this at a 63, but I’m not sure. Nothing else. Hit submit quickly, and look, a perfect score.

Two coins in and doing fairly well. Beginner’s luck? Let’s see. Next coin, my grade, submit, another perfect. I’ve nailed two out of three. I have to be near the top!

You need to grade 50 coins to make the leaderboard and there are a lot of people who graded well beyond 50. Accuracy and time all figure in too. If I want to make the leaderboard, I have to keep this up.

Reality is a vicious teacher. Now on coin 25 and still looking for the next “Perfect.” I’m pretty sure one Roosevelt dime came up a second time and I was woefully wrong both times.

The tool (game) is designed to help hone your grading skills and it will. I was warned that it would be tough to walk away and it was, but it will be there when I get back. See you on the leaderboard.

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