In the previous two sections of this series we have reviewed what are the BEST hand struck coins to buy. In summary we can advise the following.
"If a coin cannot be FULLY attributed then no matter what the condition it is not as collectable or worth as much as a coin that can be FULLY attributed in any condition."
As previously explained we have four basic categories of grading. Please note the following before we proceed.
1. The system applies to hand struck coins of ALL metals and denominations.
2. Although we specialise in coins of the great sub-continent the system can be used for almost all, if not all, hand struck coins.
To review what happens in a mint for hand struck coins there is a link address below. Check the narrative on Mughal Mints.
So our interest as REAL collectors is primarily in coins that can be fully attributed.
In this area we have three primary grades. These are called NT Grades
1. Nazrana or complete in every possible detail.
2. Almost complete but with perhaps edges and borders missing.
3. Almost complete but with certain elements missing but not withstanding this FULL and COMPLETE attribution can be made. A note added here is that there can be no guesswork in the attribution it must be clearly seen.
4. Other coins.
Within each section there may be specific levels of excellence. For example strikes might be better on one coin or another. One coin may contain a Shroff mark and another not. However the compelling regard for price should be that coins of the type 1 will always be more valuable than coins of type 2 etc.
If we look at comparative rarity we introduce a completely new table for Indian hand struck coins (and in all probability all hand struck coins).
NT1: Extremely rare and for many mints throughout the ages practically unknown.
NT2: Rare to Extremely rare regardless of mint or ruler.
NT3: Comparatively rare and in isolated mints extremely rare.
NT4: The most common of course provided that ruler and or mint are clear.
It is time that grading (slabbing) companies understood hand struck coins and graded them according to whether they can be attributed or not. Long gone is the time that some pretty piece of metal gets slabbed at the highest practical level and commands the highest possible price just because it looks nice regardless of attribution. This continuing sham MUST STOP.
Grade the coins correctly and accurately.
The NT method of grading also takes away the great market tumble that may occur if a major hoard is found because generally there will be extremely few in the top two grades rather than a carte blanch discussion that all values must tumble.
The real grading revolution is here for real collectors and real dealers. The grading companies need to join the world of real collectors of hand struck coins not the few who collect aesthetic nothings.