London Coins Grading Service

Key Benefits of Coin Grading


1. The coins authenticity will have been checked by top numismatic experts and it’s precise attribution given.
2. An objective assessment of the coin grade is made.
3. The coin is encapsulated in a holder which has been specially designed to protect the coin.
4. The grade and authenticity of the coin is retained for subsequent warranty if sold.
5. The coin will have it’s own individual reference number, adding to security and allowing inclusion into the population reports.


Coins which are forgeries or imitations, and ones that have been artificially enhanced by polishing or artificially toned , along with coins that have been repaired or enhanced by tooling, will not find their way into a LCGS holder. All coins encapsulated by LCGS will have their full attribution including varieties and the standard reference numbers such as Peck, ESC and Marsh will be given, further enhancing the marketability of the coin for the future.

Exact design, mintmark or date

This is the easiest aspect of a coin – assuming of course that it is genuine – as all of these factors are simple matters of fact.

1933 Penny

1936 Penny

The above pennies look identical, but their dates differ. As only seven examples of the 1933 penny are believed to exist, it is worth around £125,000. On the other hand, over 150 million of the 1936 penny were struck. Consequently examples are of little commercial value.

1937 Edward VIII 3d 1937 George VI 3d

Both these 12-sided brass threepences are dated 1937, but their designs differ. The one of the left was one of the handful in the name of Edward VIII and it bears his portrait and titles that found their way into circulation after the Edward gave up the throne for Mrs Simpson. It is worth around £125,000. The one on the right is one of some 45 million issued in the name of George VI. It is of little commercial value.

1908 London £1

1908 Canada £1

Both these sovereigns appear identical, both being struck in 1908 during the reign of Edward VII. However, with the one on the right, there is a very small C, known as a mintmark, below the St George and the Dragon. This indicates that it was struck in Canada. The one on the left has no such letter – it was struck in London. The coin struck in Canada is worth around £7500 more than the London sovereign.


The Service has been designed to ensure that the most common mistake is avoided when buying a coin: that it is not over-graded and consequently over-priced.

Again let us emphasise we also guarantee that the coins we encapsulate are genuine. In the unlikely event that it is later proved to be a forgery, we will pay the submitter its full market.

The encapsulation ensures that the coin cannot be damaged by mishandling. Its unique CGS UK archive number and images stored in our Archive are excellent security measures.

Over-grading can be a very expensive mistake

Although the following scenarios are true, the majority of the dealers in the UK are of the highest integrity. The Coin Grading Service is designed to give peace of mind, regardless from whom a coin is purchased.

Mr A purchased a Queen Anne gold five-guinea piece that he was told by the dealer was in extremely fine condition. It certainly was very bright. Mr A was unfamiliar with coin grading and accepted the dealer’s word as he paid £9000. Unfortunately the surface of the coin had been ‘buffed’ to improve its appearance to the untrained eye. When Mr A decided to sell the piece, he was advised that it would realise £1500-£1800. Had the Coin Grading Service assessed the coin before it was purchased, Mr A would not have lost £7500.

Mr B offered a George II gold two-guinea piece at £1800. The dealer showed him the coin in the Standard Catalogue of British Coins. Mr B thought it was a good deal as it was certainly below the price for what appeared to be a comparable coin in the Catalogue. A few years later when he decided to sell the coin, the auction house dropped a bombshell. At some stage the coin had been pierced so it could be suspended from a chain. The hole had subsequently been skilfully repaired. The item was of no value as an antique coin. It was only worth the scrap value of its metal content – about £120. Had the Coin Grading Service assessed the coin before it was purchased, Mr B would not have lost £1680.

Its exact state of preservation.

A coin’s exact condition is absolutely paramount in determining its value. In a nutshell, the better a coin’s condition or grade, the higher its value.

Coins are primarily functional objects – they are made for use. Admittedly some are specially produced for the collector market and consequently are lovingly preserved by their owners. However, the coins struck for general circulation are normally not handled with respect. They are nearly worked to death in lubricating the economy of daily lives and become scratched, bashed and worn.

Consequently, there are far fewer well-preserved coins than those that have suffered the rigours of circulation. In other words, better condition coins are much scarcer than worn ones. Add to this the fact that collectors always strive for more perfect examples. This means there is a greater demand for coins in short supply and consequently their value is much higher than those that are more worn.

This is how condition impacts on a coin’s value:

1933 Penny

1936 Penny

As you can see, even the minutest wear, which is bearably noticeable to the untrained eye, can radically affect a coin’s value. If a coin is over-graded, it is over-priced. The problem is that traditionally grading a coin is subjective. As one numismatist jokingly remarked when asked his opinion of a coin’s grade, ‘Am I buying or selling?’

The Coin Grading Service is an independent organisation that takes the subjectivity out of grading.


All most all dealers and long term collectors have stories to tell about coins that have deteriorated in grade and therefore value owing to mishandling and bad storage. The CGS UK capsule has been specially designed to ensure the safe long term protection and preservation of the coin within.


It naturally comes as a surprise to new comers into the coin market that when they come to resell their material or even show it to other dealers or collectors commonly the grade, and sometimes the attribution, and occasionally the authenticity of the coin is disputed, and certainly when if the coin is re sold all of these attributes will need to be re-established. With encapsulated coins these problems largely disappear, they also have the added quality of being much easier to trade over distance postally as their grade and authenticity and attribution has been independently given.


Each coin encapsulated by CGS UK will be given a unique reference number, there is also an option to have a photograph of the coin stored on our web site, this has potential security benefits in the case of lost coins.

Each encapsulated coin will also be added to our population reports. This is a published database showing the quantities of coins graded at each level, allowing the collector to assess how good his pieces are. There is a strong market for best or near best extant examples (the top or near the top of the grade for that type and date) and this point alone is often reason enough for submitting coins for grading.