Butch Caswell, Jim Reardon and Ken Westover – part of Littleton’s Coin Buying team
Last month you got a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to become a grader in Littleton’s Coin Buying department… Now, I’d like to tell you about what it takes for a coin, bank note or other collectible to “make the grade” and become Littleton Select Quality.
To get some answers I visited with Jim Reardon and Ken Westover, two of Littleton’s long-time Coin Buyers. What I discovered was that finding quality coins is more challenging today than ever…
Jim said, “Compared to 20 or 30 years ago, coins are more widely dispersed and stay in private collections longer before returning to the market.” And with every year that goes by, coins see more wear, loss through attrition and melting. Plus, with the introduction of the new quarter and small dollar programs of 1998-date, millions of new collectors entered the hobby, increasing demand for all types of coins.
So how do they locate all of those coins? They travel a lot… each year Littleton’s buyers log over 100,000 air miles in pursuit of quality coins for our inventory. While that seems like a lot of miles and time… they say it’s an important piece in hunting down the finest coins and paper money. When they find them, they carefully inspect each one, and choose only the best to buy for our customers.
It takes skill and experience to look at coins, paper money or other collectibles and determine if they meet our strict standards. Acquiring this skill takes time, and Littleton’s buyers have over 100 years of combined experience. In our quest for quality, our expert staff examines nearly 10 million coins annually and rejects 50% for not meeting our guidelines. These coins come from private collections, other dealers and even the U.S. Mint – for newer product. Our buyers and graders consider themselves your quality filters.
Beginning this spring, all coins, bank notes and currency will have the Littleton Select Quality designation to indicate they have met our strict guidelines for quality. All coins, bank notes and other currency will carry the “Littleton Select” logo on packaging and envelopes. And a “Littleton Select” sticker will be used on certified coins and paper money.
Eye appeal & accuracy matter!
Whether an item is Proof, Gem Uncirculated or even Genuine, every piece we offer has been examined by our experts and graded according to our tough standards. To become Littleton Select Quality, the piece must be pleasing to look at, technically correct, and right for the grade. In addition, our buyers apply those same exacting standards to certified coins and paper money. They buy the item not the holder, so each certified piece is carefully examined before we purchase it and add it to our inventory.
Their attention to detail, adherence to high quality, and consistent standards ensure you’ll get a coin you’ll be happy with – these coins are Littleton Select Quality! That means you’ll have a piece that will complement your collection – one you’ll be proud to display.
Watch this video to discover more about what it takes for a coin to be good enough to be a Littleton Select