Internship Search Has Begun, Apply Today
The search for a numismatic intern has begun. Resumes
and letters have already begun to arrive, so if you
have not applied for this internship, now is the time
to do it.
The NGC/NCS Numismatic Internship will allow an aspiring
numismatist the opportunity to learn and work alongside
the professional numismatists at NGC and NCS, developing
skills in variety attribution, authentication, grading,
conservation and much more. To accommodate interested
aspiring numismatists, the start date and duration of
the internship have yet to be decided. The internship
will be held during the summer or fall of 2003 and last
from 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the intern’s
“We knew that this would be a very popular internship,”
says Brian Silliman, NCS Assistant Director of Operations.
“We are receiving lots of resumes and letters
from collectors and dealers that are interested in applying
and receiving the chance to work with some of the foremost
professional numismatists in the hobby.”
The internship, which was announced in April, will
be the most comprehensive internship in the hobby. Through
intensive hands-on work and instruction in all areas
of the companies’ operations, the intern should
develop skills that would otherwise take years, if not
decades, to acquire.
The internship will be held at NGC and NCS headquarters
in Sarasota, Florida. The intern should be at least
18 years old by the start of the internship. NGC and
NCS will provide lodging and a stipend as well as transportation
to and from Sarasota, if needed.
To apply for this internship, candidates should send
a resume and a letter, describing their numismatic background,
interests and goals. This internship is geared toward
gaining the skill and experience needed to be a professional
Application materials can be sent to Certified Collectibles
Group Human Resources at PO Box 4776, Sarasota, FL.
34230, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by fax to 941-360-2553.
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Lights, Loupe and Library
Getting more out of your coin collecting often comes
down to three things: the correct lighting, a good loupe
and a suitable library of numismatic references.
A common trap for most new and intermediate collectors
is getting bogged down with “expensive toys”
rather than “valuable tools.” Specifically,
the multitude of specialty lights, fancy high power
magnifiers and expensive (and largely useless) microscopes
that collectors feel they need to be more successful.
Lighting is perhaps the most important of your collecting
tools — it can make or break your collecting efforts.
Bad lighting will hinder your ability to see surface
problems and make it difficult to grade coins accurately
and consistently. But this does not mean you need to
go out and buy hundreds of dollars worth of special
lighting equipment. On the contrary, your ideal lighting
setup can be purchased at your local office supply store
for less than $50.
The recommended lighting set up for coin collecting
is a simple swing-arm or similar desk lamp and a 75-
to 100-watt incandescent bulb. We recommend using a
name-brand soft white bulb, as generic bulbs often have
a slight yellow tint. Additionally, it is a good idea
to check the specifications of the lamp, as some have
a very low wattage capacity.
Now that you have your light source, you need “suitable”
magnification. This is often an area of confusion for
collectors and the basis for one of the worst habits
you can develop. Magnification is a “back-up”
and should be used sparingly. You should always look
at the coin with your unaided eye. Rotating it around
under the light without magnification is all most people
need to spot problems and accurately grade the coin.
Your magnifier should only be used to get a closer look
at problems you noticed during your initial examination
of the coin. Grading coins with a magnifier or even
worse, with a microscope, will almost guarantee that
you under-grade you coins.
Even though magnification should be used sparingly
you should have it available at all times. Luckily,
this is not a major investment. In fact, a suitable
loupe can be purchased for under $50. We recommend a
5- to 7-power triplet loupe for most applications. This
range of magnification is perfect for grading, variety
attribution and most authentication tasks. The triplet
loupe design provides increased clarity and reduces
image distortion that occurs with single or double glass
And finally, with your lighting and your magnifier,
as well as a clean work space to view your coins, we
highly recommend having a library of numismatic reference
material related to the coins you collect. There is
a tremendous amount of information available on virtually
all types of coins, grading, attribution, varieties
and counterfeit detection. Having easy access to this
material is extremely important.
To better understand what books are available for your
collecting interest, we recommend looking at the ANA
Library Catalog. The ANA maintains one of the largest
numismatic libraries in the country and if you are an
ANA member you can borrow most of these books by mail.
Once you have seen what books are available, we would
suggest borrowing a couple and, if they are going to
be of assistance to you, then try to locate the book
for purchase through numismatic book dealers or internet
Most, if not all grading services, dealers and a lot
of the more advanced collectors, maintain large and
rather impressive libraries. But here again, don’t
just buy every book available, borrow it from another
collector or the ANA library, and see if the information
in it is truly relevant to your collecting. If it is,
then it may be a reference worth adding to your collection.
A well-known saying in this hobby that still holds true
today is, “buy the book before you buy the coin.”
In the coming months, NCS and NGC will post a list
of very useful numismatic references on their websites
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