The collecting community continues to debate the growing interest in certifying medals after a generational Canadian collection brought strong results at an April auction. With Canadian medals attracting more interest and higher prices in recent years, some collectors are seeking out pieces certified by third-party grading services, which have long provided increased trust and confidence to the collectible coin market. But while certified coins have remained an industry standard for three decades, some of the hobby’s leading figures question the need for slabbing medals, which they consider pieces of art with vastly different practical uses. “Historical medals are not generic widgets,” said Ottawa dealer Jacob Lipson, who catalogued the Michael Joffre Collection of Canadian Historic Medals, which he called a “once-in-a-generation” offering before it was auctioned in April. “There aren’t thousands of each type that survive across the entire grade spectrum. In fact, medals are rarely supposed to circulate in the same way coins do, so grading them like coins doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Instead of relying on grades and graders, collectors would be better served by drawing on their own experiences or those of a reputable dealer or auction house and making choices based on those experiences.” Continue reading →
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