Wicho wrote:1) Could anyone tell me if there are different qualities of anthracite coal?
Yes, depending on where it was mined and who processed it. Differences shouldn't be drastic.
a) If so- how can you tell (outside of burning and keeping burn rate statistics)?
You can't accurately judge short of having it tested. Your coal should be mostly shiny but there is no real indication.
2) What are the pros and cons of buying oiled vs. non-oiled anthracite?
AFAIK the only benefit is the dust. Jerry From leisure line pointed out that it would keep the hopper from rusting and would keep some internal parts lubricated, probably good for a good for stove for a stove that is only going to be used for the season but you could probably get the same affect =by spraying some WD-40. AFAIK the BTU increase is negligible, there's not a lot of oil used.
There's another thread about oiled coal around somewhere if you do a search you'll find it.