Top Tips For Coin Collectors

Grading Coins

All About Grading Coins

The condition of a coin is most often summed up by a grade.

The grade of a coin is decided by its condition. It is important because it is a major factor in determining its value, after rarity and demand. The better the grade the more it is worth generally. There are guidelines to cater for any exceptions to this rule
Different factors help towards finding a coins grade. Such as aesthetics, shine, surface condition and the overall appeal. The grade will diminish if any of these factors has a low score.

Experts are usually needed to detect the finest differences in many coins. Even the experts on coin valuation can disagree over these subtle differences, leaving the final valuation to opinion of the buyer and seller

Experience is one of the main factors in becoming proficient at grading coins along with talent and a keen eye to see the subtle differences. With Knowledge however, the novice can come very close to estimating the grade and value of a coin. A system of 0-70 points is often used. This system was designed by The American Numismatic Association

A coin considered to be in mint condition is classified as “uncirculated” , which is the heist grade possible. Reaching this grade means the coin has no traceable damage and is in pristine condition. This perfect score of 70 represents only the finest top 1% of coins. There is another indicator for high grade… proof, which references only the method of manufacture, not condition. Again, often in mint condition with a bright shiny surface.

The other levels of grading include:

AU-55 – Less wear and tear on the highest parts of the coin and very shiny
Extremely Fine – EF-40 has sharp features but more wear than AU-55

After this the grades deteriorate quickly to Very fine, fine to about Good

Grades reduce quickly if the coins are scratch, have holes in or a have a dull surface. Cleaning and engraving also diminish a coins value rapidly and are oftn tried to be passed off for higher grade coins. Split grades can occur if there are large differences between two sides of a coin. These would be shown as “AU/EF … for example.

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