WorldWideCoins will state clearly herein that our
grade for every
item is our best guess, and there will often be a difference of opinion.
In fact, professional grading services such as ANACS, NGC, and PCGS often differ on grading,
and it is hard to imagine that everyone will agree on the exact grade of every item
Grading Terms we Use On this web Site
VG - Very Good AF - About Fine AVF - About Very Fine AU - About Uncirculated
VF - Very Fine F - Fine UNC - Uncirculated BU - Brilliant Unciculated Full Lustre
CHUNC - Choice Uncirculated
GEM BU - BU with no Bag marks Full Lustre FDC - Fleur de Coin
Proof (see below) on this site it means as issued by a mint Grade FDC
Look / handle many coins as possible .You will learn to grade coins in the correct way
Proof is not a grade -
A coin specially manufactured to have extra sharp detail, mirrorlike fields
and sometimes frosted or "cameo" devices, produced for sale to
at a premium or for exhibition or presentation.
Not all proofs are the same. The most common understanding of proof is that the flat background parts of the coin have a highly polished mirror finish, and the raised parts of the design have a matt finish, giving a higher level of contrast between the two. This is achieved by sand-blasting the die, the hardened steel punch with which the blank coins are struck, to give a matt finish, followed by giving the raised parts of the die a highly polished surface, usually by polishing them with diamond powder. The coin blanks themselves are usually produced to a higher quality of finish before striking. Proof coins are usually double struck at lower striking speeds, to give a higher and sharper definition. They are usually produced on a special machine, and may be hand, rather than mechanically fed into and extracted from the coining press. They are usually individually inspected, and packaged. A proof coin should provide an excellent specimen, and its quality should approach perfection.Some proof coins are made with an all matt finish, as for example the 1902 Edward VII Coronation proof coins, while others are produced as "reverse proofs", i.e. with the raised parts polished and the background matt.
A Uncirculated coin with Full Mint Lustre and may have
contact (bag) marks.Terms such as Gem or Choice is sometimes used to denote no
and or strike of coin eg weak strike coin looks worn or flat.
Coins with no wear at all are referred to as uncirculated or in mint state (MS). Grades from MS-60 to MS-70 in one point increments are used for mint state coins. Criteria include lustre; the number, size and location of contact marks; the number, size and location of any hairlines, and the quality of the strike and overall eye appeal..
An MS-60 coin may have dull lustre and numerous contact marks in prime focal areas, as long as there is no wear. To merit MS-65, a coin should have brilliant cartwheel lustre (attractive toning is permissible), at most a few inconspicuous contact marks, no hairlines, and nearly complete striking details. Grades from MS-61 to MS-64 cover intermediate parts of this range. Truly exceptional coins may be graded MS-66, MS-67 or, if absolutely flawless, as high as the theoretical maximum of MS-70. Many numismatists consider MS-70 to be an unobtainable ideal.
Terms such as brilliant uncirculated (BU), choice BU, gem BU, select BU and
premium BU are still used in lieu of numerical grades by some dealers,
auctioneers and others.
Market values for many uncirculated coins vary dramatically from one grade to the next. Remember that whether a coin is described with a numerical or an adjectival grade, it's only someone's opinion. Until you are comfortable with your ability to grade uncirculated coins, make liberal use of other opinions, such as those available with slabbed coins or from experienced collectors and dealers you trust, or concentrate on circulated coins.
For circulated coins the grade is primarily an indication of how much wear has occurred and generally does not take into account the presence or absence of dings, scratches, toning, dirt and other foreign substances (though such information may also be noted).
ANA grading standards recognize 11 grades for circulated coins (listed here with brief, generic descriptions):
AU-58, very choice about uncirculated: just traces of wear on a coin with nearly full lustre and no major detracting contact marks
AU-55, choice about uncirculated: small traces of wear visible on the highest points
AU-50, about uncirculated: very light wear on the highest points; still has at least half of the original mint lustre
EF-45 or XF-45, choice extremely fine: all design details are sharp; some mint lustre remains, though perhaps only in "protected areas"
EF-40 or XF-40, extremely fine: slightly more wear than a "45"; traces of mint lustre may show
VF-30, choice very fine: light even wear on high points, all lettering and design details are sharp
VF-20, very fine: most details are still well defined; high points are smooth
F-12, fine: major elements are still clear but details are worn away
VG-8, very good: major design elements, letters and numerals are worn but clear
G-4, good: major design elements are outlined but details are gone; for some series the date may not be sharp and the rim may not be complete.
AG-3, about good: heavily worn; date may be barely discernable
While coins more worn than AG are rarely collected, two additional grades are nevertheless used to characterize them:
F-2, fair -- very heavily worn; major portions may be completely smooth
P-1, poor, filler or cull -- barely recognizable
While not included in the ANA standards, intermediate grades like AU-53, VF-35, F-15 and G-6 are used by some dealers and grading services. When a grader believes a coin is better than the minimum requirements but not nice enough for the next higher grade "+" or "PQ" may be included (e.g. MS64PQ or VG+) or a range may be given (e.g. F-VF).
When there are significant differences between the obverse and reverse sides, a split grade may be assigned. Split grades are denoted with a "/". For example, "F/VF" means that the obverse is F and the reverse is VF.
The overall grade is often determined by the obverse. An intermediate value may be appropriate when the difference is significant, especially if the reverse is lower. A coin graded MS-60/61 would be considered to have an overall grade of MS-60, and another at MS-65/63 could be considered to have an overall grade of MS-64
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