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Standard US Grading Definitions:




An abbreviation for About Good, a numerical grade value of 3 out of 70




AU is an abbreviation for Almost Uncirculated, which refers to coins that have seen slight wear and circulation with around 95% of their original design present. Coins considered AU also show much of their original luster. A numerical grade value of between 50 and 58 out of 70




BU is an abbreviation for the term Brilliant Uncirculated. This term applies to a coin which has never before been circulated and therefore shows very little signs of wear. Alternate terms are Mint State or Uncirculated. A numerical grade value of 60 to 70 out of 70




An abbreviation for Fair, next to the lowest grade possible, a numerical grade value of 2 out of 70




This is a term used when evaluating the condition of a coin. It is considered to be one step up from VG. Coins considered to be in Fine condition still show major signs of wear with up to half of the original design rubbed smooth. A numerical grade value of 12 to 19 out of 70




An abbreviation for Good, which refers to coins which have been heavily worn, and though their original design is visible, only around 10% of it remains. A numerical grade value of 4 to 7 out of 70




MS is an abbreviation for the term Mint State, which refers to coins in superior condition. The MS grades are often assigned to coins by professional grading companies, such as the PCGS or NGC and range from MS60-MS70; 70 being in the best condition.




An abbreviation for Very Fine, which refers to coins that have been circulated and worn with still around 75% of their original design in tact. A numerical value of 20 through 35 out of 70, this grade actually has two areas, the VF 20 through 25 and the VF Gem 30 through 35.




VG is an abbreviation for Very Good. This is a term used when evaluating the condition of a coin. Though the name sounds like it would represent a stunning coin, the truth is that VG coins are considered to show signs of wear throughout with letters that may be legible, depending on the type of coin. A numerical grade value of 8 to 11 out of 70


XF or EF


XF or EF is an abbreviation for “Extra Fine” which refers to coins which have only seen light wear. Dings and scratches will only be present on their highest points with around 90% of their original design intact. A numerical value of 40 through 45 out of 70





Artificial Surface


Artificial surfaces are coins that have been treated with chemicals or heat to change the original surface to cause a color shift or stripped and recolored to cover blemishes.




Coins that have been improperly cleaned generally refer to having been rubbed, wiped, thumbed in some cleaned leaving an altered surface where fine hair lines are visible in good lighting using a 10x power loop. The lines almost run parallel to one another or in circular patterns from an attempt to make them look better. 


In reality this will reduce the value of the coin considerably. In some extreme cases the coins may be reduced to being only what the value of the metal contained in the coin.




The coin is Bent.


Detail Grades:


Detail Grades are the grades assigned to coins that have some form of imparement



Dipped or bleached:


Dipped in cleaners or bleached to remove dirt or other foreign substances, also to improve the look of the coin to increase the value.




These are coins that someone has carved their initials or some other form of writing into the surface of the coin defacing it.

Harshly Cleaned:


Harshly cleaned coins are those coins that have been cleaned with some form of abrasive such as steel wool or pot scrubber.


Net Grades:


Net grade are the accumulative vaule of the coin if it were not impared.




Coins that have been scratched on the surface of the coin such as when a staple from a separate 2X2 cardboard flip has been pushed against the coins and made a mark that is detrimental to its value.




Tooled coins are those with surfaces that have been worked on with jewelers’ tools to remove scratches, digs or other issue with a coin. This is also used to define that act of drawing around the devices of a coin to make them more prominent or stand out more to give the impression of a better strike.




A coin that has had a mechanical or electrical buffer applied to the surface.

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