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Guide & Tutorials / Grading your coin depending on its conservation quality

Grading Your Coin Depending On Its Conservation Quality

Welcome to CoinCollectionMarket! In this page we show you the system we use to grade the coins based on its conservation quality.

Coin Grades

In an effort to make things easy we have developed a simple but strong grading system. It is based in the European grading systems and you can see the match to them in the table bellow. We know that this is a very small subset of how coins can be graded, if you feel like you need to specify more the grade of your coin, you can always do so in the comment field. These are the coin gradings we use:

  • Proof (P) Proof
    Early samples of a coin issue, historically made for checking the dies and for archival purposes, but nowadays often struck in greater numbers specially for coin collectors (numismatists). Preparation of a proof striking usually involved polishing of the dies. They can usually be distinguished from normal circulation coins by their sharper rims and design, as well as much smoother "fields" . They are usually issued directly from the Mint.
    Proof Heads Proof Tails
  • Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) Brilliant Uncirculated
    Perfect new condition, showing no trace of wear. The finest quality possible, with no evidence of scratches, handling or contact with other coins. Very few regular issue coins are ever found in this condition. Usually they need special handling from the Mint.
    Brilliant Uncirculated Heads Brilliant Uncirculated Tails
  • Uncirculated (U) Uncirculated
    Has no trace of wear but may show a number of contact marks, and surface may be spotted or lack some luster.
    Uncirculated Heads Uncirculated Tails
  • About Uncirculated (AU) About Uncirculated
    Has traces of light wear on many of the high points. At least half of the Mint luster is still present.
    About Uncirculated Heads About Uncirculated Tails
  • Extra Fine (EF) Extra Fine
    Design is lightly worn throughout, but all features are sharp and well defined. Traces of luster may show.
    Extra Fine Heads Extra Fine Tails
  • Very Fine (VF) Very Fine
    A moderate amount of wear is noticeable on the high points of the coin's design. All major details are clear.
    Very Fine Heads Very Fine Tails
  • Fine (F) Fine
    The coin shows moderate to considerable even wear throughout. Entire design is bold with an overall pleasing appearance.
    Fine Heads Fine Tails
  • Very Good (VG) Very Good
    Well worn with main features clear and bold although rather flat.
    Very Good Heads Very Good Tails
  • Good (G) Good
    Heavily worn with the design visible but faint in areas. Many details are flat. The date may be barely readable. Rare or valuable coins in this condition are often saved when no others are available.
    Good Heads Good Tails

Coin gradings comparative

Grading Systems
CoinsCollectionMarket Design remaining United Kingdom France Spain Italy Germany Scandinavia Netherlands Portugal USA
Good 10% G AB (Assez Beau) RC M GE (Gut erhalten) 2 G (Goed) REG AG-3 to G-4
Very Good 25% VG B (Beau) BC B (Bello) SGE (Sehr gut erhalten) 1- ZG (Zeer Goed) MREG VG-8
Fine 50% F TB (Très Beau) BC+ MB (Molto Bello) S (Schön) 1 Fr (Fraai) BC F-12
Very Fine 75% VF TTB (Très Très Beau) MBC BB (Bellissimo) SS (Sehr schön) 1+ ZF (Zeer Fraai) MBC VF-20 to 30
Extra Fine 90% EF/XF SUP (Superbe) EBC SPL (Splendido) VZ (Vorzüglich) 01 Pr. (Prachtig) Bela EF-40 to 45
About Uncirculated 95% + some luster UNC No use No use No use UNZ− (Fast unzirkuliert) 01/0 No use No use AU-50 to 55
Uncirculated 100% + luster UNC SPL (Splendide) SC SPL/FDC UNZ (Unzirkuliert) 0 FDC (Fleur de Coin) Soberba MS-60 to 65
Brilliant Uncirculated 100% + full luster FDC FDC (Fleur de Coin) FDC FDC (Fior di Conio) STGL (Stempelglanz) 0 FDC FDC (Flor de Cunho) MS-66 to 70

How to grade my coin

  1. What you need
    In order to perform a proper coin grading you need to have an good light source and an excellent magnifier preferably something over 5x in order to see specific details.
  2. First division
    Determine if the coin has circulated or not. If the coin shows the slightest hints of wear then it should be considered circulated. Otherwise it should be considered unciriculated.
  3. Select the grading
    You now know if its circulated or not then you should compare your coin to the scale shown above to determine where it fits on the scale. For uncirculated coins only need to determine if it has some lack of luster or it shows a small number of contact marks then it is Uncirculated, otherwise it should be considered Brilliant Uncirculated. For the circulated coins check the descriptions above. Just take into account that the damage is not proportional; in other words, the amount of detail loss between Brilliant Uncirculated and Uncirculated is not the same as that which is lost between Good and Very Good. In fact, the coin that grades Brilliant Uncirculated and Uncirculated has lost none of its detail, but the coin that grades Good and Very has lost about 60%. Use the written descriptions to place your coin as best you can. If you want more precise grading, you can contact with professional coin grading companies.