The Science Of Grading Coins – Gold Goliath

Posted on :Mar 27, 2015

“Money is Gold and nothing else.” – (JP Morgan December, 1912)

Coin values are directly correlated to condition and many times individuals have no idea that there is a method to the madness of grading coins. If you’ve ever tried to get a coin appraised, you know what we’re talking about.

The current standard for grading coins was introduced in 1948 by Dr. William Sheldon and it is referred to as the ANA scale. ANA is the abbreviation for American Numismatic Association. All coins are graded on a scale from 1 to 70, 1 being the poorest and 70 being the best. Grades are assigned at key points on this scale and the most commonly used points are as follows:

P-1: Poor – Barely identifiable, must have date and mint mark or will be valued for metal content only.

FR-2: Fair – Very worn but not to the point of having the damage of a poor coin.

G-4: Good – Heavily worn with most detail gone.

VG-8: Very Good – Heavily worn but design elements are still legible.

F-12: Fine – Evenly worn but design elements are clearly visible.

VF-20: Very Fine – Moderate wear with some of the finer details remaining.

EF-40: Extremely Fine – lightly worn with most design details visible and crisp.

AU-50: About Uncirculated – slight wear on high points with minor blemishes.

AU-58: Very Choice About Uncirculated – Slight wear marks with almost full luster.

MS-60: Mint State Basal – Uncirculated but dull in appearance with no luster.

MS-63: Mint State Acceptable – Uncirculated with slight marks or nicks with decent luster.

MS-65: Mint State Choice – Uncirculated with brilliant luster and strike is above average.

MS-68: Mint State Premium Quality – Uncirculated with flawless luster and no visible marks to the naked eye.

MS-69: Mint State All But Perfect – Uncirculated with perfect luster, sharp strike and exceptional eye appeal. In perfect condition with the exception of microscopic flaws.

MS-70: Mint State Perfect – Just as stated a perfect coin with no microscopic flaws to 8x. The strike is sharp and perfectly centered on a flawless planchet.

While the grading scale may appear basically simple, grading coins is not. Those individuals trusted with grading coins place their personal and business reputation on the line every time they grade a coin. Oftentimes, buyers are sold coins that do not live up to the grade because many sellers know the average buyer will never seek outside help to be sure they purchased a quality product.

A perfect example of this practice is your local pawn shop. Sure they carry an assortment of gold and silver coins but to trust the employee behind the counter with making sure the coin grades are accurate is a giant leap of blind faith. He or she is there to sell coins, lawn mowers and construction tools but it’s very unlikely they have received proper training in how to grade coins.

Gold Goliath purchases gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins and bars only from reputable mints assuring the products we sell are as stated beforehand. You don’t have to take a chance by purchasing these metals in secondary markets from individuals who more than likely are not even Better Business Bureau accredited.

With Gold Goliath, you’re guaranteed that the products you receive are accurately graded by our specialists.  

Call us at 1-800-577-3195 with any questions you have concerning precious metals. Our promise to you is exceptional service, competitive pricing and speedy delivery.

Gold Goliath is not your typical gold dealer.

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