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Uncirculated coins can range in grade from MS60 to MS70
and proof coins from PR60 to PR70. MS60 would be a coin that although
considerably scratched, has never been in circulation. An MS70 coin is
one that is absolute perfection with no marks, scratches or other
distractions. An "average" uncirculated coin (also called Choice BU)
falls in the MS63/MS64 range. Coins above an MS66 are considered rare
and worth considerably more than the average coin.
We grade according to the nationally accepted and recognized ANA standards. Following is their definition of each grade in uncirculated coins. A similar definition applies to proof coins.
What is Grading?
Grading is a way of determining the condition of a given coin. It is
devised in a grading scale of 1-70, with 1 being a barely identifiable
piece and 70 being a flawless specimen. Adjectives used to describe a
coin's grade often relate to a number on this scale of 1-70. Naturally, a
seller has a tendency to use additional superlatives to describe
MS-70. The perfect coin. Has very
attractive sharp strike and original luster of the highest quality for
the date and mint. No contact marks are visible under magnification.
There are absolutely no hairlines, scuff marks or defects. Attractive
and outstanding eye appeal. Copper coins must be bright with full
original color and luster.
MS-69. Must have very
attractive sharp strike and full original luster for the date and mint,
with no more than two small non-detracting contact marks or flaws. No
hairlines or scuff marks can be seen. Has exceptional eye appeal. Copper
coins must be bright with full original color and luster.
Attractive sharp strike and full original luster for the date and mint,
with no more than four light scattered contact marks or flaws. No
hairlines or scuff marks show. Exceptional eye appeal. Copper coins must
have original color.
MS-67. Has full original luster and
sharp strike for date and mint. May have three or four very small
contact marks and one more noticeable but not detracting mark. On
comparable coins, one or two small single hairlines may show under
magnification, or one or two partially hidden scuff marks or flaws may
be present. Eye appeal is exceptional. Copper coins have lustrous
MS-66. Must have above average quality of
strike and full original mint luster, with no more than two or three
minor but noticeable contact marks. A few very light hairlines may show
under magnification, or there may be one or two light scuff marks
showing of frosted surfaces or in the field. The eye appeal must be
above average and very pleasing for the date and mint. Copper coins
display full original or lightly toned color as designated.
Shows an attractive high quality of luster and strike for the date and
mint. A few small scattered contact marks, or two larger marks may be
present, and one or two small patches of hairlines may show under
magnification. Noticeable light scuff marks may show on the high points
of the design. Overall quality is above average and overall eye appeal
is very pleasing. Copper coins have full luster with original or
darkened color as designated.
MS-64. Has at least average
luster and strike for the type. Several small contact marks in groups,
as well as one or two moderately heavy marks may be present. One or two
small patches of hairlines may show under magnification. Noticeable
light scuff marks or defects might be seen within the design or in the
field. Attractive overall quality with a pleasing eye appeal. Copper
coins may be slightly dull. Color should be designated.
luster may be slightly impaired. Numerous small contact marks, and a
few scattered heavy marks may be seen. Small hairlines are visible
without magnification. Several detracting scuff marks or defects may be
present throughout the design or in the fields. The general quality is
about average, but overall the coin is rather attractive. Copper pieces
may be darkened or dull. Color should be designated.
An impaired or dull luster may be evident. Clusters of small marks may
be present throughout with a few large marks or nicks in prime focal
areas. Hairlines may be very noticeable. Large unattractive scuff marks
might be seen on major features. The strike, rim and planchet quality
may be noticeably below average. Overall eye appeal is generally
acceptable. Copper coins will show a diminished color and tone.
Mint luster may be diminished or noticeably impaired, and the surface
has clusters of large and small contact marks throughout. Hairlines
could be very noticeable. Scuff marks may show as unattractive patches
on large areas or major features. Small rim nicks, striking or planchet
defects may show, and the quality may be noticeably poor. Eye appeal is
somewhat unattractive. Copper pieces will be generally dull dark and
MS-60. Unattractive, dull or washed out
mint luster may mark this coin. There may be many large detracting
contact marks, or damage spots, but absolutely no trace of wear. There
could be a heavy concentration of hairlines, or unattractive large areas
of scuff marks. Rim nicks may be present, and eye appeal is very poor.
Copper coins may be dark, dull and spotted.