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US Coin Grades  
 

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New Member
United States
36 Posts
 Posted 05/14/2008  5:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add americanmoney to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I thank you all this tread is very helpful in grading better.
It would be super cool if it were broke down a little more maybe with some pics.
Valued Member
United States
429 Posts
 Posted 05/26/2008  8:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add penny pincher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have had problems with this since I started collecting again a few years ago. The first step was to look on the net and see what I could find, like others I have found the same sites that are listed but they do not have images to go along with it. About a year ago I came upon a photo grade book that worked out great but the version I had only went up to MS-60. So last year I was looking around and found "The Official American Numismati Association Grading Standards For United States coins (Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards for United States coins)" and this book has helped out a lot more. If it was not for copyright issues I would scan it and post it, but since prison does not sound like fun, I would suggest looking into buying it. The book does not show every condition but it does show the major ones, and describes the ones in between. It has made it a lot easier to look through and grade my coins and give them a more realistic grade.

For example, last summer I purchased an old binder from the 50's of Lincoln wheat's that cost me $100. At the time I had no idea and experience and used the PCGS site as a reference (huge mistake). When I got done grading them I figured I made a great deal and had a collection of about $400 in this one set alone. This last little while I dug it out and went over it again and found out that the grades were no where near what I originally thought and would be lucky to get $70 for what I bought.
Valued Member
United States
65 Posts
 Posted 07/02/2008  11:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add robocoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have a bunch of morgans that I would guess are uncirculated. There is no wear that I can see. You can make out all the layers of the eagle's breast feathers and every hair on the bust. Although they appear to have no wear "to the naked eye" under magnification they seem to be covered with tiny scratches (TINY). Are these marks what they refer to as "bag marks"? There are some pictures in the forum " inherited coins, value unknown" forum under classic coins. Please have a look and let me know.
Pillar of the Community
United States
2720 Posts
 Posted 07/02/2008  12:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SeatedNut to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
robocoins,

I've followed your inheritance thread with interest from the beginning, but am unable to offer any opinions on coin grades with the pictures provided (I know you are doing you best). The small lines you mention that are visible under magnification may be due to a cleaning long ago. Around 1950~1960 and prior, the coin community at large accepted the practice of lightly wiping coins with a soft cloth to remove surface contaminants and dust. Damage from the practice was not visible to the naked eye. But under magnification you can see where the metal is disturbed. If the lines you mention are circular or in the same general direction, this type of cleaning would be the cause. The end result is a coin less valuable than one that was not "cleaned".

To help you determine if your coins are uncirculated, look for undisturbed mint luster. What is mint luster? Glad you asked ... in the minting process, when the dies come together under great pressure, the metal develops a kind of "frost". If this frost is still present on the highest points of the coin (where they would receive wear first), then you probably have an uncirculated coin. If it is rubbed off there, your coin is "almost uncirculated" or AU. The same thing applies to the fields of the coin ... if luster is removed in the center of the fields, but present around the devices, cleaning probably removed the luster. Of course there are degrees of "uncirculated" and "AU" that take into account the strength of the strike, any imperfections (bag marks, dings). You can only develop a feel for this after years of looking at coins.

I think you are taking the correct steps with your rare coins ... sending them in for authentication and grading by a reputable firm. And I am completely envious of your situation! My father sold his collection in the 1980's for a fraction of its value when he fell on hard times.
Valued Member
United States
129 Posts
 Posted 07/18/2009  8:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add timer to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If I send a coin let's say to PCGS for grading and it has some variation that I did not know about will they add this variety/variation to the slab when they grade it even though I didnlt ask them to?
New Member
United States
1 Posts
 Posted 02/21/2010  8:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nbp5902 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ok. I may be in the wrong area and I apologize for that if that is the case. I'm new to coin grading and want to submit some Lincoln cents from last year. When I submit to NGC do I need to break open the us mint proof sets and put each coin in a vinyl or will they open up the Lincoln proof set and grade each one individually? Sounds crazy but like I said I'm new..
Valued Member
United States
258 Posts
 Posted 04/01/2010  8:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 925dealer to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Early in this link it had the link to coingrading.com This was the same book I use. I purchased his book and was very pleased with it and started applying his formula which can be seen here http://www.coingrading.com/grade1.html

I had heard a long time ago when a bunch of professional dealers got together and decided to grade coins to compare the ratings they also brought in some wives etc. that did not have a clue. They gave each member the same instructions and then sat back and watched. The novice folks graded almost the same as the professionals. All that was important was a "basic" formula of which the above is.

I decided to try my own experiment based on this as well. I had a new collector start buying from me. I taught him a lot about coins and then told him I wanted to perform an experiment with him. We chose some bu coins he wanted and then we both proceeded to grade them. True to form we both came out exactly the same in every instance but one. The last instance was about strike and eye appeal with a penny of which I had a lot of experience with and he had none. Once I showed him the details and explained why I graded it slightly higher in a couple of catagories which affected the final grade (he called it a ms 63 and I called it a 64) he fully agreed with me and modified his numbers so we came to the same grade yet again. The only difference between the two of us was years of experience. My 30+ years of playing with coins to his few months. Everything else (grading standards) being equal. I love the above formula and regularly use it with customers when we decide on a grade and price of a mint state coin. I let my customers grade the coins and that solves a lot of conflict and disagreement. We simply use the RedBook and the ANA grading guide and the rest as they say is history! On a seperate note I have seen PCGS graded coins I thought were both overgraded and undergraded so will second the motion that PCGS is not as consistant as I think it should be. I guess that is why I like the one here. Sincerely, John Leckrone
New Member
El Salvador
13 Posts
 Posted 09/11/2010  6:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Celartu to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks SusanLynn9 is a good contribution to learning
New Member
United States
8 Posts
 Posted 09/14/2010  10:04 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add winterhawk to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
From - "the Coin Dealer newsletter"
"Greysheet Grading Standards"
MS60 – Unc.: May not have full mint luster, may be dull, toned or show no wear or damage. May be bagmarked and or weakly struck.

MS63 – Choice BU: Brilliant Uncirculated (may exhibit some toning, but it should not be so dark as to hide any problems); will have minor bagmarks and may show weakness of strike. Above average coins!

MS64 – Distinct BU: Far and away nicer than MS63, yet a near miss MS65. Few contact marks in field, only minor marks on main devices. Full strike, with eye-appeal. Attractive toning is permissible.

MS65 – Gem BU: Sharp, full strike, full luster. No major distractions in field or on main devices. Attractive toning is permissible. A very few coins make this grade! Must have eye-appeal!

MS-67 – Superb BU: Will be 100% fully struck and virtually perfect in all other respects. Prices of such seldom encountered specimens are based upon the merits of each coin. They range from very scarce to unknown according to date!
Valued Member
United States
307 Posts
 Posted 02/22/2011  10:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coin Chaser to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks this has been educational for me.
New Member
United States
25 Posts
 Posted 06/02/2012  01:25 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add In_circulation to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you all for your replies very helpful.
New Member
United States
1 Posts
 Posted 03/07/2013  6:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add laurie41 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
alright, first time post... so here goes, have a standing liberty no date I can see. M mint mark. good head but not as great as I see on some.. good leg outline and drape, and toes, can see eyebrow E-PLYRIG VHYM is what I can make out on the other side... no stars below eagle.. just started with this on my husband's pile of coins... looks like a no date 1916 I think... any idea where to start? thanks... laurie
Pillar of the Community
United States
3164 Posts
 Posted 03/07/2013  7:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add matthewvincent to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The "M" is the designer's initial and not a mint mark. Hermon MacNeil.
E-PLYRIG VHYM is E Pluribus Unum - one out of many.

There is an excellent post about identifying a 1916 which has the date worn off:

http://goccf.com/t/142013#.UTk0Bnd1NnA

Start here and you will be fine. Welcome.

New Member
United States
16 Posts
 Posted 11/22/2013  8:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add AngryScot14 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have found an app on my smart phone that is great for using for grading. The app is free not perfect but has pics

https://play.google.com/store/apps/...ograde&hl=en
Valued Member
Canada
129 Posts
 Posted 01/20/2014  8:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add uchihadesendent to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
nice post
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