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Grading: abrasion or wear  
 

 
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Netherlands
72 Posts
 Posted 05/16/2018  3:50 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add qxy to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Being from a place where slabbing is not a common occurence, I've only recently been reading up on the US grading scales. I'm now reading the book "Grading Coins by Photographs" by Q. David Bowers. This left me with a question I'm sure I'll be able to get an answer to here.
Whenever a coin has visible wear, it's not MS anymore but AU (or lower). However, when describing the lower MS grades, it is often mentioned that "some abrasion and contact marks are present".
According to https://www.fleur-de-coin.com/resou...rm=abrasions 'abrasion' means "Light rubbing or scuffing from friction, coin where another coin or object has slid across or bumped the coin." How is this distinguisable from wear? When does an abrasion become wear? Or does 'abrasion' in this context have another meaning that I'm not aware of?
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United States
15662 Posts
 Posted 05/16/2018  4:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
To some extent it is a matter of terminology.

Reviewing NGC and PCGS sites will help with more specific comparisons.

A hit, bag mark, abrasion, or other contact mark on a circulated coin does not change the technical grade,

UNLESS it is severe enough to kick it as a details coin.

Those hits most definitely affect eye appeal and value but not technical grade on a circulated coin.
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United States
14193 Posts
 Posted 05/16/2018  6:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You have just run into the difference between technical and market grading. Under technical grading wear is wear and abrasion is wear. If there is abrasion on the high points it's an AU coin. Under Market grading a nice eye appealing coin with abrasion on the high points will still sell for MS money so it gets graded as Mint State. The grading services use market grading but how likely they are to coin with slight abrasion Mint State will depend on the eye appeal of the coin and whether the market is strong or weak. When the market is strong there is a lot of demand for coins and collectors are more likely to accept a MS coin with "rub", but if the market is down they become more picky and the coin has to be "all there" and they are more likely to reject MS coins with "rub".

I avoid the whole headache and buy circulated coins. They may not rise in value that much, but I same a lot of money and can buy more coins.
Gary Schmidt
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United States
10711 Posts
 Posted 05/16/2018  9:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Cliff notes version would be if its just a spot or two and the rest of the coin is pristine it can still be MS. A lot of the old timers don't like that grading evolution but for a while I have thought that the US system had a silly flaw in it where a tiny bit of rub on one spot makes a gorgeous coin a 58 when some bag marked ugly duckling is graded higher just because it didn't have the touch of friction. That hard line in the sand has evolved a bit for certain coins which is a good think to me
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Netherlands
72 Posts
 Posted 05/17/2018  09:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add qxy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for your replies, that definitely clears things up!
Especially with older Dutch coins (pre-1800) many if not most have to some degree a weak strike. In some cases this is only visible on the highest points, which can make it hard to distinguish from rub/wear. Knowing that some slight rub doesn't automatically downgrade a coin to AU makes the weak strike/wear distinction also less important. Good to know!
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United States
59123 Posts
 Posted 05/17/2018  11:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I avoid the whole headache and buy circulated coins. They may not rise in value that much, but I same a lot of money and can buy more coins.
Works for me, too. The main exception being my secondary Ike set, which is not going to break any budgets.
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United States
1387 Posts
 Posted 05/17/2018  3:24 pm  Show Profile   Check Andrew99's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Andrew99 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In the current marketplace, coins grade up to MS-63 with slight wear. As long as it is very slight on the high points and not in the fields, it can be MS-60 to MS-63. At 64, there really can't be any rub at all. I see coins in slabs that clearly have technical wear on them, but are mint state. It is most evident in some series like Standing Lib Quarters which are MS with wear on the knee, but not on the breast. Indian Quarter Eagles have obvious wear up through MS-63. I think the illogic of an MS-67 Gem becoming AU-58 with the slightest wear has become realized in the market in which wear is being considered only one characteristic of evaluating the eye appeal of a coin on a continuum from P-01 to MS-70.
The collection is in your mind. Dispose of your albums and free your mind from the tyranny of holes.
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