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CQout - Frequently Asked Questions - Standard Conditions & Grades for Coins

Grading is a way of determining the physical condition of a coin. Grades range from Poor (almost completely worn out) to Perfect Un-circulated (a coin with absolutely no wear and no flaws of any kind).

Coins that have been properly stored since the day they were minted-- i.e., made-- are called "un-circulated" or "mint state." If a coin saw circulation for a short time but still looks nearly brand new, it is called (or graded) "About Un-circulated." After that, the grades in ascending order are:

  1. GOOD:- Heavily worn with design visible but faint in areas. Many details are flat.
  2. VERY GOOD:- Well worn with main features clear and bold although rather flat.
  3. FINE:- Moderate to considerable even wear. Entire design is bold with overall pleasing appearance.
  4. VERY FINE:- Shows moderate wear on high points of design. All major details are clear.
  5. EXTREMELY FINE: -Design is lightly worn throughout, but all features are sharp and well defined. Traces of luster may show.
  6. ABOUT UN-CIRCULATED:- Has traces of light wear on many of the high points. At least half of the mint luster is still present.

Un-circulated coins have different grades as well, depending on how carefully each coin was made, handled, and stored. Some un-circulated coins have heavy marks caused by contact with other coins during minting or storage. Other un-circulated coins are nearly free of such marks. The coin in the best state of preservation will almost always have the greatest value.

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