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Grading Coins

When establishing the value of a coin, condition and rarity are the two most influential factors. Learning how to grade coins is an essential part of the hobby, and is by no means easy. Grading requires practice and experience, and can take years to master.

The Sheldon Scale was developed in 1949 as a method of grading coins and uses scores ranging from 0 (Poor) to 70 (Mint State). While a coin can receive any grade between 0 and 70, the most common grades are outlined below. For more detailed information on grading coins, please review our selection of grading guides.

Poor (PR) - 1
Heavy wear, barely discernible details. Date may not be visible.

Fair (FR) - 2
Heavy wear. Barely readable date.

About Good (AG) - 3
High wear of the coin. Little or no detail visible. Partial date visible.

Good (G) - 4
High wear of the coin. Little detail visible. Full to partial date visible.

Very Good (VG) - 8
High to medium wear of the coin. Little detail visible. Full date visible.

Fine (F) - 12
Medium wear of the coin. Medium detail visible.

Very Fine (VF) - 20
Medium to little wear of the coin. Medium detail visible.

Extra Fine (EF/XF) - 40
Little wear of the coin. Medium to high detail visible. Low mint luster.

About Uncirculated (AU) - 50
Little wear of the coin. High detail visible. Medium mint luster.

Mint State or Brilliant Uncirculated (MS or BU) - 60 to 70
Absolutely no wear of the coin. High detail visible. High mint luster.

Proof (PF) - 60 to 70
A proof struck coin with no wear.

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