Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Coin Grading

Grade of the coin is what tells us about the quality of a coin. That is, how worn out a coin is or how good a condition is the coin in. Grading has nothing to do with the rarity or antiquity of a coin. Grading is essentially an art, which means that there is no standard or precise demarcation between the different grades, just a general guideline. Grading is done on an intuitive, judgmental basis, and grading done by two individuals may well differ. There is not even a standard accepted set of grades, but again some loosely defined grades with loose ends open for interpretation. I am putting up a list of grades, strating from the poorest, which in my opinion are the basic grades and are used in the terminology 90% of the time:

1)BASAL STATE: This type of coin is completely worn out and is barely recognizable to be a coin. No date, no features,no nothing can be seen. This is also rarely found and its value is the lowest.

 2)POOR(PO): A little of the features are visible but again, very poor quality.


)FAIR(F): With fair coins, you can see enough of the design and inscriptions to determine the coin's type - The coin above is an Edward VII florin. Depending upon the type of wear, the date may or may not be visible. The term "Fair" is sometimes also used to describe coins which are less worn than the coin above, but exhibit serious faults. Other examples of damaged coins include those that are bent, severely discoloured, rusty etc.


 ABOUT GOOD/ALMOST GOOD(AG): Outlined design. Parts of date and legend worn smooth.This is a used up coin. You should be able to make out the date (possibly with some effort). Often, only parts of the last two digits will be visible.