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This latter rule stems from
the logic that a smaller amount of detail needs to be present
because a small area is being used to grade the whole coin.
The Very Fine (VF) coin will have about 75% of the original detail
visible. Or, on a coin with no inner detail, there will be moderate wear
over the entire coin. Corners of letters and numbers may be weak. A
small grading area will have about 66% of the original detail.
For Fine (F), there will be about 50% of the original detail visible.
Or, on a coin with no inner detail, there will be fairly heavy
wear over all of the coin. Sides of letters will be weak. A typically
uncleaned coin will often appear as dirty or dull. A small grading
area will have just under 50% of the original detail.
On the Very Good (VG) coin, there will be about 25% of the
original detail visible. There will be heavy wear on all of the coin.
The Good (G) coin's design will be clearly outlined but with
substantial wear. Some of the larger detail may be visible.
rim may have a few weak spots of wear.
On the About Good (AG) coin, there will typically be only a
silhouette of a large design. The rim will be worn down into the
letters if any.
Strong or weak strikes, partially weak strikes, damage, corrosion,
attractive or unattractive toning, dipping or cleaning should
be described along with the above grades. These factors affect
the quality of the coin just as do wear and loss of detail, but are
easier to describe.
On the Extremely Fine (XF or EF) coin, there will be about
95% of the original detail visible. Or, on a coin with a design with
no inner detail to wear down, there will be a light wear over nearly
all the coin. If a small design is used as the grading area, about
90% of the original detail will be visible.
King George III 1797 Twopence Cartwheel Coin
In grading world coins, there are two elements to look for: 1)
Overall wear, and 2) loss of design details, such as strands of
hair, feathers on eagles, designs on coats of arms, etc.
The age, rarity or type of a coin should not be a consideration
Grade each coin by the weaker of the two sides. This method
appears to give results most nearly consistent with conservative
American Numismatic Association standards for U.S. coins. Split
grades, i.e., F/VF for obverse and reverse, respectively, are normally
no more than one grade apart. If the two sides are more than
one grade apart, the series of coins probably wears differently on
each side and should then be graded by the weaker side alone.
Grade by the amount of overall wear and loss of design detail
evident on each side of the coin. On coins with a moderately small
design element, which is prone to early wear, grade by that design
alone. For example, the 5-ore (KM#554) of Sweden has a crown
above the monogram on which the beads on the arches show
wear most clearly. So, grade by the crown alone.
For Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) grades there will be no visible
signs of wear or handling, even under a 30-power microscope. Full
mint luster will be present. Ideally no bags marks will be evident.
For Uncirculated (Unc.) grades there will be no visible signs
of wear or handling, even under a 30-power microscope. Bag
marks may be present.
For Almost Uncirculated (AU), all detail will be visible. There
will be wear only on the highest point of the coin. There will often
be half or more of the original mint luster present.
King George VI
GRADING OF BRITISH COINS
British Coin Price Guide
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