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What are different coin grades?


Many coins are graded based on their quality. Marks, wear, discoloration, and other blemishes can hurt the grading of the coin. Coins are graded on a scale from 1 to 70, called the Sheldon Scale.  This scale can be broken down into three main categories.

Circulated (1-45)

  • A circulated coin has been a part of circulation as a currency
  • Circulated coins will have visible marks and show signs of wear over time
  • Subcategories of circulated include poor (1), fair (2), about good (3), good (4-6), very good (8-10), fine (12-15), very fine (20-35), and extremely fine (40-45).

About Uncirculated (50-58)

  • About uncirculated coins have never been issued as currency
  • Although they are not currency, they might still show signs of wear due to the minting process or storage
  • Wear will only be seen on the high points of the design
  • Some luster might still be visible

Brilliant Uncirculated (60-70)

  • Brilliant uncirculated coins will arrive in mint condition
  • The coin will maintain all the characteristics of the design
  • The best quality version of the product available
  • This can also refer to the minting process of some coins, such as the American Eagle, which is struck in either BU or proof varieties


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