Mint State (MS)

Mint State (MS) coins are those that have never been circulated and thus retain most of their original mint luster.

coin-grades-60MS/PR-60The lowest uncirculated grade. A coin in this condition has no trace of wear but may have so many contact marks, or significant detracting flaws such as large scuffs or spots, that its overall appearance is not very appealing. The luster might be diminished or uneven.
coin-grades-61MS/PR-61Slightly better than MS-60, but still with many detracting flaws, marks, or hairlines. The luster can be less affected, and the eye appeal slightly better, though still lacking compared to higher grades.
coin-grades-62MS/PR-62A coin with fewer and smaller detracting marks than MS-61, yet the overall quality and eye appeal are still considered low. Luster might be more intact, but noticeable imperfections remain.
coin-grades-63MS/PR-63A noticeable improvement in quality and eye appeal over MS-62. While still having numerous imperfections, such as bag marks, scratches, or scuffs, these flaws are less severe. The luster is more consistent, and the coin has moderate visual appeal.
coin-grades-64MS/PR-64A coin with good luster and relatively few contact marks for its age. Imperfections are less obvious and may be located in less focal areas. The overall eye appeal is strong, making it a desirable grade for collectors.
coin-grades-65MS/PR-65An excellent condition coin with strong luster and very few minor marks or flaws, mainly on non-focal areas. The eye appeal is very strong, with many coins in this grade considered high-quality for most collectors.
coin-grades-66MS/PR-66A premium quality coin with virtually no visible flaws to the naked eye, possibly a few small contact marks away from the focal points. The luster is outstanding, and the eye appeal is exceptional.
coin-grades-67MS/PR-67Superior quality with impeccable luster and minimal, if any, insignificant contact marks or flaws. Only upon close inspection might one find minuscule imperfections. The coin has outstanding eye appeal.
coin-grades-68MS/PR-68An almost perfect coin with minute imperfections barely visible under magnification. The strike is sharp, the luster is vibrant, and the eye appeal is extraordinary.
coin-grades-69MS/PR-69Nearly flawless, with only microscopic imperfections visible under 8x magnification. These coins have exceptional luster, strike, and eye appeal, making them highly sought after by discerning collectors.
coin-grades-70MS/PR-70Perfect condition with no imperfections visible under 5x magnification. The strike is full, the luster is as minted, and the eye appeal is beyond compare. MS-70 coins are exceedingly rare and command premium prices.
Proof (PR) and Specimen (SP) are special categories of coin finishes that differ significantly from the standard circulation coins. These coins are minted using unique processes aimed at collectors and numismatics enthusiasts, focusing on beauty, detail, and preservation. Here’s a breakdown of what each term means:

About Uncirculated

The About Uncirculated (AU) grade denotes coins that have only the slightest wear from very limited circulation.

coin-grades-50AU-50The coin shows evidence of light wear on the highest points of the design, but at least half of the mint luster is still present. The wear might be distributed or localized, but it is clearly visible to the naked eye.
coin-grades-53AU-53A slight improvement over AU-50, with wear still visible on the highest points, but more of the mint luster remains, giving the coin a slightly better overall appearance. The coin may show signs of very light handling.
coin-grades-55AU-55Wear is still limited to the highest points of the design, but it is less extensive than on an AU-50. A significant majority of the mint luster is present, and the coin's overall eye appeal is strong for a circulated coin.
coin-grades-58AU-58The highest grade in the About Uncirculated category, an AU-58 coin has very minimal wear, only detectable on the very highest points of the design. This grade is often referred to as "Slider" because it can be difficult to distinguish from uncirculated (MS) coins. Nearly all of the original mint luster is present, and the coin has an excellent overall appearance.

Coins in the About Uncirculated category are often prized by collectors for their combination of detailed preservation and a slight touch of circulation history, offering a blend of beauty and accessibility in terms of price compared to their Mint State counterparts.

Extremely Fine

The Extremely Fine (XF), also known as EF in some grading systems, condition signifies coins that have seen only limited circulation and retain much of their original detail and features.

coin-grades-40XF-40This grade indicates a coin that has light overall wear on the highest points of the design. While the finer details may have started to merge due to circulation, the majority of the coin's original design, including lettering and major features, remains sharp. There is a clear distinction between the worn areas and the more preserved aspects of the coin's design.
coin-grades-45XF-45Coins in this grade exhibit very light wear limited to only the highest points. Unlike the XF-40, the XF-45 will have more pronounced detail with only the slightest blending of the smallest features. There's a noticeable improvement in the coin's overall sharpness and clarity of detail compared to the XF-40 grade. The coin presents a more attractive appearance, with a greater portion of the original mint luster still visible, especially in protected areas of the coin's design.

Coins graded between XF-40 and XF-45 are highly regarded among collectors for their appealing combination of clear detail and slight evidence of circulation. They offer a tangible connection to the past, as their wear indicates they were used in commerce, yet they retain much of their original craftsmanship and artistic detail.

Fine and Very Fine

Coins graded as Fine (F) and Very Fine (VF) have been in circulation for some time, showing moderate to light wear. However, they retain a significant amount of detail, making them attractive to collectors who value coins with historical significance and character.

coin-grades-12F-12A coin in this grade shows considerable wear, but all major design elements are clear and visible. Smaller details, like some lines in the hair or robe of a figure, may have merged or worn away. Despite the wear, the overall appearance is still pleasing, and there is no doubt regarding the coin's identification or date.
coin-grades-15F-15 Shows less wear than the F-12 grade, with more details visible in the worn areas. The main elements of the design, including the date and lettering, are sharp, and there's a slight improvement in the visibility of finer details compared to F-12.
coin-grades-20VF-20A coin with this grade has moderate wear on the high points of the design, but finer details, such as small letters and numbers, are mostly clear. There is a noticeable improvement in the sharpness of the design elements compared to the Fine grade.
coin-grades-25VF-25Shows only light to moderate wear on the surface and high points. More details are evident, and the overall appearance is more defined compared to VF-20.
coin-grades-30VF-30This coin has light wear on the high points, but important details remain sharp. The overall design, including smaller features, is more distinct and well-preserved compared to VF-25.
coin-grades-35VF-35Exhibits minimal wear on only the highest points of the design. Nearly all details are sharp, and the coin has a high level of eye appeal. This is the highest grade within the Very Fine category and often shows a fine balance between wear and preservation, making these coins highly desirable for collectors looking for detail and affordability.

Coins in the Fine and Very Fine categories offer a glimpse into the history and circulation of the coin, showing wear that indicates usage while retaining enough detail to be appreciated for their design and craftsmanship

Good And Very Good

Coins graded as Good (G) and Very Good (VG) have experienced extensive circulation and show significant wear. Despite this, they maintain enough detail to be identifiable and are often collected for their historical value or as more accessible entry points into numismatic collecting.

coin-grades-4G-4A coin in Good condition displays heavy wear, with the major designs and features being flat, but still recognizable. The rim is mostly intact, but details within the central design, such as individual hair strands or leaves, are worn smooth. The date and lettering are readable, but may be weak in some areas.
coin-grades-6G-6 Slightly better than G-4, this grade indicates that the coin has less wear, with a clearer delineation of the main design elements. The rim is fully formed, and while the finer details of the design are still smoothed out from wear, the overall appearance is somewhat sharper and more details might be discernible compared to G-4.
coin-grades-8VG-8A Very Good coin has moderate to heavy wear but more detail visible in the main design elements than in Good condition. For example, some finer details that were obliterated in Good grades might begin to emerge, such as slight lines within the main features. The rim is well-defined, and major design elements are more distinct.
coin-grades-10VG-10This grade shows less wear than VG-8, with clearer, more distinct details within the main design. The overall appearance is sharper, and there might be traces of the original details starting to be visible, such as parts of the hair, wreaths, or other minor features. The lettering and date are also more pronounced.

Coins in the Good and Very Good categories are valuable for collectors interested in the history and circulation of coins. They offer a tangible connection to the past, showcasing coins that have been used by many over the years, while still retaining the essential aspects of their design and legibility

Poor, Fair And About Good

Coins graded as Poor (PO), Fair (FR), and About Good (AG) are at the lowest end of the coin grading spectrum. These grades indicate coins that have seen extensive use and wear, often to the point where significant details are worn away. Despite this, coins in these conditions can hold historical and collectible value, representing artifacts that have been heavily circulated over many years.

coin-grades-1PO-1 The lowest grade a coin can receive. A coin in Poor condition is barely identifiable, with most of its details and features worn flat. The type of coin and date may be difficult or impossible to discern without context. Collectors may seek PO-1 coins only when no better examples are obtainable or for their historical significance.
coin-grades-2FR-2A step above Poor, coins in Fair condition exhibit enough detail for identification of the coin's type and date, but little else. Significant wear has obliterated most design elements, and the coin's overall appearance is rough and lacking in detail. The rim is usually worn down, merging with the lettering on the coin.
coin-grades-3AG-3This grade indicates a coin where the main designs are outlined but heavily worn. Some details might be visible, but they are mostly smoothed over. The date and type are clearer than in Fair condition, making the coin easier to identify. The rim is worn but should be more distinct from the field than in FR-2 coins.

Coins in these grades are often pursued for their historical aspect rather than their aesthetic appeal. Collectors interested in specific coin types, dates, or historical periods may find value in these coins, especially when higher grades are rare or prohibitively expensive. They serve as a testament to the coin’s long history of use and circulation.