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Coins grading guide

Written by: Trîmbițaș Sorin.

Coin grading is not a science but an art that requires a lot of practice. Any person with a fine eye can make an approximate idea on the grade of a coin.

It is important to know how to grade a coin if we want to estimate its value. As an example .. two coins of the same type but in different grades can cost between few cents and few hundred US dollars.

Below there is a list with all grades along with their description, American equivalent and a clear image of that grade.

Basal (B)

American system : B-0
You can figure out that this piece of metal was once a coin.


Poor (P)

American system : PO-1
Barely recognizable, most surface is flat.

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Fair (FR)

American system : FR-2
Coin rims are blended into the design. The inscriptions may be completely gone or barely visible. It has just enough details so you can identify the coin.

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About Good (AG)

American system : AG-3
Inscriptions are readable but not completely.

About Good
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Good (G)

American system : G-4
Most design elements are visible but with highly wear marks.

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Very Good (VG)

American system : VG-8 pana la VG-11
Medium to heavy wear. Some details may still be visible. The coin frame is intact.

Very Good
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Fine (F)

American system : F-12 pana la F-19
Medium wear. Most details are missing but design elements are completely visible.

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Very Fine (VF)

American system : VF-20 pana la VF-39
Light to medium wear. All general details are visible and clear, only the details like hair may have traces of heavy wear.

Very Fine
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Extremly Fine (XF or EF)

American system : from XF-40 to XF-49
Light wear only on the high points of the coin.

Extremly Fine
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Almost Uncirculated (AU)

American system : from AU-50 to AU-59
Barely visible wear traces on the highest points of the coin.

Almost Uncirculated
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Uncirculated (UNC)

American system : from MS-60 to MS-70 (MS = Mint State)
Absolutely no trace of wear.

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