Many of the coins we sell on the site have a selectable Grade as an option. As an example we sell Proof and Choice Proof coins in several categories. The difference between the two is determined by us. We are experts at grading coins. You must realize of course that the grading of raw coins is subjective. The same coin can be graded by 7 different people and realize as many different grades. We also sell PCGS and NGC Slabbed Graded Coins. Once a coin has been slabbed and graded by one of these two companies the grade is no longer subjective. We also sell coins that we grade as "Average Circulated" this means that the coin will grade (Almost Good, Good or Better than Good).
Over time, coins experience varying degrees of wear from circulation, or marks from contact with other coins or surfaces. Because coins are priced according to their condition, a standard system of grading has been developed to facilitate the exchange of coins between dealers, and between dealers and collectors.
With over 30 years of experience serving collectors, Our grading and Quality Standards are widely recognized to be among the most stringent in the business. We strive to bring you the most desirable coins within each grade. A brief introduction to coin grading is found below.
Circulated coins have been used to some extent in daily commerce and have some "wear" from handling. Because older or scarcer coins may be very difficult to locate in mint Uncirculated condition, Circulated coins may better suit your needs for some coin series and issues. The grades for Circulated U.S. coins are described below:
Enough detail to identify.
Some detail shows. Part of date may be legible.
About /Almost Good
Obverse: Head is outlined with nearly all details worn away. Date is readable but worn. Legend merges into rim.
Reverse: Entire design is partially worn. Legend merges into rim.
Obverse: Hair is well worn with very little detail remaining. Date, letters and design are clearly outlined.
Reverse: Eagle is worn nearly flat but is completely outlined. Design elements are smooth but visible. Legend is completely visible.
Obverse: Most details in hair are worn smooth. All letters and date are clear. Leaves merge into spots.
Reverse: One half of eagle's right wing and edge of left wing are smooth. All leaves in wreath show wear. Rim is complete.
Obverse: Wear shows on hair above date, forehead and ear. Lines in hair are well detailed. Flat spots are visible on edges of cotton leaves. Cheek is lightly worn.
Reverse: Almost all feathers are gone from the breast. Top of legs, wing tips, and feathers on head show wear. Talons are flat.
Obverse: Traces of wear show on hair above eye, ear, edges of cotton leaves and high upper fold of cap. Luster is gone from cheek.
Reverse: There are traces of wear on breast, tops of legs and talons.
Uncirculated / BU
An Uncirculated coin with no trace of wear, but could have significant bag marks and/or abrasions in focal areas and field. Luster may be impaired.
Uncirculated and Proof Coins
Uncirculated coins are new coins that have never been in circulation. Coins may have been stored for many years in original mint sealed bags, or stored in bank wrapped rolls, or carefully preserved by collectors. As a result, Uncirculated coins exhibit no wear from general circulation. Depending on contact they may have had with other coins and atmospheric conditions during or after coining, blemishes, bag marks and toning may be present. Uncirculated coins may lack luster and still be considered Uncirculated. Because Uncirculated coins represent greater quality and scarcity, they carry higher values. Uncirculated grades range from MS-60 / BU Typical to MS-70 Perfect. Most Uncirculated / BU coins range from MS-60 to MS-63+, as very few coins meet the technical standards for MS-65 or higher. It takes years of experience to become an expert at the grading of Uncirculated coins.
Proof coins are made by a special process using carefully selected coin blanks and dies, which are meticulously polished and burnished to remove any and all imperfections. The coin blanks are hand-fed into a specially adapted coin press, and are struck twice – at slow speed and with extra pressure – to produce high-relief features contrasted against deep mirror-like surfaces. The dies are polished frequently, and are replaced after only a limited number of strikes. The finished Proof coins are inspected to rigid standards, handled only with gloves or tongs, and specially packaged for delivery to collectors.