What Are the Gold Coin Condition Grades?

What Are the Gold Coin Condition Grades?

Coin collectors and appraisers rate coin condition on a grading scale from Poor to Brilliant Uncirculated. Scales differ slightly by country of origin. Some appraisers use their own internal scale to grade coin condition and determine value.

In decreasing order the standard scale uses Brilliant Uncirculated (BU), Uncirculated (Unc), About Uncirculated (AU), Extremely Fine (EF), Very Fine (VF), Fine (F), Very Good (VG), Good (G), Almost Good (AG), Fair (Fr) and Poor (PO). The lowest grade may also be referred to as a basal state.

The American Numismatic Association uses a similar scale with more specific notations, grading coins in decreasing order as MS-70, MS-65, MS-60, AU-55, AU-50, EF-45, EF-40, VF-30, VF-20, F-12, VG-8, G-4 and AG-3. The letters symbolize the same grades as on a standard scale, with the numbers providing additional conditions within each grade. A higher number indicates a higher grade.

Commercial coin-grading services adapt their scales to provide more options. For example, the Professional Coin Grading Service gives About Uncirculated AU coins a numerical rating of 50, 50 plus, 53, 53 plus, 55, 55 plus, 58 and 58 plus.

A coin with the highest grade has never been circulated and has no blemishes or trace of wear. A coin with a middle grade such as VF has moderate wear but clearly displays its main details. A coin with the lowest grade is mostly worn; only the date and type can be identified.