Coin Collecting: How To Make The Grade
By Mohammed Shomam

Coin collection is not synonymous with possessing as many coins
as possible. What is important is the quality of the coins
rather than the quantity of them. The coin’s grade is the
yardstick to measure its quality. You can measure the grade by
using a scale ranged between 0 to 70 which is the highest point
grade. This point scale was introduced by Doctor William Shelby
in his work “Penny Whimsy”. The classifications of coins
according to grade are as follows:

1.Coins in “Mint State”:

According to Shelby’s grade scale, this is equivalent to a
value of 60 to 70. In other words, the coins are blemish free.
Majority of the coins of this type are new, shiny, uncirculated
with absolutely no signs of wear n tear.

2.Coins which are almost uncirculated:

The point grade for these types of coins varies between 50, 55
or 58. It is very important for the coin collectors to be aware
of the locations of the high points in a specific coin. An
almost uncirculated coin is separated from the mint state coins
by comparing the difference of the light reflected in other
parts of the coin to the high points.

3.Fine coins:

Depending on the sharpness of the remaining details on the
coins, fine coins can further be classified into FINE (12), VERY
FINE (20, 25, 30 AND 35) OR EXTREMELY FINE (40, 45). The designs
on the coins are still intact but the coins nevertheless show
signs of wear n tear. The mint luster is intact in ETREMELY FINE
coins. Very FINE coins resemble coins which have been in
circulation for 1 to 3 years, with their minor features worn
down by use.

4.Good coins:

This category can be further sub-divided into Almost GOOD, GOOD
and VERY GOOD (12). THESE coins HAVE BEEN ALMOST completely WORN
nearly smooth and only weak designs can be observed. The VERY
GOOD coins show full rims. The mint mark and the date must be
visible in case of GOOD coins. The ALMOST GOOD coins are the
most worn out ones.

5.Fair coins:

Any coin that can be identified is a FAIR C. Although worn out,
they can still be distinguished as belonging to some or the
other variety/type of coins.

6.Basal coin:

In this particular variety, the metals of which the coins are
made can be distinguished, but the kind of coins cannot be

Armed with the knowledge of classification and grades of coins,
you will find it easy to grade a coin which is a great advantage
while collecting them.

About the Author: Mohammed Shomam is involved with an online
coin collecting project that informs and educates the coin
collecting enthusiast through well-written articles. Discover
how to make the most out of your valuable coin collecting hobby!


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