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To determine the condition of coins

Added by: Admin
A key factor in the value of the coins, except of course its rarity is the condition. Most of the coins in very poor condition are equal to the price of the metal and the ideal can be expensive even if they are quite common. So sellers that implement the coins, often try all means to inflate the state, raising 1.5-2 times the price. Not to fall for such tricks, it is important to correctly identify the condition.

Novice collectors believe that to improve the state of the coins can be cleaning, and often this is a very rough polishing cloth or a toothbrush with some abrasive. Coins begin to Shine, but an experienced numismatist will immediately notice the smallest damage, abrasion of the relief, the absence of haze, etc. Cleaned in an unprofessional manner coin valued lower than before cleaning. Reduce the condition can even the work of the restorer, if this opens up previously invisible dents, dings, etc.

There are two evaluation systems, the most common (especially among Russian collectors) is the international system having 9-10 grades. Second – the system of Sheldon, known mainly in narrow circles of specialists.

The international system


Each state is described by the English phrase, the literal translation of which applies more to old rare coins than Imperial, and even more modern. When evaluating modern instances they look misplaced, because "good condition" refers to an unattractive coin with very serious circulation or metallic oxides.

The differences in value between two consecutive States corresponds approximately 1/2, that is, coin condition F is about 8 times cheaper than UNC. But for rare coins, this figure could be much higher. Often include the intermediate state (VF , XF-, G , etc.) to better evaluate the coin.

The following is an approximate description of States, and in brackets are the reduction and literal translation. Letter circulated much more. Proof and BU is not a state, and the technology of coinage. Even with the defects of circulation coins Proof and BU will have a different price category.

It is also important to consider in assessing the state of production technology. For example, the curvature of the terrain and strong hollows characteristic of coins of the XVIII century and do not affect the definition.

50 рублей 2011
Modern gold coin of quality "Proof" coinage
Proof (proof, burnished stamp). Coins special coinage for collectors, the appeal shall be issued. Realized in plastic capsules, kits or plastic zapico (less envelopes). Storage is best suited capsules. Minted polished to a mirror Shine, stamp, apply a double blow on the workpiece mirror surface. The coin has a matte texture (as if covered with frost) and perfectly smooth field, in which you can see reflected objects.

Prooflike (proflic). Also, what Proof, but the stamp is not fully polished, or billet has a weak manufacturing defects. To this type include collectible coins from not precious metals 1992-1996, as well as large coins made of precious metals, which because of size can be made according to the highest technology. Should also be included perfectly preserved copies of the Imperial time, who were struck by the technology of proof, but still imperfect at that time. Proof with dust, faint fingerprints or darkening is also related to prooflike.

Brilliant Uncirculated (BU, BAM, special embossing). Minted for collectors in circulation are not available. Realized in plastic capsules, kits or plastic zapico (less envelopes). Storage is best suited capsules. Produced by double kick on the normal blanks, but slightly polished stamp. The coins have a glossy pattern and the field, but the surrounding objects are reflected in them bad. Novice collectors this condition is often taken at UNC or even manually polished UNC, but easy to distinguish. Read more about the quality of the coinage.
3 рубля Леопард
3 rubles Leopard superior quality UNC

Uncirculated (UNC, ANC, ATS, without recourse, stamp Shine). Perfect coins easy coinage without any traces of circulation and oxides (even in extended view), without defects (nicks, minor scratches). This condition is called "enhanced UNC", it has just released the coins, if they are mint and placed in a sealed package. For example, these include all 25 rubles "Sochi", because they are available in blister packs (normal) or brochures (color). A distinctive feature of state UNC is a "stamp of brilliance" - a matte surface with a slightly noticeable stains, like frozen chocolate.

About Uncirculated (aUNC AU, almost without treatment). Coins that do not have visible signs of circulation, but with traces of storage (nicks, minor scratches). This condition is also called "bag", as in the mints circulation to distribute bags, and then allowed to float. In bags of coins rubbing and beating, so I can't be perfect. Some firms produce a sealed package or colorful booklets with massovymi coins inside, selling them as special editions for collectors. However, the coin may not have traces of mass production. On older coins (over 50 years) is considered normal patina – a thin layer of oxides does not reduce the value of the coin. If the patina is smooth, it is considered "noble" and only emphasizes the beauty of the coin.

5 копеек 1970
Coin in aUNC condition (bag)
Extremely Fine (XF, EF, exceptional condition). The coins that were in circulation very long, or slightly damaged UNC. May have fingerprints, light abrasions relief, small stains, slight "bloom metal", change the color of the coins. Patina is not quite uniform.

Very Fine (VF, excellent condition). Often referred to as "average condition". It looks like the bulk of the coins from circulation: noticeably worn down (not much) of the figure and inscriptions, formed light sooting or contamination in the metal in tight spaces, weak hollows. GURT coin is slightly smoothed at the edges. To this condition include perfect coins, but with strong spots, or with a very uneven patina.

Fine (F fine). For modern coins is more used the term "below average". Much of the terrain erased, smoothed plots, places erased small part of the picture or letters. It is also possible the presence of contaminants or oxides, not much spoiling the coin.

1 копейка 1823
1 kopek 1823 in VG condition
Very Good (VG very good). Satisfactory condition for coins of the Imperial period is very low for modern or the Soviet Union, good for antique or ancient. The most common condition for "scales" - Russian coins of the XIV-XVII centuries. Legend places erased, but still readable, missing part of the picture, the edge is much smooth many scratches, nicks, dirt and oxides. But overall the coin is quite attractive for collection, if it is rare.

Good (G, good condition). The collectibles like coins, except only rarities. Image and inscription is almost illegible, badly worn relief, large dents and scratches. The coins of this grade and below most often equal to the price of the metal.

5 копеек 1815
The coin is in Poor condition due to the hole (without - F)
About Good (aG, almost good). Inscriptions and drawings are illegible, are recognized in the process of careful study. To archaeologists or numismatists, these coins can still have something to tell you, but space in the collection it is impossible even with a large rare instance.

Fair, Poor. The concept came from the bonistic and more applicable to Bonham. Poor – the lowest of all possible States, coins with holes, missing parts, bent, exposed to very aggressive environments (acid, rust), or completely missing drawings. Even good coins with holes are equal to Poor, but can be placed in the collection. Fair – between Poor and aG. Coins of these categories lend themselves to recognizing only partly, when compared with similar.

System Sheldon


Used in a professional environment, collectors and Museum workers, as well as when placing the coins in a sealed weak – special capsule. Includes 70 degree assessments, which take into account not only the condition, but a manufacturing defect. Developed by American scientist William Herbert Sheldon (1898-1977) in the 1940-ies. Was used in the compilation of adenozinovyh coins. Some collectors appreciate time as a significant marriage, so it can not only reduce but also increase the collector's value.

In the system of Sheldon's value from 66 to 70 correspond to the above designation of the UNC-60 to 65 – aUNC, 40 to 59 – XF, from 20 to 35 VF, 12 to 15 – F, 8 to 10 – VG-4-6 – G, 3 – aG, 2 – Fair, 1 – Poor. There is absolutely not included coin minting technology and BU Proof and enhanced UNC. The latter rather corresponds to MS70.

MS60-MS70. Not been in circulation coins, and not having any strong nicks, chips or scratches. Grading is conducted depending on a manufacturing defect and to a lesser extent on storage conditions. On the international scale these include categories aUNC and UNC.
MS70 – perfect coin fully without any traces of circulation and without marriage, has a minimum of 99% procchance relief. The discovery of traces of podgotovki stamps do not reduces the condition. Has no defects (oxides, nicks, scratches), even with a fivefold increase. On old copper coins it is possible to have weak "noble" patina.
MS69 – the same as MS70, but the detailed study of visible barely noticeable defects from storage or easy marriage production. Old copper coins may have a more noticeable patina or very weak spots.
MS68 –visible to the naked eye defects of production, or barely visible scratches from storage. On old copper coins may be uneven "noble" patina, light stains or pallor.
MS67 – light patina, perhaps not very smooth and with weak spots, through which is visible a uniform stamp Shine. Allowed the presence of small flaws or light scratches in the field of coins, or hidden from the eyes of the scratches inside the drawing.
MS66 – the presence of visible manufacturing defects at the edges or weak in the center, also allowed light scratches on the edges. The complete absence of traces of cleaning, clearly visible stamp Shine. Patina as MS67.
MS65 – less clear stamp Shine, or hide it patina. The formation of light spots on copper coins. Allowed numerous poorly distinguishable scratches or manufacturing defects.
MS64 – noticeable defects in the embossing at the edges, or weak in the center, for large coins allowed major defects or scratches in the center. On the copper coins may be large patches or many small. Pricecan not perfect (90%), stamp glitter intermittent.
MS63 coins with one very noticeable defect in the production or storage, other defects not discernible. There may be multiple, but weak defects.
MS62 – there are several noticeable scratches or numerous, barely distinguishable. Pricecan in the case of other defects, complete or partial, in the absence of them. Stamp sparkle incomplete.
MS61 – multiple scratches, significant or a marriage made in the presence of one or two small visible scratches must not be present. In the Central part should not be strong defects.
MS60 coins with significant traces of storage among the other coins, but without any defects treatment. The presence of uneven patina or spots from old coins. Also accepted strong production marriage.

1/2 копейки 1911
Coin in EF45 condition for Sheldon
AU50-AU58. Coins, a little been in circulation, but without much visible damage. The presence of stains in hard to reach places, uneven patina and light spots allowed. About the same as XF on the international scale.
AU58 – perfect coins after cleaning, or a weak, faint wear pattern. Stamp Shine partial or complete. Severe mechanical damage should be absent.
AU50-AU55 – stamp the Shine remained about half, or having one or two strong scratches. The visible parts of the picture may have mild wear.

EF40-EF45. The almost complete absence of stamp of brilliance, but the coin has retained a nice appearance. One serious scratch or a dent or a few small ones. Partially erased most protruding part of the figure and inscriptions, the whole image is visible perfectly.
1 рубль 1913 300 лет Романовым
Commemorative rouble 1913 in EF40 condition for Sheldon

VF20-VF35. Coins previously in circulation, but no major damage and metallic oxides. Can be partially erased inscriptions and drawings, a complete lack of stamp Shine, the details of the image slightly rounded. The edge can also be rounded.

F12-F15. Coins with significant mechanical damage, but do not distort appearance. Also they are significantly jammed coins or highly polished to a partial Erasure of the picture. In addition, this category can include coins with a thick layer of oxides of or damage to the remaining metal after removing them. In most cases the coins in this category are valued at face value, or the value of the metal.

15 копеек 1789
15 kopecks 1789 in VG10 condition by Sheldon
VG7-VG10. Erased the Central part of the coin, the relief has been preserved only partially. Or heavy scratches, dents. Only rare coins in this category can provide some value, the rest – the price of the metal.

G4-G6. Completely erased images and inscriptions are visible but their outlines. Perhaps the presence of strong scratches, bumps, potholes.

AG3. It is almost impossible to the naked eye to recognize a coin, since from the graphic and label remained barely visible fragments.

F02. To recognize the coin only through the careful examination when comparing with directories, including on such indicators as weight and size.

P01. Coin almost beyond recognition, or has a through hole. Any, even the most perfect coin with a through hole belong to this category, but they can be placed in the collection.


The article used the pictures on the website: Монета100, Olenka, Counselor, Gamer, Admin.


Last modified article: 13.08.2017
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Translated from the russian language service "Yandex.Translator» - translate.yandex.ru

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