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I. R. Bama's Blog

24 Jun 2020

Grading Coins, Next Question

Collecting Tips | I. R. Bama

So I've learned that Au 58 is a much better quality coin than MS 60- 62. How do AU55 and AU 50 compare to MS 60- 62?

Comments

JudeA

Level 4

I don't see why you say it is "better." Uncirculated coins usually draw higher prices than circulated pieces. Although there is a lot of cherry picking room to do in the AU grades, I wouldn't say it is necessarily better than MS grades.

I. R. Bama

Level 4

Thanks for commenting on my blog! I say that because of what I'm learning about grading from ANA. They are saying that AU58 is a much more attractive coin because it just has the little bit of wear, but not many bag marks or scratches, certainly not significant loss of luster, where as they state that although mint state they are not attractive due to excessive scratches, scuffs and bag marks. They state that until you get to MS 63, you aren't getting a very attractive coin. I think it also speaks to the concept of market grading vs technical grading.

Mike B

Level 6

I agree with most of what was said. Yes you can have a nice A/U 56 or.58. However it's the MS. That draws the highest bid unless the A/U is a rarity. It's been mostly the better looking coin will get the price. You can discuss what looks better but in the end it's what will it sell fr. Thanks

Long Beard

Level 4

Great question. One that all too often confuses collectors, new and veteran. An easy to understand explanation is to think of three separate grading classifications. Circulated, uncirculated and mint state. Each starts with a low numerical grade and progresses towards a maximum. In this case- Uncirculated: AU20, AU50, AU55 and AU58. All of which, based on universal grading standards, must have mint luster just as mint state although "lighter". For a 58 this would include minimal wear to the high points, most often detectible only under magnification. So following the grading scale of the mint state classification, MS60 becomes the AU20 of the middle classification. Looking at an AU58 side by side with an MS60, or 61, and they will look extremely close in both luster and detail. Again, magnification is usually all which separates the two. Which is why almost always I buy an AU over a low (MS6-62) in a graders encapsulation as I rarely look at my coins under glass.

I. R. Bama

Level 4

I think you just clarified and confirmed the conclusion I was coming to last night!

I. R. Bama

Level 4

I guess it comes down to technical grading vs market grading. Market grading makes the AU 58 the better coin, that is the eye appeal if a 58 is better than the technical quality of a low end MS coin.

Longstrider

Level 6

Buy the coin not the slab. Unless I am considering turning the coin within a couple of years, very rare, I buy what catches my eye. You need to hold as many graded coins and study them as you can. A problem now but it will pass. Personally I like nicely toned Morgans. Right now they are hot. A few years ago the were not, it was all blast white sales. There are a lot of fad followers in this hobby. Understanding grades is a never ending study. Wait till you are sure of a raw coins grade and send it in to a TPG. That is when the fun starts. Good luck.

Mike B

Level 6

When I buy a coin it has to catch my eye. . If it doesn't I can't buy it. Condition condition. Big price difference between an A/U and MS.

Golfer

Level 4

No comparison for me. MS 60-62 are uncirculated compared to wear on tbe AU coins. I would think MS coins do have marks to make them a lesser MS grade. AU coins might have wear and marks. If wear determines the grade, how many marks on circulated coins make a coin a lesser grade? MS with marks determines grades. Can marks on a coin knock down a circulated coin 10 grading spots like on MS60 to MS70 coins? I have a lot to understand and learn on this grading.

I. R. Bama

Level 4

But what about the 55 and 50 compared to MS?

"SUN"

Level 5

I consider eye appeal if a coin is desirable.

The Moke

Level 5

slightly more wear takes away their comparability with MS coins. the 58 is so close to being an MS63-65 that it might have just suffered cabinet friction even though it was originally acquired in pristine condition. Coin storage options were much more basic back in the day. Remember, proof used to be wrapped in tissue paper or placed in individual manila envelopes which would be plenty abrasive over time.

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