TheHobbyist's Blog

28 Feb 2021

Coin grading

Collecting Tips | TheHobbyist


Today we are going to talk about grading coins, which is an interesting topic. So, let us get started.

Grading Coins

Grading is a very important skill to understand how valuable your coin is. So let me explain the Sheldon grading technique to you.

Based on the condition of the coin, the grading is categorized as shown below:

1. Poor – Mostly worn down. We cannot read the type and the surface is smooth.

2. Fair – Really heavily worn. Some of the details and date are visible.

3. About Good - Pretty heavily worn. The type, date and lettering on the coin is some what readable.

4. Good – The coin is worn but the elements of the design are still faintly visible.

5. Very Good – The coin is well worn. The features are clear but not with a lot of detail.

6. Fine – The wear is moderate. All the type is readable. The design is bold and showing some of the details.

7. Very Fine – This is some wear in the high point of the design. All the lettering is pretty sharp.

8. Extremely Fine – The detail is complete. A bit of original mint luster is shown.

9. About Uncirculated – The coin has its original luster. There is only very slight traces of wear on the coin.

10. Mint state – There is not a single trace of wear on the coin.

The Sheldon scale was introduced in 1948, and it assigns grades from ‘1’ through ‘70’ to coins. The theory is that a coin with grade ‘70’ is worth 70 times as much as ‘1’ in numismatic value. PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) built its grading standards upon the Sheldon scale. PCGS gives emphasis to eye appeal and luster.

The other standard grading is the NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). NGC gives more emphasis on surface preservation and strive. NGC also uses the Sheldon grading scale of 1 to 70. If certain coins have a surface problem, such coins may be eligible for NGC Details grading. We can use NGC to grade our coins, token, and medals. NGC holder is used by the Smithsonian Institution and other museums around the world to protect their most treasured rarities.

As I understand, if you are a member of the ANA (American Numismatic Association), you can send your coins for free to the NGC and banknotes to the PMG (Paper Money Guaranty). They are both the official grading services ANA.

Grading is a very important skill that every Numismatist needs to learn. I hope this article has helped you learn about the art of grading. There is countless other information about grading and its history. So learn, learn, learn! Bye!!


Cool Coins – Create fun and fascinating collection written by Pam Scheunemann




Level 5

Nice blog!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

I enjoyed your blog! Thanks


Level 6

Very good. You did a nice job on listing each category out. Thanks! ; )


Level 6

Nice blog to go with the one below by Bama. The entire idea, which seems to be forgotten here, is to learn how to grade your own coins. Not to read the slab. Thanks.


Level 5

Nicely done!

It's Mokie

Level 6

Of course, each coin series will have unique characteristics that are used to determine the grade. That is why the ANA Grading Guide, etc. are indispensable resources.


Level 7

The more you learn about grading the more you have to learn!!


Level 5

Very nice. The more we know about grading the better. Learn how to grade and look for issues. Very important to know more yourself.


Level 5

Wonderful research and information! Good work! One correction, it is not free for ANA members. However, an NGC membership is free, but submission costs are still in place. T hanks for another great blog! (:

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