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Simple question

It just occurred to me when I was looking to buy some American Eagles that I had bought some gold coins long ago when I was very naïve, which were sold as "BU". Can anybody say what that means, brilliant uncirculated? Does that designation correspond to any MS- value? My take is that it is a term that sounds good to the uninitiated, that the coins are uncirculated, but not graded.

4 years ago

The grade BU came along just as grades were getting technical. the Sheldon scale (1-70) started showing up a lot, and collectors wanted more than just an "UNC" grade for uncirculated stuff. The BU grade fell out of favor for the current MS designation. BU isn't a bad grade by any means, but it would probably take NGC or PCGS to tell you exactly what you've got.

4 years ago

In broad terms BU would mean an untoned coin, which generally can be assumed for gold. Under MS the scale with silver BU can mean an MS 63 coin and by MS 65 the term "Gem" is often used. 

3 years ago

Hi. A red book would have all that info for you. B.U. men's Brilliant Uncirculated. It's that simple. You need that book it will answer all your questions. Is the coin in a slab? If it's in a slab and just says B.U. with no number than that could be a problem. Otherwise someone is saying they think it's Brilliand Uncirculated which would mean  mint state coin. I hope that helped. Mike.

3 years ago

The Red Book rates coins using the Sheldon Scale... G4, VG8, F12, VF20, EF40, AU50, MS60, 63, and 65 as well as PF, with some C (Choice) designations in between some of the upper grades. A BU coin, Brilliant Uncirculated, is a coin that has not been given a official MS grade and that the owner feels is better than Almost Uncirculated. To the best of my knowledge, little as it may be, only a grading company can give an official MS grade. If you feel you have a BU coin worth some serious money you should have it graded to make certain. Otherwise it is your opinion over someone else's as to what is BU or not. 

3 years ago

I typically assume a coin stated as a "BU" is a MS 60. That way I'm not disappointed. As Mike says, it literally means brilliant Uncirculated. Therefore it should be at least a MS 60.

3 years ago

I agree Longstrider. To me BU = MS 60.  However it still stands that different people have different opinions. That is why it normally takes 3 people from a grading company to come up with a single evaluation. 

3 years ago
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