Coin Grading Quality

Coin Grading

Coin is Poor/Fair/Good Quaility
Coins are in poor contition just smooth lines identify coins. Very few coins will retain their value over and above the metal value.
Fair/good quality coins with readable legend and major points of designs identifiable worth no more than their metal value.
A coin assigned a grade of Poor is a coin that has most of the design and date missing due to excessive wear from circulation. However, in most cases the coin has to be identifiable by its date, mint mark and type before it can be graded as Poor.
Fair Coins
Fine coins show considerable wear to all raised surfaces. Some detail should be visible on the main designs and some main hair volume should be visible on the monarchs head.

Fair coins are worn almost smooth but lacking the damage a coin graded Poor usually has. Enough detail must remain to identify the coin.

Coin is Very Fine
A very fine coin is a coin with some wear to the highest ears of the design but which has seen limited circulation. More hair is evident and also design. Some coins which have been in normal circulation for approximately five years may qualify for very fine (VF) status.

Very Fine Coins are moderately worn, with some finer details persisting. Letters of the motto are readable. The rim's on both sides of the coin are full and separated from the field.
Coin is Extremely Fine
Extermely fine coins, coins with little sign of being circulated. There may only be the slightest wear to the highest areas and minimal sratches.

Extremely fine coins are lightly worn; all devices are clear, significant devices are bold. Finer detail is bold and clear but may show some evidence of light wear.
Coin is Uncirculated
Coin is uncirculated (UNC). The coin should be as it left the mint with no signs of circulation or wear. Not necessarily perfect because coins can pickup scratches and what is known as bag marks. Bag marks are usually caused by mass-production and contact with other coins at the mint.
BU: Brilliant Uncirculated is not an offical grade but is increasingly used to refer to an uncirculated coin with full mint lustre. Such coins may exhibit minor signs of mass-production.
Bullion Value
Gold and silver coins, even worn coin are at least worth their silver or gold value. Some coin collectors also buy old non-gold and silver coins as bullon value or by the weight of a bag of coins.

Modern bullion coins are generally considered to be coins produced strictly for their precious metals content.