This is a very heavily worn coin with portions of the lettering, date and legends being worn smooth and the date may be barely readable.
This is a heavily worn piece with all major designs visible, though in little more than outline shapes with very little central detail. There may be faintness in some areas, but all lettering should be readable.
This is a well worn piece with most of the larger details of the designs being worn nearly smooth.
||Very Good Plus
There is moderate to considerable even wear and although the original designs are recognizable and all lettering visible, they have some weaknesses and lack details.
There is moderate wear on all of the high parts of the coin and the designs and lettering have lost much of their sharpness. The original mint lustre is virtually gone.
||Very Fine Plus
There is a light even wear on all but the most protected surfaces, and the details on the high points are worn, though there is still some sharpness to the major design features and lettering. Traces of original mint lustre remain in the most protected areas.
There is light wear on the high points of the designs, but there is still an excellent overall sharpness. Considerable mint lustre will still show in the protected areas.
||Choice Extremely Fine
There is a very light overall wear on the coin’s higher points, though all of the design details are very sharp. Mint lustre is still prominent on many areas of the coin’s surface, though mainly in protected areas.
There are traces of wear on most of the higher areas of the designs and considerable disruption is seen in the larger fields. At least half of the original mint lustre is present.
||Choice About Uncirculated
There are only small traces of wear visible on the highest points of the coin. Wear often occurs in different spots on different designs, and the larger fields will show some surface disruptions, however much of the original lustre is intact.
||Very Choice About Uncirculated
There are only the slightest traces of wear visible on the highest points of the coin, frequently, they are little more than lustre breaks. A light halo of hairlining might be visible as the coin is rotated in the light, and there may be a few rubs in the larger fields.
||Typical Mintstate The surfaces of an MS-60 coin will often have what is often described as a "baggy" look, with a numerous "bag marks" or "hits" of varying sizes depending on the hardness of the metal. And, while it is usual to expect an MS-60 to look a bit beat-up, if any of the hits are abnormally large or deep, they need to be described separately. The strike may be soft or weak, and the lustre may be impaired by a dullness from over dipping and be much less than expected on a new coin of its type. There is, however, no wear on the surfaces of the coin.
Generally speaking, this can be thought of as a nice example of Mintstate coin which does not meet the exacting quality requirements of a Gem Mintstate coin. An MS-63 coin will be an attractive and quite typical example of a "new" coin of its type with a strike that is typical for the series. There will be a number of surface marks, but not too many, too large nor too awkwardly placed so as to be a distraction. And, while the lustre is usually attractive, it may be somewhat subdued or there may be some dull areas. Frequently, an MS-63 coin is an MS-65 coin that has a slight deficiency such as one too many hits. Also very often, one of the grading factors will be of a high quality not normally seen at this grade and will compensate for a weaker factor, such as superb lustre balancing a weak strike, or diminished lustre being propped-up by near flawless surfaces.
||Very Choice Mintstate
There is a definite look of quality to an MS-65 coin that easily distinguishes it from lower grades of Mintstate. On initial examination, with the naked eye, the piece will appear nearly perfect. A more detailed examination will uncover minor flaws. The strike will be no less than that typically seen for the series, and the surfaces will have only slight marks that will not distract from the overall appeal of the coin. The lustre will normally be better than that usually seen on Mintstate coins of its type. It is not unusual that one of these factors will be well above the required level and will compensate for another factor which is a bit below standard. Virtually flawless surfaces may, for example make up for subdued lustre or a slightly weak strike.
Pieces of this quality will immediately catch the experienced eye and will appear as perfect coins to most other graders. They are distinguished by their full (or very nearly full) strike, superb, virtually flawless surfaces and superb lustre. If there are any shortcomings or detractions, they are not initially obvious, but will be discovered only after extensive study under magnification. These are exceptional pieces, rarely seen.
||Perfect Mintstate (never used)
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||Red : 90% to 100% original luster and color.
Lustrous Red and Brown : about 50% to 85% luster and color with a sheen or glow.
Red and Brown : about 50% to 85% luster and red color.
Trace Red : 10% to 40% remaining luster and red color.
Lustrous Brown : Toning over luster.
Brown : Toned
||What is Cameo? The term applied to coins, usually Proofs and prooflike coins, that have frosted devices and lettering that contrast with the fields. Occasionally frosty coins have "cameo" devices though they obviously do not contrast as dramatically with the fields as the cameo devices of Proofs do.
Cameo : Frosty raised surface.
Heavy cameo : Very frosty raised surface.
Ultra Heavy Cameo : Extremely frosty raised surface.
Severity of cleaning is very important, as is eye-appeal. A coin that was lightly wiped and has since attractively and naturally toned back will almost always be graded. A coin that has been polished or harshly cleaned stands little or no chance of being certified since these comments would reduce the price drastically.
Some examples include corrosion, porosity, and PVC that has eaten into the coin's metal.
Location of scratch(es) is extremely important here. A half inch scratch on the reverse of a dollar between cause the coin to be downgraded a point or two. A minor rim nick might cause a coin to be downgraded a point or two. A severe rim nick will cause a coin not to be graded or get a bent comment. Obviously, the smaller the coin is, the less severe a rim nick is allowed to be in order for the coin to remain gradable.
|Varieties & other
Planchet flaw : Raised metal, missing metal, peeling metal and annealed planchets are just a few of the mint made flaws. Mint errors : Mule, rotated dies, double or triple punch can be seen. The varieties that CCCS recognize are the one listed in "Trends", the one listed in the Charlton catalogue and a few of the recognized unlisted ones.