is a matter of opinion. The experts at PandaAmerica have over 100
years of combined experience, and make every effort to assign proper
grades to the coins that we sell. If you are ever dissatisfied with
the condition of a coin, it can be returned for a full refund. However,
there are now a number of third party grading services that examine
coins, assign a numerical grade and then "slab"
the coins in sealed clear holders. Some of the leading grading services
are Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), Numismatic Guaranty
Corporation (NGC), Independent Coin Grading, (ICG), etc.
A specially made coin distinguished by sharpness of detail and usually
with a brilliant mirror-like
surface. Proof refers to the method of manufacture and is not
a condition. Grading numbers are applied similarly as for coins
struck for circulation, i.e. PR-65, PR-60, PR-55, etc. as defined
The terms Mint State (MS) and Uncirculated (Unc.) are interchangeably
used to describe coins showing no trace of wear. Coins may exhibit
original mint luster and/or toning.
Uncirculated (BU). Uncirculated coins may vary to some degree
because of blemishes, toning, or slight imperfections as described
in the following subdivisions (MS-70 through MS-60).
(MS-70). Perfect new condition, showing no trace of wear. The
finest quality possible, with no evidence of scratches, handling,
or contact with other coins. Very few regular issue coins are ever
found in this condition.
(MS-65). An above average Uncirculated coin which may be brilliant
or lightly toned and has very few contact marks on the surface or
rim. MS-69 through MS-61 indicate higher or lower grades of preservation.
(MS-60). Has no trace of wear but may show a number of contact
marks, and surface may be spotted or lack some luster.
Uncirculated (AU-55). Barest evidence of light wear on only
the highest points of the design. Most of the mint luster remains.
(AU-50). Has traces of light wear on many of the high points.
At least half of the mint luster is still present.
Fine (EF-45). Light overall wear shows on highest points. All
design details are very sharp. Some of the mint luster is evident.
Fine (EF-40). Design is lightly worn throughout, but all features
are sharp and well defined. Traces of luster may show.
Fine (VF-30). Light even wear on the surface and highest parts
of the design. All lettering and major features are sharp.
(VF-20). A moderate amount of wear is noticeable on the high
points of the coin's design. All major details are clear.
The coin shows moderate to considerable even wear throughout. Entire
design is bold with an overall pleasing appearance.
(VG-8). Well worn with main features clear and bold although
Heavily worn with the design visible but faint in areas. Many details
are flat. Common coins in "Good" condition are not particularly
desirable pieces for collectors. Rare or valuable coins in this
condition, however, are often saved when no others are available.
(AG-3). Very heavily worn with portions of lettering, date,
and legends worn smooth. The date may be barely readable.