Classification of coins is a term used to refer to the process of determining the condition or quality of a coin. Knowing what the grade of a particular coin is essential because, as a general matter, the higher the grade of a coin, the higher is the coin collecting values and its numismatic value.
Coins are most often graded these days on a 0-70-point scale devised many years ago by Dr William Shelby and documented at some length in the published “Official ANA Graduation Standards for the United States Coins” by the American Numismatic Association (ANA). Under this classification method, the higher the point scale according to a particular coin, the better its quality.
Classification of The Value of a Collector’s Coin
The coin sorting process, being subjective, is more of an art than a science. While accurate classification requires skill and experience, determining a rough classification is possible even for a novice coin collector.
The following describes the basic characteristics of coin collecting values and commonly assigned point scales that define the classification of coins, starting from the highest grade to the lowest.
Perfect Uncirculated Condition (MS-70)
This coin is uncirculated in perfect condition, showing no trace of wear, defects, scratches, or contact with other coins. This is the highest quality coin possible.
Uncirculated First Class (MS-65)
It is an above-average uncirculated coin that retains all the original lustre or lustre in perfect condition, it has very few surfaces or edge contact marks that are barely noticeable.
An uncirculated coin has no traces of wear, but does have some contact marks, stains on the surface, or lacks some of its original shine.
The overall grade is often determined by the obverse. An intermediate value may be appropriate when the difference is significant, especially if the inverse is lower. A coin classified as MS-60/61 would be considered to have an overall grade of MS-60 and another in MS-65/63 could be considered to have an overall grade of MS-64.