|You’ve probably noticed that we do not use number grades on our listings. First let me explain our method as it applies to our modern coins, then I’ll give you the reasons for it.|
1. BU – Brilliant Uncirculated
This is the grade we assign to a coin which has not entered into commerce and been used as it was intended. A coin (or token/medal as the case may be) in this grade will not exhibit wear, though it may have numerous imperfections, spots, scratches, and contact marks. It may also not possess the full luster that it did when it was struck. May be toned. For those who feel the need to equate this to a number, it will translate to MS60-MS62.
2. Choice BU or CH BU
This is the grade for an uncirculated coin that does not exhibit any major detracting marks on the key focal points of the coin. Generally the key points will be the high points of the coin, such as the cheek on a Kennedy Half Dollar. The coin will have luster and may have contact marks, just none that are severe. It likely isn’t toned, but may have a hint of color. This coin will be superior to a BU and will roughly equate to an MS63-4.
3. Gem BU
This coin is fully lustrous and contains few contact marks and none in the key focal areas of the coin. It will have no discoloration, no defects and when compared to a BU coin, will be far superior. This coin will be far more desirable than either of the previous grades. The numerical equivalent is MS65 or better.
At the present time we do not offer proof coins that are less than gem quality, so I’ll skip the explanation of those.
The reason we have adopted this method of grading is two fold. First, the values of modern coins at this level are not as grade dependent as earlier coins. The published values for the most part are somewhat narrow between these ranges; therefore it isn’t necessary to distinguish between an MS61 and MS62. This certainly can’t be said for coins like Flowing Hair Dollars, which is the reason those grades exist. Secondly, to a certain extent, grading is subjective. A coin which one person considers MS65 may be MS64 to another. Conversely, one mans MS65 may be another’s MS66. Since there is no universally accepted standard, we choose to generalize slightly so we don’t risk disappointing our valued customers. We’ll leave the number grades to the grading professionals who get paid handsomely to assign those specific grades.
Rest assured when you receive a coin from us, you will get what we described. We have more years of experience than we care to admit, but please keep in mind, we are human. On the off chance that we made a mistake, we will cheerfully refund your money. That’s our guarantee.
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