When You Want To Value Your Coin Collection: How Coins Are Graded To Establish Value

Posted on: 7 April 2017

Both adjectives and numbers are used to grade coins, but the process is done by looking carefully over the coin and evaluating it. How flat the coin is, whether you can read the coin, or how the edges are holding up against wear all matter when it comes to grading coins. If you have a collection and you are trying to establish the worth, you'll have to work with a professional coin grader to establish the current condition of your collection. Once your coins are graded, you can begin to do research on what your coin is currently valued at when the grade is taken into consideration.

Coins that are Poor Grade

A coin that is graded poor is almost unrecognizable. The coin may be very flat, and almost no, if any print will be apparent on the coin. While many coins rated poor won't be valuable, if the coin is old enough it may be worth trying to sell if you are liquidating your coin collection. If the coin can be identified by date and you can see a bit of the images that were once present, the coin may be graded one step up as Fair.

Coins become more valuable the higher the grade they receive. Coins can be graded up from Fair to About Good, then Good and then Very Good. Each higher grade indicates that more of the coin can be identified, that the image is sharper and that the edges may be more intact.

Coins in the Very Fine Category

Coins graded Very Fine are coins that have been circulated, but show light wear. Letters on the coin will be highly visible, the details of the coin intact, and only slight wear will be present. For an older coin, such as a Liberty Nickel, the word Liberty will be easily noted. 

Up from Very Fine is Extremely Fine, and then About Uncirculated. Coins that are About Uncirculated show minimal wear, and can be confused for coins that are deemed Uncirculated. As far as circulated coins go, About Uncirculated is the best rating you are going to receive. If your collection is old coins that were once used, this would be the best rating you can receive for your coins.

Uncirculated, proofs and other coins may also be in your collection. It's important to meet with a professional collector to establish the value of your coins if you are going to sell.

Read more on coin grading sites.