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Adjectives and Numerals

Coin Grading 101

Coin grading is done both by adjectives and on the Sheldon scale that uses a combination of numbers and letters. This scale was first developed in 1949 by Dr. William H Sheldon. It was originally intended to be part of a formula for setting market prices. Following is a generalization of this scale and most collectors could follow it today. Coin grades are as follows:

  • Poor (PO-1): Barely identifiable date and type.

  • Fair (FR-2): Rims nearly completely worn away. There should be some outline and images visible on both sides of the coin. The lettering may be completely gone. Basically some detail is visible and enough of the date to identify the coin.