Grading Coins in the UK
There has always been a little debate surrounding how you should grade a coin and we are often confused with the US grading system. Today I will explain to the best of my knowledge and research how to grade a coin in the UK.
Becoming a coin grader will take experience, and the following information is just a guideline. Here in the UK the standards for grading are higher than those of the US.
When trying to determine the value of a coin, we will first need to figure out it’s grade. This is also handy for when you are listing coins on auction sites, or classified sites. It is always advised if you are not a professional to state that it is in your opinion and to include scanned or very high resolution pictures of the coins.
In the UK we use 4 main grading tiers, FINE (F) , VERY FINE (VF), EXTREMELY FINE (EF) and UNCIRCULATED (U) you will however see other grading terms for the more poor coins like GOOD, FAIR or POOR. Often or not these coins hold no real collectible value unless in certain circumstances where the coin is very very rare. You may also see other terms like BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED (BU) ALMOST UNCIRCULATED (AU) or FLEUR DE COIN (FDC)
The coin will show quite a lot of wear, however most of the features will still be clearly readable.
Very little circulation, most of the wear will be to the higher points. Very little wear, and everything clearly readable and visible.
Only little wear will be present, probably to only the more raised points of the coin and can only be seen up closely. All detail can be seen.
An uncirculated coin will show no wear or signs of use other than perhaps a few small pits from storage. All of the detail will show.
This is more or less the same as uncirculated but will still display the orignal lustre, which means color and shine.