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Auction gradings and terminology

Proof: Proof coins are the most beautiful coins imaginable. They are struck using specially hardened dies, and highly polished blanks. The result is a coin of great clarity and depth of detail. Most modern Proofs (1966 onwards) contrast a brilliant mirror background against delicately frosted detail.

Prooflike: Often a non–official mint strike, or medallic in nature.

Brilliant Uncirculated (B/Unc) or choice Unc: Uncirculated, but with higher than normal sheen.

Uncirculated (Unc): An uncirculated or unused item. Full detail, no wear, brilliance and lustre are hallmarks of an uncirculated coin, whereas no bends, folds or staining are qualities of an uncirculated banknote.

Extremely Fine (EF): Coins show only traces of wear to the high points of the design and only light surface marks from circulating. Otherwise the design is clear and sharp and the coin will have much lustre. Notes are clean and crisp with only the slightest signs of creases and folds.

Very Fine (VF): Lustre has gone and there will be flatness on the design of a coin. Other traces of wear may also be evident. Banknotes of this grade will show distinct signs of handling though the paper will still be reasonably crisp.

Fine (F): The effects of handling will be quite evident from the amount of flatness to the design of a coin. Notes will have clear signs of soiling and heavy creasing, possibly also some tearing.

Very Good (VG): Most details of a coinís design will be all but gone, but the basic design and date are still visible. Notes of this grade are near the end of their useful life, and are of little value unless they are very scarce or rare.

choice: An exceptional example of the given grade.

good (g): Use of the prefix good (e.g. gVF) indicates that the item is slightly better than the grade stated.

about (a): Use of the prefix (e.g. aEF) indicates that the item is almost at the grading designated.

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