AppraisalAppraisal

Clarifying Grades

When ACCA receives a coin sent by a customer for grading, it immediately proceeds to professionally match and investigate the coin print, and have its multiple certified appraisers objectively decide on the coin’s grading score. For the definition and description of the various grading codes, please refer to the list below.

Grade Description and Definition
PO-1 Poor. Very bad quality. Coin is highly worn and/or crudely made, and only the outline of the main patterns may be identified. All remaining forge marks and rim gears are severely worn, and only 1%~10% of the forged patterns can be identified.
FR-2 Fair. Bad quality. Most of the forge marks are severely worn. Only 5%~10% of the forged patterns can be identified.
AG-3 About Good. Near normal quality. Rim gears are worn and nearly all forged patterns have been worn flat, though some can still be made out. Here, 10%~25% of the forged patterns can be identified.
G-6 Good. Normal quality. The coin is well worn and only the outlines of the patterns can be made out, but in some cases, local details can be seen. 25%~40% of the forged patterns may be identified.
VG-8 Very Good. Good quality coin. Detailed markings on the coin are nearly all worn out, but 40%~50% of the forged patterns can be made out.
F-12 Fine. Beautiful sample. Coin markings are severely worn, but the overall pattern can be identified. 50%~60% of the forged patterns can be made out.
F-20 Fine. Beautiful sample. Coin markings are severely worn, but the overall pattern can be identified. Compared to F12, the forged patterns at focus areas can be made out to a slightly higher degree. 50%~60% of the forged patterns can be identified.
F-25 Choice Fine. Beautiful sample. The coin’s forge marks are severely worn, but the general outline can be recognized. At the highest points, the pattern’s protrusions are more worn than VF30 samples. 60%~70% of the forged patterns can be identified.
VF-30 Very Fine. Very beautiful sample. At the highest points, the pattern’s protrusions are more worn than VF35 samples, and detailed lines are worn to varying degrees. But the primary image can be clearly seen. A full 70%~80% of the forged patterns can be identified.
VF-35 Choice Very Fine. Very, very beautiful sample. At the highest points, the pattern’s protrusions are half worn, and detailed lines are worn to varying degrees. But the primary image can be clearly seen. A full 70%~80% of the forged patterns can be identified.
XF-40 Extremely Fine. An extremely beautiful sample. The entire coin face has some wear, but the image is clear. The coin face may even have a trace of the original metallic shine. A full 80%~90% of the forged patterns can be identified.
XF-45 Choice Extremely Fine. More than extremely beautiful. The entire coin face, including its highest points, have undergone some wear, but the image details are clear. Parts of the coin face (such as between words and characters) retain their original metallic shine. Fully 90%~95% of the forged patterns can be identified.
AU-50 About Uncirculated. The entire coin fact, including its highest points, are worn to varying degrees, but at least 20% of the coin face has retained its original shine. Fully 90%~95% of the forged patterns can be identified.
AU-53 About Uncirculated. The highest points of the entire coin face have traces of wear, and parts of the coin face are worn to varying degrees, but at least 40% of the coin face has retained its original shine. Fully 90%~95% of the forged patterns can be identified.
AU-55 Choice About Uncirculated. The entire coin face, including the highest points, have slight traces of wear, and at least 60% of the coin face retains its original shine. Fully 90%~95% of the forged patterns can be identified.
AU-58 About Uncirculated. The entire coin face, including the highest points, have slight traces of wear, and at least 80% of the coin face retains its original shine. Fully 90%~95% of the forged patterns can be identified.
MS-60 UNC. Uncirculated. May have numerous deep marks or hairlines. Level of pattern recognition may be incomplete due to factors like minting techniques. Fully 95%~98% of the forged patterns can be identified.
MS-61 UNC+. Uncirculated. May have many deep marks or hairlines. Level of pattern recognition may be incomplete due to factors like minting techniques. Fully 95%~98% of the forged patterns can be identified.
MS-62 UNC++. Uncirculated. May have some deep marks or hairlines. Level of pattern recognition may be incomplete due to factors like minting techniques. Fully 95%~98% of the forged patterns can be identified.
MS-63 BU (Brilliant Uncirculated). May have some regular sized marks or hairlines. Level of pattern recognition may be incomplete due to factors like minting techniques. Fully 95%~98% of the forged patterns can be identified.
MS-64 BU+. Has only a few marks, or a couple of more serious marks/hairlines. At this level, there is a medium level of pattern recognition, and fully 95%~98% of the forged patterns can be identified.
MS-65 Choice BU. May have a few smaller or unimportant marks or hairlines, but has none of those in focal areas. At this level, there is a good level of pattern recognition, and fully 98%~100% of the forged patterns can be identified.
MS-66 Choice BU+. Has 2 or 3 smaller or unimportant marks or hairlines, with none of those in focal areas. There is a good level of pattern recognition, and fully 98%~100% of the forged patterns can be identified.
MS-67 GEM BU. As seen from the naked eye, it would appear to be fresh out of the mint, though upon closer examination there may be some small or unimportant defect. There is an excellent level or recognition for the forged patterns, and fully 98%~100% of them may be identified.
MS-68 GEM BU+. As seen from the naked eye, it would appear to be fresh out of the mint, though upon closer examination there may be some small or unimportant defect. There is an excellent level or recognition for the forged patterns, and fully 99%~100% of them may be identified.
MS-69 GEM BU++. Close to perfection. If closely examined, some minute defect (such as bag marks) may be found. But the forged patterns are just about completely recognizable, and fully 100% of the details may be identified.
MS-70 Perfect Sample. Appears to be completely unused. Even under a 10X magnifier one cannot find any traces of it having been touched. Neither are there any defects or bag marks. It possesses a superlative, perfect level of pattern recognition, and fully 100% of the details may be identified.
Note 1: F20~XF45 represent the most common levels of sample appearance for circulated coins. We ask that the owner to keep that in consideration and read the definitions carefully.
Note 2: Coins that were hammered off center or were produced by damaged molds, making them weakly forged, will have their score deducted by 0 to 2 levels by the ACCA.
Note 3: Coins with appearance enhancing natural oxidation, extra deep coin face patterns, or mirror like surfaces, etc., will have their score enhanced by 0 to 1 level by the ACCA.
Note 4: In terms of grading washed coins, there is yet to be an internationally recognized set of evaluation standards. The ACCA chooses to accept the modern opinion of the great circle of collectors in the Asia zone and take a positive view when providing evaluations. Cleaned coins will be given descriptive grading ranges, such as AU-Details.
Note 5: Appearance grading scores are primarily given based on the level of wear and the closeness of the coin to its original state. The number is used to show the difference. Please read the above table.

ACCA will add additional codes based on the condition of the coin surface. The relevant codes and their respective descriptions are listed below:

Code Description Sealed Box or not Conclusion
C01 Questionable Color. Surface colors are not naturally occurring, or are artificially oxidized coloring. True
C02 Chop marks or poke marks. True
C03 Rim Dent. The coin rim is dented and the edge grooves are severely damaged. Score
C04 Damaged from environmental pollution: residues on the surface or edge grooves, corrosion on the surface or edge grooves, rusting on the coin’s underside. True
C05 PVC Residue. Pollution from polyvinyl chloride. X -
C06 Tooled or Repaired. The coin was mechanically repaired, or otherwise subject to human tinkering. True
C07 Not Genuine. A forged or modified coin. X -
C08 Planchet Flaw: There was a flaw within the coin’s production process: insufficient material, problem with silvering, metallic crack, etc. Score
C09 Weak Molding. The die was damaged, or the mold had metal fatigue. Score
C10 Cleaned. The coin was entirely or partially cleaned. True
C11 Filed Rims. Rims have severe, deep marks, are knocked up on the surface, are scratched, or have holes. True
C12 Peeling Lamination. The coin surface is peeling. True
C13 Coin is whizzed, lacquered, electroplated, or spot removed. X -
C14 Coin surface pattern, such as the year marking, has been modified. X -
C15 Questionable. X -
C16 Insufficient data; decision cannot be made. Refund, with No Decision X -
C17 Graffiti scratches, weld marks, set/inlaid object, coin curvature, heat-induced protrusion. X -
C18 Scratched. Localized or right across the coin surface. True
C19 Verdigris or Rust on coin surface. True
C20 Cracks Applies to Ancient Coins
Note 1: Regarding coin washing, because most coins do get cleaned, either partially or entirely, the effect on the coin surface condition must be noted clearly. Therefore, as of February 1, 2014, the ACCA has modified the grading standard for the XF-45 rating and below: any coin deemed to have conditions C10, C18, etc. by the ACCA will be given a Score and Code. AU and MS ratings will remain unchanged and will be shown as AU-Details, UNC-Details, and so forth.