Grading Coins

The grading of coins is a subjective process and as so opinions may vary from person to person. As hammered coins were hand struck in dies with a hammer no two coins are the same. Defects can occur at time of striking (cracks, double striking and being off centre) or can occur after minting (scratched, scraped, pierced or folded).

The UK grading system is as follows

Note the terms Uncirculated (UNC) and Fleur de Coin (FDC) really only apply to milled coinage (machine made coins).

Coins of some reigns and periods were notorious for poor quality coins (later periods of Henry VIII for example) and graders will often take this into account.

The grade of a coin is an important determinant of its value. The difference between VF and EF can amount to thousands of pounds in some of the rare coins.


                                  A good VF groat of Henry VI


                         A Poor Condition Elizabeth I Threepence