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60% Surface Preservation / 15% Strike / 15% Luster / 10% Eye Appeal

RonyahskiRonyahski Posts: 3,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

That is how PCGS graders break down the impact of grading Mint State Coins.

How do you weigh these factors when grading Mint State Coins?

Some refer to overgraded slabs as Coffins. I like to think of them as Happy Coins.

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    Danye WestDanye West Posts: 193 ✭✭✭

    I think I grade a lot more holistically than any sort of calculation. If a coin is mark free and has booming luster and monster toning but is totally flat of strike, it still won’t grade gem. Same for any other factor. I think it’s more like any one can “hold a coin back”.

    I could make a birth year registry set out of pocket change.
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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would rather it be 70/15/15..... Never cared for the nebulous opinion of 'eye appeal'..... Cheers, RickO

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 29, 2017 2:08PM

    Sorry to be so ignorant but where did the percentages come from? I've read the PCGS grading book two or three times but that was published long ago. Is there a new edition? Are the percentages on their website? Did a PCGS grader tell you those percentages are used? Is there a date these were adopted? Please help, I don't enjoy being stupid and uninformed.

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    ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,433 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ricko said:
    I would rather it be 70/15/15..... Never cared for the nebulous opinion of 'eye appeal'..... Cheers, RickO

    Thats odd, or maybe its that I am an error guy, but eye appeal is by far the most important thing that I look for in coins.

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    BaleyBaley Posts: 22,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 29, 2017 3:24PM

    It obviously depends on the kind of coin.

    For colonials and early Federal coins, a lot of is, "how do these typically come?" And "how many are known in Any condition?" especially when grading a "mint state R5 or better coin with strong demand.

    For common modern coins in say ms66 or better, i wont quibble with those percentages too much..

    Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry

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    JJSingletonJJSingleton Posts: 1,400 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    Sorry to be so ignorant but where did the percentages come from? I've read the PCGS grading book two or three times but that was published long ago. Is there a new edition? Are the percentages on their website? Did a PCGS grader tell you those percentages are used? Is there a date these were adopted? Please help, I don't enjoy being stupid and uninformed.

    These percentages come from their grading videos. They are on the PCGS website on the resources menu.

    Joseph J. Singleton - First Superintendent of the U.S. Branch Mint in Dahlonega Georgia

    Findley Ridge Collection
    About Findley Ridge

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    roadrunnerroadrunner Posts: 28,303 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 29, 2017 4:00PM

    If you don't have the proper luster to start with, it's not a mint state coin. My numbers for coins that typically do come with full mint luster (ie 1811-current).

    Luster - 40%
    Eye appeal - 20%
    Surface preservation/marks and other defects - 20%
    Strike - 20%

    Some of these overlap (ie can you really separate luster from surface preservation?). In my mind, eye appeal should have nothing to do with whether a coin is mint state or not. It either is UNC or it is not. Surface preservation comes into play if the luster is disturbed via wiping, corrosion, or just plain contact marks. And often, those coins that are truly damaged aren't gradable as such (ie Unc details).

    Strike shouldn't have anything to do with deciding if a coin is MS or not. But it can affect where in the MS range it lands. Very weak strikes at 61-64 and full strikes can be up to MS69.

    A coin without proper mint luster cannot be MS....regardless of the eye appeal. Hence, I disagree with calling pretty (but obviously) rubbed bust halves as MS63. A coin with burned, weak, or odd luster, just cannot be graded very high despite no marks and fabulous secondary toning. Luster has to be the highest rated because you don't have a truly UNC coin without it. You can have an unc coin with full luster, weak strike, negative eye appeal, and numerous marks. A perfect and eye popping coin with only 65-90% luster? Call it what you want, price it as you like....just don't call it UNC. One could make a case for having each component in the 20-30% range. Luster at 15% of the equation?....nonsense. At least we agree that 3 out of the 4 factors are close to equal.

    I disagree with current collector/boutique dealer orientation of "eye appeal" being 50% or more of the grade. Or we can add a 5th step to this discussion (stickers) such that we have CAC 60%, Luster -10%, Surfaces - 10%, Eye appeal - 10%, Strike - 10% o:)

    Or how about PCGS/CAC-50%, eye appeal - 50%? This is much of the current market mind set.

    Barbarous Relic No More, LSCC -GoldSeek--shadow stats--SafeHaven--321gold
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    FairlanemanFairlaneman Posts: 10,404 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Luster has always been King. I am sure that anyone that notices luster breaks will down grade the coin before looking at anything else on the coin. Luster and Eye Appeal go hand and hand I would think.

    Ken

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JJSingleton said: "These percentages come from their grading videos. They are on the PCGS website on the resources menu."

    Thanks! I have some cramming to do before I'm tested...LOL.

    I've seen a few of them - don't know how I missed this stuff. I think there is a lot of room for discussion but I'll watch the videos first. We all know that a coin's strike is very important once a coin hits MS; however, luster and surface preservation overlap and hopefully the video will explain the wide difference. Eye appeal? I learned eye appeal combines everything. I've been told that eye appeal makes AU coins turn into Mint State coins. Examples of this are legion.

    Looks Like I have some movies to watch and learn from as I may have picked up some bad information over the years.

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    JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 22,847 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 29, 2017 5:07PM

    The key is to try and buy coins that offer all four attributes in spades then it doesn't matter about the percentages

    m

    Walker Proof Digital Album
    Fellas, leave the tight pants to the ladies. If I can count the coins in your pockets you better use them to call a tailor. Stay thirsty my friends......
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    tradedollarnuttradedollarnut Posts: 20,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Luster, luster and then luster

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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,733 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can monkey with eye appeal. You can smooth out or hide hits. You can even repair holes but you can’t restore luster. Classic US issues with phenomenal luster are really something!

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    CascadeChrisCascadeChris Posts: 2,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The more you VAM..
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    RonyahskiRonyahski Posts: 3,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll go:

    50% Coin Preservation
    10% Strike
    20% Luster
    20% Eye Appeal

    I am a bit more of a "market grader" than PCGS. My first reaction at gazing upon a Mint State coin narrows me down into a grade, or range of grades. Those factors that rule love at first sight are Luster and Eye Appeal.

    First, Luster. Twirl it. How much cartwheel does it have.

    Eye Appeal is primarily the affect of toning on the grade of a coin. I look for Eye Appeal next. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I love toning to the point that I like copper spots on gold coins and spots on rainbow toned copper - a sign of originality.

    If two factors can somewhat intertwine, it will be Luster and Eye Appeal. A coin with a lot of colorful toning and potential Eye Appeal has to be knocked down in grade if is so heavy as to hide the Luster.

    Only then do I look at the coin for nicks and hits and rub, etc, which obviously can send the grade down several notches.

    Strike is less important because, unlike the other factors, sometimes there is no set baseline standard upon which you can grade Strike. Usually strike will change a grade for me by one point at most.

    Some refer to overgraded slabs as Coffins. I like to think of them as Happy Coins.
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    DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 22,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Surface preservation is king to me. Mark free is everything....then luster. Eye Appeal is merely an opinion and should not be part of grading.

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