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Grading of Ancient Coins

Ancient coin collectors value grade much less than modern coin collectors do. Grade refers to the degree of wear or how it appears on a coin.

A few of the many factors that must be taken into account when grading ancient coins are the quality of the strike(s), the state of the die at the time of striking, the quality of the metal used for the planchet, wear from circulation, and the effects of burial and conservation.

Even historical factors must be considered.

Roman coins during the Golden Period (A.D. 96–161), for example, are generally regarded as having greater striking quality than those from the Third Century A.D., when the empire was extremely unsteady.

Mobile mints that moved with the army frequently produced coins for usurpers like Procopius (A.D. 365–366) and Carausius (A.D. 287–293).
These coins typically have imperfections because of how quickly they were produced.

Technical grading solely considers physical wear – A coin with no physical wear but minted with worn dies and only exhibiting VF details would nevertheless be certified Mint State.

Visual grading reflects how a coin truly appears – The same coin would be graded VF