How to evaluate collectible coins using the
European Coin Grading System.
All Coin Values resource
European Coin Grading System
Coin grading systems were created to try to bring about a standardised, methodical approach to evaluating a coins' state of preservation, relative to mint state.
The European system is less defined than the Sheldon System, however takes a more conservative approach than the Sheldon system. For example, a coin grading at VF20 on the Sheldon system is likely to be assessed as closer to a 'Fine', or 'good Fine' using the European method.
It needs to be stressed from the outset that coin and banknote grading is subjective.
Many very experienced graders may look at the same coin and come up with different assessments, sometimes up to a whole grade, or more.
Grade often does not really take in to account detractors, although many will state a coin as 'ungradable' if it has significant detractors, such as cleaning, bumps, scratches, or corrosion.
One technique of evaluating such coins is to state 'detail to .......', meaning that the degree of detail would have see this coin evaluated at a certain grade, if it weren't for the detractors.
||Original design remaining
||95% + some lustre
||100% + some lustre
||100% + full lustre
Where a coin is assesed as between grades, prefixes are sometimes used to indicate 'nearly', or 'a bit better than', as follows:
'aVF' may be used to indicate 'about Very Fine', or 'almost Very Fine'.
(not quite VF, but close, and better than 'good Fine').
'gVF' may be used to indicate 'good Very Fine'.
(a bit better than Very Fine, but not good enough to be 'about Extremely Fine'.)
Often coin sides wear unevenly, or were better struck on one side than the other.
In such cases, it is not uncommon to see people state individual grades for each side of a coin. This is referred to as 'split grading'.
When this is done, convention is that the obverse, (front, heads), is stated first, then the reverse, (back, tails), as follows:
'VF/F' would indicate that the obverse, (heads), has been assessed as 'Very Fine', while the reverse, (tails), has been assessed as 'Fine'
While detractors in themselves will not make a valueable coin entirey worthless, they will significantly impact desirability to a collector, thus value.
In the end, the value of a coin is what someone will pay for it, based on their own judgement of condition, scarcity, value, desirability, and what they are willing to pay to own it.
If many people desire a particular coin and there aren't many available, it makes sense that the value is going to be more than for a coin that is more common, in worse condition, or is less appealing.
For the purposes of our valuation guides, we assume that the coin in question has no significant detractors, and is solid example of the grade in question, in a natural, unaltered state.
Please note: All values are estimates only, based on third-party information. AllCoinValues.com do not guarantee prices to be accurate, nor take any responsibility for how you use the information provided on our web site. Information is intended as a self-help guide to assist in determining relative value, whether you are considering buying, selling, insuring, or investing in coins or banknotes.
Our site is maintained by funds from our sponsors and advertisers. Some of these advertisers may place cookies on your browser for the purposes of tracking your browsing habits for targeted advertising.
A demonstration of the European Coin Grading Sytem in action can be found at the link below.
Resource article and visual grading guide for assessing Australian predecimal coins:
Help us keep our website 'free to use' for everyone.
We rely on income from our advertisers. Please 'whitelist' this site in your adblocker program.
If you prefer not to see ads, would you consider letting people know we are here instead?
Found the information on our site useful?
Let people know we're here by linking us on your posts, listings, and websites.