Classification of the Condition of Coins
Proof coins are especially struck from polished blanks and dies and finished by hand, which gives them a mirror link, smooth, reflective surface. The most perfect condition known. The mint makes a small charge for the proof coins, and they can only be had during the year of the issue.
Uncirculated coins are coins struck for circulation. But coins, to be classified as “uncirculated,” must be as new and bright as when dropped from the coining press; a coin that has been in circulation, no matter whether it shows no marks of wear, cannot be classified as uncirculated.
Fine coins are those which have been considerable circulation, but every feature of the coin must show plainly. It must not show any bad scratches or nicks
Good coins are those which have been considerable circulation, but every feature of the coin must show plainly. It must not show any bad scratches or nicks.
Fair coins are those which are much worn, but on which the design, lettering and date are clearly visible.
Poor coins are those on which the design, lettering and date are almost obliterated. Poor coins, unless of a very rate date, are worth their intrinsic value only.
Mutilated coins are those with holes, bad cuts or scratches, or otherwise damaged, and are worth their intrinsic or metal value only.
When a die, made in one year, is used in a later year, by engraving one figure over another, the piece struck therefrom is called an”over-date.” For instance, the same die from which the Cents of 1810 were struck was used in 1811, by sinking a 1 over the 0, and portions of the latter figures are plainly visible.