Coin grading explained

In 1949, Dr. Willian Sheldon developed The Sheldon System to grade a coin by appearance and condition.

A slightly modified version was adopted and is widely used by major grading companies and organizations which is accepted worldwide.
Coins are graded on a numeric scale from 1 to 70, 70 being the highes grade.

PF coins, are coins that are produced by the South African Mint as special commemorative coins which are not designated or designed for general circulation.  Therefore PF is not a grade on it's own, but a type of coin.


Prefix Numerical Grade Adjectival Description
MS 60–70 Mint State (Uncirculated)
AU 50, 53, 55, 58 About Uncirculated
XF 40, 45 Extremely Fine
VF 20, 25, 30, 35 Very Fine
F 12, 15 Fine
VG 8, 10 Very Good
G 4, 6 Good
AG 3 About Good
FA 2 Fair
PR 1 Poor

Please note: Collectable Coins and SA Coin Investments does not accept coins for grading.

For more information on coin grading please see the links below.




UNC (MS) DETAILS (Uncirculated)
A coin that shows no wear or evidence of circulation.

AU DETAILS (About Uncirculated)
Traces of light wear are evident on the high points of the coin’s design.

XF DETAILS (Extremely Fine)
Design features are well defined, although light wear is evident throughout.

VF DETAILS (Very Fine)
Major details of the coin are clear although wear is evident; the high points show moderate wear.

Moderate wear on many elements with heavy wear on high points. The major design elements remain visible.

VG DETAILS (Very Good)
Heavy wear flattens design elements, although major features are clearly outlined.

Design details are flat and visible in outline. Some portions of the design may be faint.

AG DETAILS (About Good)
Design details are flat and appear in outline. Portions of the rim are lost to wear.

Coin is identifiable, design is flat and visible in outline, and rim is essentially indistinguishable from coin fields.

Heavily worn; only basal detail remains.


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