Are MS-70 Coins 'Value Traps'? - Another View
Editors Note: The following is a letter we received following publication of an article on June 23rd by Louis Golino, ...
MS-70 This is for "Mint State" (the grade) and "70" (the numerical designation of that grade). A perfect coin! Even with 5X magnification there are no marks, hairlines or luster breaks in evidence. The luster is vibrant, the strike is razor-sharp, and the eye appeal is the ultimate.
MS-70 The perfect coin showing no trace of wear. The finest quality possible with no evidence of scratches or contact marks from other coins. Extremely few regularly issued coins get this grade. Attractive and outstanding eye appeal. Copper coins must be bright with original color and luster.
The grades from MS-60 to MS-70, as well as the Proof designations, are all based primarily on eye appeal, quality of luster and/or toning, and the presence or absence of contact marks, hairlines, etc. All coins MS-60 and higher are Mint State coins.
Mint StateThe term corresponding to the numerical grades MS-60 through MS-70, used to denote a business strike coin that never has been in circulation. A Mint State coin can range from one that is covered with marks (MS-60) to a flawless example (MS-70).
Perfect Mint State (~)
It is a theoretical perfection. To achieve such a grade, the planchet will have to have been perfectly formed, and have flawless, lint-free surfaces.
While I think that numbers can make a good shorthand for grades, in my opinion such notations as MS-60, MS-63, MS-65, MS-67, and ~ have also spawned a large measure of confusion.
~ is the ideal, and is rare. MS-60 to MS-65 are the norm, and the higher the number, the better the coin. The luster may be lacking, but as long as the coin has no wear, you have a MS-quality United States coin
* AU means almost uncirculated.
Mint state coins vary from MS-60 to ~. As I stated earlier, ~ is perfect. No blemishes, good strike, great color, and a lot of other really nit picky stuff. Trust me, any coin you have that isn't slabbed isn't ~. It's like winning the lottery, twice.
For example, an Uncirculated 2009-W Margaret Taylor coin (3,430 strikes) graded ~ by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., sold for $911.99 in a June 24 eBay auction. Three days earlier, an Uncirculated 2007-W Martha Washington coin (17,661 strikes), also graded ~ by NGC, sold for $979.
In a recent Teletrade auction, a bidder paid $15,120 for a 2003 Lincoln cent certified by PCGS as ~. A few years ago, a 1963 cent graded Proof-70 sold at auction for $39,100. PCGS later purchased the coin to take it off the market after spots appeared on its surface.
There are some sellers on eBay that sells tons of coins that are graded ~. If you really research the feedback on these items you will find out that in the opinion of many of the buyers, many of the coins are no where near ~.
Proof: Not a condition, but the coin has been struck using specially prepared dies and blanks, and the minting process has been carried out usually twice with extra pressure to ensure the die is filled.
To begin with, ANACS' grading system operates from a premise that all coins are ~ quality immediately after striking. This means that only those blemishes and marks that are a result of mishandling after the dies have parted act to lower the grade of the coin.
Current accepted grading standards provide for a range of un-circulated grades, from the grade of MS-60 to ~. MS60 would be a lower grade (yet still) un-circulated coin with normal bag marks for that type of coin. Anything below MS-60 would not be considered un-circulated.
Perfect Uncirculated (~) - Perfect new condition, showing no trace of wear. The finest quality possible, with no evidence of scratches, handling or contact with other coins.
A mint state (MS) grading depends on a coin's luster, contact marks, hair lines and overall appeal. A coin can have a grade ranging from MS-60 (dull luster) to a flawless ~. Although ~ is considered unobtainable, a grade of MS-65 and higher will make a coin's price shoot up.
MS-65 described an above average mint state coin with fewer than normal bagmarks, and an ~ was an exceptional uncirculated coin, which might fall somewhere close to today's MS-65 grade.
A perfect flawless coin is assigning the grade of ~, or Mint State 70. A coin that can barely be identified is the lowest grade of Poor 1. So all coins should be able to fall some where between 1 and 70.
MS-60: the lowest grade of Mint State coins. Higher-grade coins are labeled MS-61 up to ~. Coins showing wear are graded below MS-60 and fall into grades from AU down to G, with G being a coin showing great wear and AU being a coin showing little wear.
Perfect Uncirculated (~)
Completely new. Absolutely no marks or scratches. Incredibly rare.
MS: abbreviation for Mint State, a grading term, usually tied to a number (for example, MS-63, ~, etc.). mule: an unintended pairing of two dies.
multiple-struck: a coin that was struck more than once.
mutilated: a severely damaged coin.
Finest Known, LLC uses the numerical Mint State (MS) grading system which rates uncirculated rare currency and uncirculated coins from MS-60 to ~. When selling Ancient Rare Coins we use the non numerical system employed by the independent grading service Numismatic Guarantee Corporation (NGC).
An Uncirculated or Proof coin generally agreed as the equivalent of grading ~ on a 70 point scale. Extremely rare.
Pick Up Point
An area where a feature, such as die doubling, is the most visible.
Why is it then that we use every number allocated to the mint state grades, those being MS-60 through ~? The answer is because with mint state coins, each slight difference in grade can be measured in monetary terms.
Our premium selection of NGC and PCGS certified PR-70, MS-69 and ~ silver eagles is always changing and not all offers make the website. For our full lineup of highly collectible silver eagles, please call us today at 1-877-540-2646 and one of our experienced advisors will educate you.
Mint and have been made in an extremely limited run of 300,000 total coins. The network's largest seller has been the first strike, ~ American Buffalo, which at $999 is being offered at a discount to the $1,099 to $1,199 it is available for from most other outlets.
Defined as a coin that under four power magnification will show no bag marks, lines, or other evidence of handling or contact with other coins. It is graded as ~ on the numerical scale of Dr. Sheldon.
The circumference line of a coin or die.
Any of the MS-60 through ~ coins along with Proof coins are usually graded by visual appeal and sometimes with the use of a microscope or magnifier of up to 8x scaled. Graders look at factors such as luster, toning, contact marks, hairlines and quality for making decisions.
Half-length bust of Christ, nimbate, Gospels upward in right hand, left hand raised in benediction
10.1400g, 0.9860 Gold, .3170oz AGW, 22mm
Mintage: est. 50,000
Ex Midwest "Coins of Christianity" Collection
ICG certified graded ~ ...
See also: What is the meaning of Mint, Coin, Grade, Circulated, Uncirculated?