The condition or grade of a coin is one of the key factors in determining its grade. When you hear the term ‘mint’ or ‘mint state,’ this means that the coin is in excellent condition—on par with its condition when it was issued. The American Numismatic Association categorizes ‘mint coins’ as Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) and Uncirculated (Unc). Below are a few ways on how you can determine if you have a mint coin and how coin collectors can provide assistance.
Examine both sides of the coin before assigning a grade. If you notice any obvious flaws or blemishes on the coin with the naked eye, it’s safe to say that it is not in mint condition. If one side of the coin has more wear than the other, grade the coin based on the side with the most apparent issues, as this is the approach taken by professional coin grading companies.
Check out the high points of the coin. Use a loupe, microscope or magnifying glass to help you identify these areas. Pay special attention to the rim, lettering and field on the coin. If you notice that only the high points of the coin show signs of wear, but has most of its original mint luster, your coin will most likely be classified as Almost Uncirculated.
Inspect the coin’s mint luster. This is the shine or frost-like appearance that is found on uncirculated coins. It is important to note that even the slightest contact with a plastic bag or a similar surface can leave a mark on the coin and cause its luster to diminish. This is why it’s important to handle coins as little as possible, but when you do, to always use cotton gloves and hold the coin by its edges.
Visit coin collectors in Atlanta. If you remain unsure about whether your coins are mint state coins or BU coins, a professional coin dealer will be able to determine its condition. Have your coins appraised for a fee, or if you’re interested in selling your coins, some coin dealers will provide you with a free coin appraisal.
In summation, to determine whether your coin is a mint coin, examine both sides. There should be no obvious flaws or blemishes present on either side of the coin. Next, check out the high points of the coin for wear. Inspect the mint luster of the coin for even and thorough mint luster. Lastly, visit coin collectors for a professional appraisal or assessment of your coins.