This site hopes to be your free reference and information hub for locating your next coin and pricing your current collection.
Our prime objective here is to provide you with a range of information about coins for your collection purposes, catering for beginners and more experienced alike.
In this page you will be able to find information on grading coins and deciding which types will suit your needs, whether they be choice condition coins or locating that missing piece of a series.
A History of Coins
From the birth of coinage twenty-seven centuries ago, people have always wanted to know the true value of a certain coin, whether it was for a payment of goods and services or to gauge a coin's value as a store of wealth. The creation of coinage occurred as a response to help standardize trade payments between Greek and Lydian merchants in Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor at around 700 B.C. By striking small pieces of Electrum (a naturally occurring alloy of Gold and Silver, found in alluvial deposits), an 'internationally recognized' medium of exchange was created.
Whatever currency was struck, at whichever mint, history has been directly influenced by the economic power of even the smallest of states. The money to build the triremes (galleys) which saved the Greeks at Salamis, came from the Attic silver mines coined into the famous Athenian 'Owls'. The Roman Empire needed more than two million kilos of silver Denarii a year to pay its far-flung Legions. The American West was opened to all as a result of the Gold rush, which helped build the 'Great Republic'.
At every turn in history, these small, often beautifully made, tokens of wealth have recorded the great events and turning points in human history.
This system of grading coins by describing their condition by a series of words, is used for grading modern Australian and World coins.
Note on minor grades - In this system there will be found a number of sub-grades which are used regularly. These are "about" ("a") which is used as a prefix to denote a coin not completely of that grade, e.g. an “about uncirculated” is annotated as "aUnc". The other sub-grade is the "good" ("g") after the grade; this prefix denotes a coin which exceeds the major grade it is in but is not quite up to the standard of the next grade up: for example a "good very fine" may be shown in the following way, "gVF".
It is also worth noting that the majority if used coinage is not generally considered to be of numismatic grade, in that it is not usually considered for resale by coin dealers. Unless a coin is from a low-mintage year, dealers will not offer for resale coins of minor grade (lower than VF). Lesser coins from common years are usually resold in bulk quantities and do not attract catalogue prices.
- Very Good (VG) The coin is very worn, with only the basic design and the date remaining legible.
- Fine (F) The higher points of the design clearly show thorough wear. The rim will also be found to be smooth in parts. More of the overall design will be present.
- Very Fine (VF) A coin in this condition will exhibit some wear on the legend and in the higher points of the design. This is generally the minimum collectable grade for numismatists.
- Extremely Fine (EF) In this condition a coin will show very little wear on the legend and high points, with most finer detail being visible. The rim border should be clearly defined with the occasional marks in the field, resulting from the coin's minting and short time in circulation. Some lustre may still be present.
- Uncirculated (Unc.) This coin by definition should exhibit no sign of having been in general use. There should be no wear evident even on the highest points, with 'bag-marks' the only blemishes to be found. Full mint lustre should be seen across all the surface. Marks on the obverse and especially the face of the figure, will detract from such a coin's value.
- Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) A coin of this grade will show no blemishes or sign of wear. The design and legend will appear sharper than the average, a result of early mintage. Full mint lustre will be seen over all the coin, sometimes giving the effect of a proof-like finish.
- Proofs (Pf) These specially prepared coins are the result of highly-polished dies used to strike selected blanks (planchets).