USCents.com
All Copper, All The Time

Copper Grading Guide


The most important thing to remember about coin grading is that almost no two coins are the same. This axiom is particularly true for most early copper with the few exceptions being examples of the hoards that provide us with many nearly identical mint state specimens. Used (circulated) coins exist in a continuum of sharpness grades that range from only slightly removed from Mint State to worn slick. We have put together a set of images of several different coin types in different grades that are a "stake in the ground". The coins selected for the different series of pictures are above average to choice in condition and therefore can be "net graded" without deductions from the sharpness grade. The selected coins are also generally well struck and not from late die states.

Liberty Cap Large Cents illustrated by 1794 Sheldon 24

Second Hairstyle Draped Bust Large Cents 1798 - 1807

Matron Head Large Cents 1816 - 1835

Braided Hair Large Cents 1843 - 1857

Indianhead Cents Courtesy of Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.