Certified coins have been independently inspected to determine condition and authenticity. The main two companies in this space are NGC and PCGS. Collectively, they have authenticated and graded more than 57 million coins. When a coin is sent in for ‘grading,’ it is reviewed by at least three coin graders who will each assign a grade that corresponds to the condition of the coin. There must be agreement as to the coins grade before it then goes on to the encapsulation phase. A 70-point numerical scale is used where 70 is the very best grade possible. For modern Chinese coins, the best coins are generally graded 69 as few 70 graded coins exist. As relates to modern Chinese coin grades and designations assigned by NGC and PCGS, PF/ PR means “PROOF” wherein the quality or finish of the coin has deep mirror-like fields and an almost 3-d like appearance as the coin has been struck multiple times. MS means “MINT STATE” coins. Also referred to as ‘BU’ (brilliant uncirculated), these coins are proof-like in quality. Most of the modern Chinese coins produced as bullion are MS quality such as the 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz gold panda coins. ’69/70′ grades are the best (very good/excellent) and most sought after by collectors and investors. These grades imply a higher premium due to the above average quality of the condition of the coin. These grades mean that the coin has full and original lustre, no hairlines, fractures or scratches. ’68’ grade means the coin is high quality with up to four light contact marks. Modern Chinese coins can also be seen in grades ’65 to 67′. These coins sell at a substantial discount. They are uncirculated but may have been slightly mishandled and/ or show other noticeable minor flaws. There are a few coin types in particular that are rarely if ever available in higher grades as the manufacturing process was sub-par at the time, one such example is the 1984 12 oz gold panda coin which has never been graded above PF66. Finally, you will sometimes see UC/DC after the designation of a PROOF coin. This means “ULTRA CAMEO/ DEEP CAMEO.” This is the contrast when looking at the frosted fields in related to the mirrored fields. The “ULTRA CAMEO” designation is used by NGC, “DEEP CAMEO” by PCGS. For more on Chinese coin grades, please contact us with your questions.
When you buy a graded coin from ChineseCoins.com, you know the coin has been guaranteed authentic by an independent third party. The grade removes ambiguity regarding the quality so, if looking to sell at some stage, everyone is on the same page and you maximize value. Graded coins are encapsulated in air tight holders which preserve the condition and make for easy viewing and enjoyment of the piece.