Canadian Coin Grading


Victoria 50 Cent Coins
(Diademed Effigy)
(1870-1901)


This page describes the criteria used to assign grades to 50 cent Canadian circulation coins which use the "Diademed" portrait of Queen Victoria, issued between 1870 and 1901. It also shows sample images of each grade.

All photos used here were taken of coins that have been professionally graded by companies like PCGS, NGC, ICCS, CCCS, ANACS, or ICG.


NOTE: Click on any photo to load a much larger version of both the obverse and reverse sides of the graded coin. Once that photo has loaded on screen, if you click it again you will see a huge photo which allows you to see every fine detail.



Quick Links to the Desired Grade

(NOTE If the cell background is yellow, it means a photo has not been found yet):
 
 
 
 
 



P-1 (Poor 1)



- All that is showing is a silhouette. You might not even see the entire outline of the portrait.

- Most, if not all, of the rim has worn completely flat.

- Most of the lettering around the rim has partially or completely worn off.

- You may not be able to determine the date, but should be able to determine the denomination by the outline of the portrait, the diameter, approximate weight and type of metal of the coin. At this grade the weight may not be a match to the specifications because so much of the metal has worn away.

F-2 (Fair 2)



- Some details are visible.

- Portions of the rim are visible.

- Most of the lettering around the rim has partially or completely worn off, but more is visible than on a P-1 coin.

- You may not be able to determine the date, but should be able to determine the denomination by the outline of the portrait, the diameter, approximate weight and type of metal of the coin. At this grade the weight may not be a match to the specifications because so much of the metal has worn away.

AG-3 (About Good 3)



- Only traces of detail on the headband at the very back of the neck (used to hold the diadem (crown) in place) is visible.

- Most of the rim denticles are intact, although heavily worn.

- Some of the lettering around the rim has partially or completely worn off.

G-4 (Good 4)



- All that is showing is a silhouette with a small percentage of the eye visible.

- More detail of the headband at the very back of the neck (used to hold the diadem (crown) in place) is visible.

- Some letters have begun to merge with the background.

G-6 (Good 6)



The details described in G-4 are slightly more pronounced.

VG-8 (Very Good 8)



- The hair covering the ear and diadem, and the back knot of hair is worn away.

- The diadem itself shows considerable wear with vague outlines of the top jewels.

- The eyebrow and facial features are worn down.

VG-10 (Very Good 10)



- The details described in VG-8 are slightly more pronounced.

F-12 (Fine 12)



- The details described in F-15 are slightly less pronounced.

F-15 (Fine 15)



- The hair covering the ear and diadem are worn.

- The diadem is clear but the top jewels are worn.

- The lower twist of the back knot is worn, with strands beginning to merge.

- The overlapping neck ribbon is worn through.

- The eyebrow and cheekbone are worn.

NOTE: This particular example is at the high end of qualifying for F-15.

VF-20 (Very Fine 20)



- The sharpness of the design is lost.

- The hair covering the diadem, the back knot, top jewels and the ribbon ends overlapping the neck are clear but have lost detail.

- Original mint lustre has disappeared

- Eyebrow and facial features show signs of wear.

VF-25 (Very Fine 25)



- The details described in VF-20 are slightly more pronounced.

- Entire surface shows some wear, but major design features remain clear.

VF-30 (Very Fine 30)



- The details described in VF-20 are very noticebly more pronounced.

- Wear now evident over entire surface. Intricate design detail beginning to flatten.

VF-35 (Very Fine 35)



Most of the details described in EF-40 are slightly less pronounced.

- Light wear is seen over entire surface though all major detail still visible.

EF-40 or XF-40 (Extra Fine 40)



- Traces of wear have now moved down to the eyebrow, the back knot, the top jewels and the ribbon ends.

- 25% of the mint lustre remains around the letters of the legend.

- All design elements still show, but high points now worn flat. Little to no luster remains.

EF-45 or XF-45 (Extra Fine 45)



- High points of design show light wear. A bit of luster may still be visible in protected areas.

AU-50 (About Uncirculated 50)



- Some traces of wear appear on all high points.

- 50% of the lustre is present, and the halo effect around the portrait is clearly evident.

- Mint lustre has been disturbed in the fields around the design.

AU-53 (About Uncirculated 53)



- Slight flatness and loss of luster visible on high points of design. Some luster remains.

AU-55 (About Uncirculated 55)



- Full detail, with light friction on the high points. Considerable luster remains.

AU-58 (About Uncirculated 58)



- Some traces of wear appear on all high points.

- Only the slightest friction on the highest points.

- Mint lustre has been disturbed in the fields around the design.

MS-60 (Mint State 60)



- No traces of wear anywhere.

- Contact or handling marks (bag marks) may be present and heavy on all parts of the design.

- Lustre may be disturbed, but is present to a high degree.

- Hairline scratches are present, and general eye appeal is poor.

MS-61 (Mint State 61)



- The details described in MS-60 are slightly better.

- More marks and/or multiple large abrasions than on an MS-62 coin.

MS-62 (Mint State 62)



- No traces of wear anywhere.

- Contact or handling marks (bag marks) may be present on all parts of the design.

- Lustre may be disturbed, but is present to a high degree.

- In some coins the strike may be weak.

MS-63 (Mint State 63)



- No trace of wear anywhere.

- May have minor contact marks and blemishes.

- Typical strike strength and original mint lustre.

MS-64 (Mint State 64)



- No trace of wear anywhere.

- May have minor contact marks and blemishes.

- Typical strike strength and original mint lustre.

MS-65 (Mint State 65)



- No trace of wear anywhere.

- May have minor contact marks and blemishes.

- Typical strike strength and original mint lustre.

MS-66 (Mint State 66)



- No trace of wear anywhere. A nearly perfect coin.

- May have minor hairlines or handling contact marks in secondary areas ONLY.

- Full original mint lustre must be present.

MS-67 (Mint State 67)



- No trace of wear anywhere.

- May have minor hairlines or handling contact marks in secondary areas ONLY.

- Full original mint lustre must be present.

- An almost perfect coin.




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