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Forum Home > FAQs > Third Party coin Grading (TPG)

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I have started a new topic of Third Party coin Grading (TPG) of British India coins. This is from “broken compass”’s post of Forum Home > British India > Bengal Presidency 1/2 Anna (see

The topic of discussion is how does TPGs like NGC, PCGS and the likes grade British India coins. Specifically how do they differentiate between mint state grades? What makes a coin MS65 and not MS66 or MS64. What is the standard of assigning the color designation of copper coins (RD=red, RB=red & brown, BN=brown). For those of you who are not farmiliar with the US based mint state grades they range from MS60 - the lowest Unc grade to MS70 the highest. In general dealers don't use numeric grades for "raw" coins and I have added the numeric grade that I think they correspond to (I'm not a dealer):

Unc : MS60

lovely or sharp Unc: MS61

BU: MS62

Sharp or frosty BU: MS63 to MS64


Choice GEM BU: MS66 to MS70.


I for one did not even realize that if a coin is cleaned or even lightly cleaned, TPGs will not assign a numeric grade, like MS62, but rather use the term “DETAILS” with a comment like HARSHLY CLEANED, SURFACE HAIRLINES (at least that’s what NGC does). I think PCGS does not put a comment. I learnt it the hard way when I submitted a coin to NGC that I purchased as "Unc 1899 1/2 Rupee" (I assumed it was not cleaned). It came back as graded "UNC DETAILS - HARSHLY CLEANED". Ouch!


Broken compass, thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience in this area. Again if you could re-iterate your findings here specifically for British India coins that would be helpful.

December 5, 2011 at 3:13 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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