S.F. writes: Hi! I am quite the novice at this, & noticed your website. What do the MS61, 62, etc. codes mean on the pricing guide & why is the same year coin not worth anything in all the other MS categories but in the highest MS number it is? Then when I click on the MS categories above these I get more prices, a price for every coin. Could you please explain this? Thank-you.
“MS” means Mint State and refers to coins that are in new condition. The definition of Mint State is a coin with no trace of wear and with all the original mint luster. Coins are minted at high speed and dumped into a hopper and later are packaged in canvas bags. They invariably acquire contact marks from impact from other coins. Coins that have lots of bag marks or other detracting blemishes might qualify for the low end of Mint State, MS60-63. Nicer coins might grade MS64-65. Superior pieces grade between MS66-69. MS70 is perfection and rarely, if ever, achieved even if you caught the coin from the press. Collectors, especially of United States Coins, prize coins in high mint state grades. Demand exceeds supply and therefore the higher grades bring higher prices.