Understanding Grades for Mercury Dimes
Tip: Clicking on the photo will open a new window with a larger version of the image.
About Good-3 (AG3 or AG-3)
Obverse: Only the major details are visible in outline form only. The date and legends are worn smooth but readable. The tops of the letters in LIBERTY are beginning to merge with the rim.
Reverse:. The entire design is mostly worn away. The letters around the rim of the coin have merged well into the rim.
Tip: Click on the photos at the left to view a larger and more detailed image.
Good-4 (G4 or G-4)
Obverse: The details on Ms. Liberty's head are well-worn but basic shapes can be discerned. Some letters in the word LIBERTY are slightly separated from the rim.
Reverse: The fasces is completely outlined and is nearly worn flat. The bands across the rods are completely worn off.
Very Good-8 (VG8 or VG-8)
Obverse: Ms. Liberty's head is weak and major design details are outlined, for example the wing. The letters in the word LIBERTY are separate from the rim.
Reverse: The letters around the rim are separated from the rim. Some vertical lines in the rods on the fasces are beginning to show on its sides.
Fine-12 (F12 or F-12)
Obverse: More details show on the head of Ms. Liberty. Some details show in the hair and the feathers on the wings. But most are flat and indistinct.
Reverse: Most vertical lines in the rods on the fasces are visible but lack detail. The horizontal and diagonal bands are worn but somewhat visible. They may be worn smooth at the very center.
Very Fine-20 (VF20 or VF-20)
Obverse: Ms. Liberty's hair is worn but most details are apparent although smooth. Three quarters of the details in the wing are evident.
Reverse: All of the vertical lines on the fasces are distinct. Wear is evident on the horizontal and diagonal bands and details in the olive branch are strong.
Extra Fine-40 (EF40, XF40 EF-40 or XF-40)
Obverse: All details on Ms. Liberty's head are visible and show only slight signs of wear. Her cheek, midpoint of the wing and neckline may show slight flatness. All details are visible and crisp. Some residual mint luster may still exist in the protected areas of the coin.
Reverse: All the rods in the fasces are clearly defined and separated. The horizontal and diagonal bands are visible and distinct but may show some wear.
About Uncirculated-55 (AU55 or AU-55)
Obverse: Traces of wear are evident on only the highest points (Ms. Liberty's cheek, midpoint of the wing and on the curls of hair above her forehead).
Reverse: Only traces of wear show on the horizontal and diagonal bands across the fasces. A majority of the mint luster still exists on the coin.
Mint State-63 (MS63 or MS-63)
Obverse: The original mint luster covers the entire coin. A few distracting contact marks exist on Ms. Liberty's face and in the field.
Reverse: Original mint luster covers the entire surface of the coin. A few distracting contact marks exist on the blade and body of the fasces.
Mint State-65 (MS65 or MS-65)
Obverse: Light or small contact marks may exist on the coin, but no distracting contact marks are on Ms. Liberty's face.
Reverse: A few light and small contact marks may exist on the surface of the coin but there are no distracting marks on the blade or body of the fasces.