A coin graded MS-64 has at least average luster and strike for the type. Several small contact marks in groups, as well as one or two moderately heavy marks may be present. One or two small patches of hairlines may show. Noticeable light scuff marks or defects might be seen within the design or in the field. Overall quality is attractive, with a pleasing eye appeal. If copper, the coin may be slightly dull. Color should be designated.
Notes: The ANA has not established equivalent official adjectives for the listings within the MS-60 to MS-70 range. Commercially, MS-70 coins are often called Perfect Uncirculated, MS-65 coins Gem Uncirculated, and MS-63 coins Choice Uncirculated. In the past, these and other adjective have been used to designate various grades of condition.
While the preceding guidelines will undoubtedly prove useful to the reader, it is strongly advised that viewing actual coins in the marketplace will enable you to better determine grading practices affecting the series which interest you most. For example, the collector of Morgan silver dollars would do well to examine Morgans graded by a variety of services and sellers in order to determine in general what is considered to be MS-63, MS-64, MS-65, and higher grades.
Coins minted prior to 1836 often show minor weaknesses or friction spots even though they may never have been used in circulation. Such coins are often graded as Mint State rather than About Uncirculated, when they have superior eye appeal, luster, strike, or appearance.
Reproduced with permission from The Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards for United States Coins, 6th edition, © 2005 Whitman Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.