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THE QUALITY

The most important coins for sale in our e-commerce are presented with 6 histograms, one for each important aspect used to determine their value. So that you can collect in a more conscious and informed way.

 

The grading of the coins

One important aspect that determines the value of a coin is the correct grading of it.

For this reason we study the techniques of production, carefully analyzing each exemplar by powerful lenses and microscope if necessary.

We use the European system of grading for our coins, ranging from VG (Very Good) to BU (Brilliant Uncirculated)

Shown below the system adopted with a brief description for each grade.

Abbreviation

Grade

Description

VG

Very Good

Heavy wear on all the coin with about 25% of original detail visible.

F

Fine

Heavy wear on all the coin with about 50% of original detail visible.

VF

Very Fine

Moderate wear with about 75% of detail visible.

EF

Extremely Fine

Little wear with about 95% of original detail visible.

BU

Brilliant Uncirculated

No sign of wear, not even under a powerful microscope, with full mint lustre.

 

Proof isn’t properly a grade but a special method of production using especially prepared polished coin dies and planchets. Proofs are usually struck twice, with slower speed but more pressure. The resulting coins usually have a mirror field and raised areas are frosted in appearance.

In the histogram present in the data sheet of each exemplar is graphically reported the level of the grade.

It’s adopted a grading in seventieths to help the Asian and American collectors accustomed to the Sheldon Grading System.

Other eventual defects will be reported among the notes in the data sheet.

We want to underline that we carefully analyze the coins to discover possible invasive restorations, especially for the Roman bronze coins, aimed to increase the grade and therefore the charm of a coin.

 

The rarity

Another notable aspect in determining the value of a coin is the rarity. Coins have been produced in great quantity since the ancient times and, being “industrial products”, they’re often common objects.

But in many cases this isn’t true.

There are exemplars very difficult to find, sometimes practically unavailable; in some cases the rarity is subordinated to the big demand of the collectors for certain symbolical issues (for example the coins of Julius Caesar). In the histogram is graphically reported in percentage the level of rarity of the item, spanning from a low percentage for very common or common coins (C) to 100% for extremely rare ones, uniques or known in few specimens (RRRRR).

Shown below the table of the rarity with a brief description for each level.

Abbreviation

Description

C

Common

NC

Not common

R

Rare

RR

Very rare

RRR

Particulary rare

RRRR

Extremely rare

RRRRR

Of the greatest rarity

 

 

The metal and the patina

Also the quality and the visual aspect of a coin’s metal is a key factor in rating it.

The metal of a coin can be damaged by the time goes on.

Sometimes the defects can be caused by the low quality metal used during the minting process.

The damages could be caused by an improper cleaning or a bad restoration too.

Another aspect examined in this parameter is the patina, if present.

With the time a thin layer can appear on the surface of a coin due to the exposure to light, chemical compounds or atmospheric elements. Relevant is also the way the collectors kept it.

An old collection patina can increase the charm of a coin and its value, especially for a silver one.

The original old patinas, like the green or riverine ones on the Roman bronze coins, attract the collectors.

We remark the adjective original because in many cases the patinas are artificial, created to increase the value of a coin.

If an original patina is presented on a coin, we’ll report it in the data sheet resulting in a high rating in the histogram too.

Artificial patinas or modern oxidations, detected during the examination, will result in a lower rating in the histogram.

A low rating will be reserverd for coins with porosity, excessive oxidations, crystallizations et al.

On the contrary, coins with a metal without particular issues will receive a really high rating in the histogram.

Also aggressive polishing can damage the metal of a coin causing a low rating.

 

The style

For the ancient coins is really important the style of the coin dies used for the minting.

Coins with a coarse style will receive a low rating in the histogram. Otherwise coins with a fine style will receive an higher evaluation up to the maximum for the most artistic ones.

 

The coinage

In the evaluation of the coins, especially the hammered ancient ones, is very important to examine deeply the process of production and the materials used.

Exemplars minted in a large not fractured flan and well centered will receive an high rating.

Coins with high reliefs will receive an high evaluation reported in the histogram.

On the contrary, exemplars with damaged flan, not centered and with low reliefs will receive a lower rating.

Same importance is reserved to the production with not worn out or not rusted coin dies.

 

The provenance

Another significant element to take in consideration when determining the value of a coin is the provenance or pedigree, that is the certification of the various passages of the coin in the numismatic market and collections.

A coin with an old provenance, sold in prestigious auctions (Santamaria, Leu, Frank Sternberg et al.) or displayed in important collections (A. Moretti, A. Magnaguti, S. Pozzi etc.), will receive an higher percentage in the histogram than another one with a more recent or less prestrigious pedigree.

Naturally, it’s not always possible to report the provenance of a coin due to the Privacy Laws, but we remark that all the coins offered by Moruzzi Numismatica have an absolutely legal provenance registered in the Italian authorities’ lists.