Grading 1870-1901


All of the grading tiers described herein by MICC do not guarantee of grade and authenticity of your coins.

There are many factors that interlink to finally decide on a coin’s grade. We can’t review all the relevant factors here but with the following list of standards given you should be well on your way to understand how to assign initial grades to coins. Additionally, you can add grades for specially struck collector coins. The same numerical grade in an MS (mint state) coin does not translate into a coin of the same value with another prefix.

Grading is not a science, but comes with years of practice and it is possible that two qualified graders may disagree about the final grade of a coin. Coins which are uncirculated have many different attributes, some of which may appeal to one grader and not another.

Any questions you may have about grading services can be answered by an authorized numismatic dealer. These professionals can help you decide which tier best meets your needs.

Know your dealer. And familiarize yourself with the standards that individual grading companies utilize to ensure that you yourself are happy with them.


Victoria 1870-1901
Diadem Portrait 
High points of obverse portrait design

  • The swept back hair covering the ears and the back of the diadem. The twist designs in the back knot.
  • Eyebrow and cheek bone.
  • Top row of jewels in the diadem.
  • Ribbon end overlapping neck

Minor signs of wear shown on highest points. Lustre is still strong over all parts of the coin except the high points. Over 75% of original mint lustre is still present.1870-1901_MS-60

Traces of wear now visible on all high pointes. Mint lustre is now down to 50% of original. The halo effect around the portrait is clearly evident.1870-1901_AU-50

Traces of wear have now moved down to the eyebrow, the back knot, the top jewels and the ribbon ends. 25% of lustre remains around the letters of the legend.1870-1901_EF-40

The sharpness of the design is lost. The hair covering the ear and diadem, the back knot, top jewels and the ribbon ends overlapping the neck are clear but have lost detail. Original mint lustre has disappeared. Eyebrow and facial features show wear.1870-1901_VF-20

The hair over the ear and diadem are worn. The diadem is clear but top jewels are worn. The lower twist of back knot is worn, with strands beginning to merge. The overlapping neck ribbon is worn through. Eyebrow and cheek bone are worn.1870-1901_F-12

The hair covering the ear and diadem and moving to the back knot are worn away and have no detail. The diadem itself shows considerable wear with vague outlines of the top jewels. Eyebrow and facial features are worn.1870-1901_VG-8

We are now down to a silhouette with the only detail showing that of the head band on the very back of the neck used to hold the diadem in place.