What does MS mean on a coin?

Mint State (MS) The numerical grades MS-60 through MS-70, used to denote a business strike coin that never has been in circulation. A Mint State coin can range from one that is covered with marks (MS-60) to a flawless example (MS-70).

  • Uncirculated (MS-60, 61, 62): An uncirculated coin with noticeable deficiencies, generally either an overabundance of bagmarks, a poor strike, or poor luster.
  • Select Uncirculated (MS-63): An uncirculated coin with fewer deficiencies than coins in lower uncirculated grades. In general, this will be an uncirculated coin with relatively ordinary eye appeal. Select Uncirculated is sometimes used to refer to a coin grading MS-62.
  • Choice Uncirculated (MS-64): An uncirculated coin with moderate distracting marks or deficiencies. These coins generally have average to above average eye appeal.
  • Gem Uncirculated (MS-65, 66): An uncirculated coin with only minor distracting marks or imperfections. At this point, mint luster is expected to be full, although toning is quite acceptable.
  • Very Fine (VF): The coin will have medium to light wear overall, and all general details will be visible. As a rule of thumb, for seated coins, Barber coins, Liberty Nickels, and Indian Head Cents, all seven letters of LIBERTY will be visible and strong.
  • Extremely Fine (XF): The coin has light wear over the high points only. There may be some traces of mint luster. Also commonly abbreviated as EF.
  • About Uncirculated (AU): The coin has wear ranging from extremely light to only a trace of friction on the highest points, along with medium to nearly full luster.
  • Brilliant Uncirculated ( BU): A coin described as BU means the coin is in Brilliant Uncirculated condition, meaning the coin has not been circulated and shows no signs of wear.