Images and Grading


In days of yore, when people believed that the camera didn’t lie, we used to say that photographs were ‘unretouched’, i.e., we had not done anything to make them look better than they were. Some of the images here have been slightly altered, but only in order to make them look like the coin is. The images of the coins have not had bits replaced, holes filled, or blemishes removed, nor have they been otherwise deliberately enhanced to make them look better than they really are in the metal. However, do be warned, coins may well look lighter, or darker, or have a different colour on your screen - I have no control over that, I can only set it for my monitor.

The images are the copyright of Paul Withers. You may NOT re-use them without  permission, though permission is usually granted for private, non-commercial purposes, and if they are used, my copyright and their source must be acknowledged.

Inevitably, some of the pictures are not as good as the original coins.

One of the problems is that when backgrounds have been removed this can make the edge of the coin appear to be irregular.

Unless stated otherwise, all coins have normal edges !

There can be other problems too; the obverse of this gothic crown, for example, appears to have a large irregularly-shaped patch of darker toning, when it has nothing of the kind.

The problem is that the coin is too lovely, and the practically perfect mirror-like surface reflects an image of the camera !

Blacking over the shiny bits of the front of the camera did some good, as did fitting an enormous black lens hood, but the picture still has problems which the coin doesn’t.

Book Quality

Most people treat books with care and consideration, so most books, even quite old ones, are usually in quite good condition. Unless stated otherwise, secondhand books are in a reasonable, clean condition.

Look through the listing you will see that we make comments such as : 'Spine worn', 'Cover scruffy and faded'; 'Grubby, well-worn, several repairs'; 'Library bookplates, stamps, etc., o/wise a reasonable copy'; 'Spine partially missing', 'Plates and pages foxed and spotty'; 'Cover tatty and coming adrift. Needs rebinding'. From these comments, you will see that we try to ensure that those that are falling apart, those off which people have eaten their breakfast (you think I'm joking ?), are described as such. We want you, the customer to be happy with what you get from us.

Where it says 'slight', (usually abbr. to "sl."), this means tiny, a little, or very small. You will not find when you order a book described as 'slight tear to back cover' has the back cover half torn off. If it doesn't say 'falling apart', it isn't. We want our customers to continue to order books and coins over many years, which is why our goods are described fairly, so as to be received with pleasure, not disappointment.

As New - Used only when the book is in the same condition to which it was published. As far as we can tell there are no defects, no missing pages, no library stamps, etc., and the dust jacket (if it was issued with one) is fine, without any tears, or marks.

Very Good - Describes a book that does show some small signs of wear - but no tears - on either binding or paper. Any defects are noted.

Good - Describes the average, used worn book that has all pages or leaves present. Any defects that we have noted are mentioned.

For more information see article 'Book Grading' under the Blog.

Grades of Preservation

FDC Fleur de coin Perfect mint state - a grade that we use only very rarely.

UNC Uncirculated This term applies to modern coins only and implies that the coin is as issued by the mint. Due to modern methods of manufacture the coin will have imperfections such as bag marks.

 ProofPPFlan brunimed. præg
EFExtremely fineVorzüglichSuperbe01
VFVery fineSehr schönTres beau1+
frfairS.g.etres bien conservé1- 1?
medmediocreGut erhaltenbien conservé2

Some examples of grading:

Extremely fine:
Very fine:

A = Almost; G = Good. Thus AF = almost Fine. GF = Good Fine, i.e., better than Fine, but not as good as AVF.

/ is used to differentiate between obverse and reverse: VF/GF denotes that the obverse is VF whilst the reverse is GF. F-VF indicates that the grade of the coin varies between F and VF. If 'F or better' or some variant is stated we may have several examples and the minimum grade is Fine - though you could receive a better example.

WM = white metal. Br = brass. AE= copper or bronze. Al = aluminium. AR = silver. AV = gold.

Fe = iron. Pb = lead. Zn = Zink. conjd. = conjoined. e.k(s) = edge knock(s). cr. = crowned.

n.d. = no date. prcd = pierced. mntd = mounted. var = variety or variant. mm = mint mark.

Sizes are given in millimetres; thus Br 44 indicates that the item is made of brass and is 44 millimetres in diameter.

All coins, tokens, etc. are strictly described according to traditional conservative european standards.

U.S. coins are described according to standards laid down in 'Official A.N.A. Grading Standards for United States Coins'.

We mention faults such as scratches, pitting, metal or minting flaws such as off-centre striking, cracks, die flaws etc.

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