Author Topic: Grading coins  (Read 34794 times)

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Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2013, 05:19:05 PM »
Sometimes, minting techniques are confused with grades. They are: ....Brilliant Uncirculated: (BU) as unc, but without bag marks because the coins were collected separately. Today, this is often done for collector's sets

Within the American coin hobby the term "Brilliant Uncirculated" (BU) goes to the amount of original mint luster displayed by an uncirculated coin, and just isn't a descriptive term for a different method of manufacture or of packaging.

In the Krause catalogs "BU" is also discussed in connection with bagmarks, which means either a compromise with non-American grading is being made, or that constructive "MS" grading is being used, or both. I think both, with UNC corresponding to about MS60-62, and BU corresponding to about MS63 and above, that is, "FDC."

The main thing though is not to mislead new collectors. The term "BU" describes a grade, not a method of manufacture.

 ;) v.


Offline andyg

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2013, 06:47:32 PM »


The main thing though is not to mislead new collectors. The term "BU" describes a grade, not a method of manufacture.


You should write to the Royal Mint to tell them :)
http://www.taxfreegold.co.uk/brilliantuncirculated.html
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2013, 07:12:13 PM »
You should write to the Royal Mint to tell them :)
http://www.taxfreegold.co.uk/brilliantuncirculated.html

Wow. What a mess. And another good reason for getting things right here.

:) v.

Offline andyg

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2013, 07:45:15 PM »
I'm not sure I understand your point.

It would be nice if one set of rules / descriptions applied to coin collecting the whole world over.
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2013, 09:22:37 PM »
I'm not sure I understand your point.

My point is yours, I thought, from the link you provided:

“Brilliant Uncirculated
Means that the coin described is in mint, (although not necessarily perfect) condition with its original mint lustre.

“The Royal Mint
We believe the British Royal Mint distorted the English language when it started issuing "B.U. (Brilliant Uncirculated)" gold £5 (quintuple sovereign) coins in 1984, but this potential confusion did not come to light until 2000 when it issued not only a B.U. £5, but also a "bullion" version.
These "Brilliant Uncirculated" gold five pound (quintuple sovereign) coins were struck to a superior but non-proof finish, and were issued in limited editions in boxes and with certificates, at a price over double their intrinsic gold content. When later in 2000 it then issued a "bullion" version of the same coin at only about 20% over gold, the error created some six years previously became exposed. This coin was brilliant (bright, shiny, and lustrous) and was also uncirculated (it had not been in circulation), although it was struck to a slightly lower production standard than the so-called "B.U." (Brilliant Uncirculated) version. When we expressed the opinion that people who had already bought the "B.U." version at £525 would be disappointed to find a brilliant uncirculated "bullion" version being issued at £325, a Mint official informed us that they were two different things, and that our criticism was quite incorrect. Perhaps the Mint should have added some extra description to its "Brilliant Uncirculated" products such as superior finish, specimen grade, monnaie-de-luxe, F.D.C., to differentiate these products clearly from those struck to a circulation grade of finish.
It remains our firm opinion that the Royal Mint has created confusion in its careless use of the term B.U. or Brilliant Uncirculated.”

Yikes!

 ;) v.

Offline andyg

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2013, 09:38:55 PM »
Peter's original statement when taken in context was thus;

Quote
Sometimes, minting techniques are confused with grades. They are:

[...]

Brilliant Uncirculated: (BU) as unc, but without bag marks because the coins were collected separately. Today, this is often done for collector's sets

and the royal mint is doing exactly that.

 ;) ;) ;)
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2013, 10:40:54 PM »
And the link you referenced said:

"It remains our firm opinion that the Royal Mint has created confusion in its careless use of the term B.U. or Brilliant Uncirculated.”

This, unfortunately, is what I think Figleaf has done; BU is a coin grade, a coin condition, and not a method of manufacture or of packaging.

As your referenced link said: "Perhaps the Mint should have added some extra description to its "Brilliant Uncirculated" products such as superior finish, specimen grade, monnaie-de-luxe, F.D.C., to differentiate these products clearly from those struck to a circulation grade of finish."

 ;) v.

Offline andyg

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2013, 11:12:30 PM »

"It remains our firm opinion that the Royal Mint has created confusion in its careless use of the term B.U. or Brilliant Uncirculated.”

This, unfortunately, is what I think Figleaf has done; BU is a coin grade, a coin condition, and not a method of manufacture or of packaging.


But BU as a minting technique is confused with the grade - just as the grade BU is confused with the minting technique ???
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline Alan Glasser

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2013, 12:08:52 AM »
Hi, guys. You hit on one of my pet peeves. As a kid, I can clearly remember that there were numerous BU grades (back in the 1960's-1970's...even 1980's and maybe even more recently. Then we also had to deal with "Choice BU", "Gem BU", "Choice Gem BU", "Select BU"...and on and on.  Back then, there was some loose association with categories of BU with MS 62, 63, 64...and so on. It was a nightmare and varied from dealer to dealer. It was a real "guessing game". Today I associate BU solely with the presence of full mint luster regardless of grade. So, I BELIEVE you can have a MS-60 BU all the way up to MS-70 (if available) and the U.S. grading services have gotten awfully liberal with that label...unless the mint is really producing coins of that level for collectors. I assume there are precious few MS 68, 69, 70 grades issued for circulation.

What really gets me is the "first strike", "early issue" and other meaningless distinctions added to "slabs" by the grading services. I stepped into that trap briefly with a few gold and silver commemoratives but fortunately did not pay any premium of significance. What a RIP-OFF!!!!Sometimes I have to question the sanity of some collectors paying a huge premium for an MS-70 over MS-69...and I question the ability of the grading services to consistently and accurately MAKE that distinction.

Then we could talk about "cracking out"...which I did a few times when I was into certified U.S. material. The problem is, several of my pieces were "upgraded"...which means there is "gradeflation" or they weren't correctly graded in the first place. Now there is a premium for early U.S. PCGS slabs (green label) of which most of my U.S. type coins are. I'm NOT cracking any more out. I have come to dislike the whole slabbing thing...and believe that it has essentially ruined the hobby...especially for young collectors or those on a budget.

I guess I'm off the topic a bit...but I spent a LOT of time in my collecting days scratching my head about the grading issue. I still do!

Alan in Massachusetts

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2013, 12:17:43 AM »
But BU as a minting technique is confused with the grade - just as the grade BU is confused with the minting technique ???

No, there is no "BU as minting technique." Again, your link on what BU is, in its entirety:

“Brilliant Uncirculated
Means that the coin described is in mint, (although not necessarily perfect) condition with its original mint lustre."

Nothing at all about technique, only condition.

 ;) v.

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2013, 12:22:23 AM »
alglasser: "I BELIEVE you can have a MS-60 BU."

I agree (and I agree that it creates inconsistencies). Much what you wrote really resonates with my own experience.

 :) v.


Offline andyg

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2013, 12:25:55 AM »
No, there is no "BU as minting technique." Again, your link on what BU is, in its entirety:

“Brilliant Uncirculated
Means that the coin described is in mint, (although not necessarily perfect) condition with its original mint lustre."

Nothing at all about technique, only condition.

 ;) v.


http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,4995.msg44470.html#msg44470

The Uncirculated coin is struck from standard dies, once, the BU coin struck from what the mint calls special dies, with more pressure ;)
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2013, 12:39:50 AM »

http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,4995.msg44470.html#msg44470

The Uncirculated coin is struck from standard dies, once, the BU coin struck from what the mint calls special dies, with more pressure ;)

As your referenced link said: "Perhaps the Mint should have added some extra description to its "Brilliant Uncirculated" products such as superior finish, specimen grade, monnaie-de-luxe, F.D.C., to differentiate these products clearly from those struck to a circulation grade of finish."

 ;) v.

Offline andyg

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2013, 12:47:47 AM »
As your referenced link said: "Perhaps the Mint should have added some extra description to its "Brilliant Uncirculated" products such as superior finish, specimen grade, monnaie-de-luxe, F.D.C., to differentiate these products clearly from those struck to a circulation grade of finish."

 ;) v.

yes, I agree, I personally would not have chosen to describe BU as a production technique, but alas, I don't make the coins and we are rather stuck with it now - the BU sets having been marketed as such since circa 1983.
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline villa66

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Re: Grading coins
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2013, 10:49:17 PM »
yes, I agree, I personally would not have chosen to describe BU as a production technique, but alas, I don't make the coins and we are rather stuck with it now - the BU sets having been marketed as such since circa 1983.

Calling BU a production technique is the BRM's mistake; WoC shouldn't make it ours.

 ;) v.