NGC Details Descriptions Glossary

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A variety of surface conditions result in a coin receiving an NGC Details grade instead of a numeric grade. The description of the surface condition present on the coin is printed on the NGC certification label below the NGC Details grade. Below is a complete list of surface conditions and definitions. 

ALTERED COLOR - When the color of a coin has been artificially changed. Typically used to describe copper coins that have been altered to appear to have more red mint luster.

BENT - Coins are simply that — they show a non-mint-made curvature when viewed on end

BRUSHED - A coin that has been wiped with an abrasive materials.

BRUSHED (OBV) - When the obverse of a coin has been wiped with abrasive material.

BRUSHED (REV) - When the reverse of a coin has been wiped with abrasive material.

BURNISHED - A more aggressive form of cleaning resulting in a very brilliant but unnatural sheen.

CHOPMARKED - Coins that have had Asian characters punched into them as assurances of their value by the merchants who handled them many years ago.

CHOPMARK REPAIR - When a chopmark has been fully or partially effaced through tooling or filling.

CLEANED - A coin exhibiting abrasive or chemical cleaning.

CLEANED (OBV) - When the obverse of a coin has been cleaned and is not in its original state.

CLEANED (REV) - When the reverse of a coin has been cleaned and is not in its original state.

CLIPPED - An irregularly cut planchet. The clip may be straight or curved.

CORROSION - A natural chemical reaction, it causes the surfaces of a coin to develop pitting.

CORROSION (OBV) - When the obverse surface of a coin has been pitted due to corrosion.

CORROSION (REV) - When the reverse surface of a coin has been pitted due to corrosion.

DAMAGED - A catchall term used when the coin displays any form of destructive contact that may not be defined more precisely.

DAMAGE (OBV) - When the obverse of a coin displays any form of destructive contact that may not be defined more precisely.

DAMAGE (REV) - When the reverse of a coin displays any form of destructive contact that may not be defined more precisely.

EDGE CORROSION - When the outer edge of a coin has been pitted due to corrosion.

EDGE DAMAGE - When the edge of a coin displays any form of destructive contact that may not be defined more precisely.

EDGE FILING - An attempt to alter or repair coins by filing in the edge.

EDGE REPAIR - Repair a mark or damage to the edge.

ENGRAVED - Carving details into the surface to enhance the coin's appearance.

ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE - The result of a hostile storage environment, where the exact cause of the surface damage is indeterminable

ETCHED STARS - No longer used. See ENGRAVED.

EXCESSIVE SURFACE HAIRLINES - No longer used. See CLEANED.

GRAFFITI - A coin into which initials or some other writing has been scratched or carved. This may be narrowed down to read OBV GRAFFITI or REV GRAFFITI.

GRAFFITI (OBV) - When initials or some other writing has been scratched or carved into the obverse of a coin.

GRAFFITI (REV) - When initials or some other writing has been scratched or carved into the reverse of a coin.

HARSHLY CLEANED - An extreme and aggressive form of cleaning.

HOLED - A coin that has had a hole punched in it post-minting.

IMPROPERLY CLEANED - No longer used. See CLEANED.

IMPROPERLY CLEANED (OBV) - No longer used. See OBV CLEANED.

IMPROPERLY CLEANED (REV) - No longer used. See REV CLEANED.

LIGHT SURFACE HAIRLINES - No longer used. See CLEANED.

MODERATE SURFACE HAIRLINES - No longer used. See CLEANED.

MOUNTED - Refers to some sort of jewelry attachment still present with the coin.

MOUNT REMOVED - Indicates that the coin was formerly mounted to a ring or bezel and that this attachment has left evidence of its one-time presence.

MUTILATED - The coin displays an extreme form of damage, whether intentional or accidental.

PLANCHET FLAW - A planchet defect on either side of the coin.

PLANCHET FLAW (OBV) - A planchet defect on the obverse side as made.

PLANCHET FLAW (REV) - A planchet defect on the reverse side as made.

PLUGGED - Coins are ones that were previously holed, typically for suspension as jewelry, and have had their holes filled in to conceal the damage. As the affected area usually includes design features, these will show evidence of re-engraving.

POLISHED - Similar to Burnished, though it’s typically applied when the abrasive action is less severe, resulting in a glossy finish.

RE-ENGRAVED (OBV) - When the obverse of a coin that has had worn or damaged details replaced through the use of engraving or chasing.

RE-ENGRAVED (REV) - When the reverse of a coin that has had worn or damaged details replaced through the use of engraving or chasing.

REPAIRED - Damage to a coin that has subsequently been repaired.

REPAIRED (OBV) - Damage to the obverse of a coin that has subsequently been repaired.

REPAIRED (REV) - Damage to the reverse of a coin that has subsequently been repaired.

RIM DAMAGE - Excessive damage to the coin's rim.

RIM DAMAGE (OBV) - Excessive damage to the obverse rim.

RIM DAMAGE (REV) - Excessive damage to the reverse rim.

RIM FILING - Done to coins to remove irregular metal or to even out their rims. It may be used to obscure normal circulation damage or signs of jewelry use. OBV RIM FILED and REV RIM FILED are used to identify the specific c area affected.

RIM FILED (OBV) - Done to the obverse of a coin to remove irregular metal or to even out their rims.

RIM FILED (REV) - Done to the reverse of a coin to remove irregular metal or to even out their rims.

RIM REPAIR - Work performed to obscure either naturally occurring or intentionally inflicted damage to the rim of a coin. A common cause of such damage was the attachment of coins to pins or rings, as well as encasement of a coin within a bezel or “lucky coin” frame.

SCRATCHES - Though very minor scratches may permit a coin to be numerically graded use of this term with an NGC Details grade indicates that the damage is more severe.

SCRATCHED (OBV) - When the obverse surface of a coin has scratches.

SCRATCHED (REV) - When the reverse surface of a coin has scratches.

SEA SALVAGED - Coins recovered from the sea that are unreadable due to unsuitable storage containers, extreme heat and humidity, and/or atmospheric pollutants or saltwater.

SMOOTHING - Akin to "Tooled," used when the exact means of achieving the described effect is unknown

SOLDERED - A coin that has been used as an item of jewelry and still displays evidence of this traditional bonding agent. Solder may or may not be removable with NCS conservation NCS conservation

SPOT REMOVALS - The unskilled, mechanical removal of "flyspecks,” small black spots of intense toning or corrosion. It also refers to similar removal of reddish “copper spots” often seen on gold coins.

SPOT REMOVED (OBV) - The unskilled, mechanical removal of "flyspecks” (small black spots of intense toning or corrosion) from a coins obverse.

SPOT REMOVED (REV) - The unskilled, mechanical removal of "flyspecks” (small black spots of intense toning or corrosion) from a coins reverse.

STAINED (OBV) - When the obverse of a coin displays discoloration but not corrosion. More often than not such staining is irremovable.

STAINED (REV) - When the reverse of a coin displays discoloration but not corrosion. More often than not such staining is irremovable.

STAINED - When coins display discoloration but not corrosion. More often than not such staining is irremovable.

SURFACE HAIRLINES - No longer used. See CLEANED.

TOOLED - Refers to either the smoothing of a coin’s fields to remove scratches, corrosion and other forms of damage or to the restoration of lost details through use of a graver or knife.

TOOLED (OBV) - The smoothing of a coin’s fields on the obverse to remove scratches, corrosion and other forms of damage or to the restoration of lost details through use of a graver or knife.

TOOLED (REV) - The smoothing of a coin’s fields on the reverse to remove scratches, corrosion and other forms of damage or to the restoration of lost details through use of a graver or knife.

WHEEL MARK (OBV) - When a coin-counting machine has left a concentrated series of hairlines or a highly polished spot on a coin's obverse.

WHEEL MARK (REV) - When a coin-counting machine has left a concentrated series of hairlines or a highly polished spot on a coin's reverse.

WHIZZED - A coin that has cleaned and/or rubbed with a fine wire brush to simulate an uncirculated coin.

WIPED - A coin that displays surface hairlines in one or more isolated areas. This is usually the result of accidental mishandling rather than intentional cleaning, but it still requires Details Grading.


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