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Accugrade – A Novel Approach to Coin Grading

On occasion, one might encounter coins in obsolete coin slabs. One such obsolete slab presents a few interesting insights, that–had they been adopted more broadly–could have benefited collectors.

 

Accugrade was a coin grading system based on strike and luster. The system, copyrighted by Alan Hagar, was the theoretical basis behind the early grading standards of the short-lived third-party grading service ASA Accugrade, which began grading operations in 1984.

Accugrade graded the coin based on the state of preservation (a numerical grade) and based on the coin’s attributes.

Early coin holder from the defunct ASA Accugrade company denotes a number of coin designations.
Early coin holder from the defunct ASA Accugrade company denotes a number of coin designations.

In the Accugrade coin grading system, strike was categorized by three alphabetical notations:

  • A – Full
  • B – Soft
  • C – Flat

Surface quality was measured on a three-point scale. For business strikes:

  • 1 – Frosted
  • 2 – Brilliant
  • 3 – Cleaned or Hairlined

For Proof or Prooflike coins:

  • 1 – Cameo Proof-Prooflike
  • 2 – Proof-Prooflike
  • 3 – Cleaned or Hairlined

It is important to note that ASA Accugrade was one of the earliest adopters of the Cameo designation for Proofs.

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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