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AU58 : A Grade Just Shy of Being Mint State

An 1831 Capped Bust Quarter in AU58. Image: Stack's Bowers / CoinWeek.
1831 Capped Bust Quarter. Image: Stack’s Bowers / CoinWeek.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..
 

Also known as “About Uncirculated 58”, or sometimes referred to as “Borderline BU,” AU58 is a coin grade within the Sheldon Scale. A coin properly graded as AU58 will show only the slightest evidence of wear, typically on areas of highest relief. It will have 90% of its luster intact and may appear uncirculated except under certain lighting conditions.

This grade was introduced in the 1970s by numismatist (and CoinWeek contributor) Tom DeLorey.

AU58 coins are often attractive and can sometimes have better eye appeal than coins graded MS60-MS62. Some MS60 to MS62 coins exhibit “cabinet friction.” An argument can be made that cabinet friction or other collector-generated incidental contact on a coin should reduce the coin definitionally to AU58 – as this is wear. CoinWeek advises against paying Mint State prices for such coins when possible.

Current Definitions of AU58 from Major Third-Party Grading Services

CAC Grading (as of 4/2024):

CoinWeek asked for clarification on April 7, 2024.

NGC Grading (as of 4/2024):

“Slight wear on the highest points of the design. Full details.”

PCGS Grading (as of 4/2024):

“Only the slightest friction on the highest points. Virtually full luster.”

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Notes on Other Grades in the Sheldon Coin Grading Scale

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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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