HomeNumismatic TermsMS64 : The In-Between Grade

MS64 : The In-Between Grade

The MS64 grade was introduced to bring more arbitrage to high-end MS63 coins.
The MS64 grade was introduced to bring more arbitrage to high-end MS63 coins.

MS64 is an in-between grade that splits the difference between MS63 (Choice) and MS65 (Gem).

On January 1, 1986, NCI (Numismatic Certification Institute), a Dallas, Texas-based third-party grading service begin to assign coins the grade MS64. Company grader Mike Sherman said the grade was implemented to “better communicate to our customers the realities under which today’s market operates.” Sherman also noted the significant price spread between MS63 and MS65 coins in the Coin Dealer Newsletter (the “Greysheet“).

The Numismatist described MS64 as a “new grade” in a February 1986 news piece. Also in early 1986, Accugrade owner/operator Alan Hagar described MS64 as an investor-quality grade.

As professional coin grading matured, the emphasis between MS63 and MS65 coins became less pronounced due to the publication of certified population reports, a significant decline in the sight-unseen “investor” market, and the development of a serious collector market for ultra-high-grade coins.

According to PCGS’ published grading standards, an MS64 coin has “average or better strike with scattered marks or hairlines, though none severe.” NGC defines the term as having, “average or better strike with several obvious marks or hairlines and other minuscule imperfections.”

In a general sense, the grade can also be called Choice.

Notes on Other Grades in the Sheldon Coin Grading Scale

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“NCI Assigns MS-64 Grade”, The Numismatist. ANA. February 1986. 233.

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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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