Admiral Vernon Medals Grading Guide
Determinación del Grado de Conservación
The following is a grading guide for the
Admiral Vernon Medals.
It is based on the Sheldon grading scale of 1-70 which is widely used in the
United States and elsewhere including Panama.
Grading is an art, and is subjective in nature. Different collectors and dealers
will have legitimately different opinions about the same medal. However,
there are generally recognized standards used as a basis for grading coins, medals
and tokens. I have not found any published standards for grading Admiral
Vernon medals. The guide below is my application of the Sheldon grading scale
to Admiral Vernon medals.
It is tempting to be liberal when grading coins and medals that one owns.
I advise you
to resist that temptation and be a conservative grader. This means that
"almost" is not good enough! By being a conservative grader other collectors
will be more willing to trade with you, you will seek to improve your collection
when you might otherwise be complaisant, and you will become a better grader which
will help you make wiser purchases.
After the descriptions of the different grades below is a discussion of
how to grade damaged Admiral Vernon medals.
Sometimes referred to as the "basil state". This is an object that
is barely recognizable as having been a coin or medal. The design is almost
completely gone due to wear or corrosion. Not much is known beyond
the diameter and metal of the coin or medal. This object has no numismatic value.
Extremely heavy wear or damage. The coin can be recognized as being an Admiral
Vernon medal, but due to wear and or damage, the type can not be discerned.
This medal has no numismatic value.
About Good (AG-3)
Very heavily worn with portions of the lettering, date and legends worn smooth.
The rim is worn, and the design is very flat. Severe and numerous marks are allowed.
However, you must be able to make out the type of Admiral Vernon medal, within
reason. Some types are distinguished by minor differences in fine details, which
may be worn away.
This is the lowest grade with some numismatic value. Collectors may buy an AG-3
condition coin to fill a hole in their collection until they can find a better
one. Common types will have minimal numismatic value.
Heavily worn. Major designs visible but flat and may be faint in areas. The
peripheral lettering should be mostly full, and most legends should be visible.
The rim or edge should be mostly intact, but worn edges are allowed.
Numerous marks are allowed but should not be so
severe that a major design feature is unrecognizable.
An Admiral Vernon medal in this state has some numismatic value, especially
a rare or scarce type.
Very Good (VG-8)
Well worn. Bold major designs but absence of fine details. Edges and rims
should be intact. The peripheral lettering should be full. Some letters in each
motto or legend in the middle of the medal may be worn away but some should be
visible. Some marks are allowed but should not
be too severe. This medal has some numismatic value, especially if it is a
rare or scarce type.
Moderate but even wear. Bold entire design but with some weaknesses. Deep
recessed areas should retain their detail. About 50% of all the fine detail should
be present. Most letters in each motto or legend should be visible although some
may be weak. Some marks are allowed but should not be very deep, long, or distracting.
Many Admiral Vernon medals are in this state. They have numismatic value, and
are generally the minimum grade that collectors prefer to have in their collection.
Very Fine (VF-20, VF-30)
Generally light wear, moderate wear at high points. All major features must be
present and clear. About 75% of all the fine detail should
be present. Overall it should be an attractive medal.
Extra Fine (EF-40, EF-45)
Light wear on the highest points. Most of the devices on the
coin are sharp, clearly defined. About 90% of all the fine detail
should be present. Traces of luster may show. Overall it
should be an attractive medal.
About Uncirculated (AU-50, AU-55, AU-58)
Traces of wear or friction on the highest points. At least 50% of
the original mint luster should be present. The details and lettering
on the coin are very sharp and clearly defined. Overall it
should be a very attractive medal. A novice may describe it as "shiny"
and "new", and be unable to distinguish it from an uncirculated medal.
An Admiral Vernon medal in this condition is a rare find, and very valuable.
Uncirculated (MS-60 to MS-70)
No trace of wear whatsoever. Original mint luster fully present, but
can range from poor and unattractive to highly attractive. Coins may have
toning and copper coins may be anywhere from fully brown to fully red in color.
An Admiral Vernon medal in this state would be an extremely rare find, and
How to Grade Damaged Admiral Vernon Medals
Bends are not a common problem with Admiral Vernon medals. A medal that has a
minor bend (a 10 degree or less angle) has a maximum value similar to an F-12 medal.
a more significant bend, the maximum value is similar to a G-4 medal. The medal
is described by the grading and a description of the damage, as in: "VF-20 bent"
or "VF-20 with a slight bend."
A small neat hole in an Admiral Vernon medal generally reduces the value of
the medal about one grade. The coin is described by the grading and a description
of the hole, as in: "F-12 with a small hole for stringing". A sloppy hole might reduce the value
by two grades, and a random or severe hole might reduce the value by three grades
or give the medal the value of an AG medal, even if
the medal was otherwise in great shape. Holes are a common issue with Admiral
Vernon medals, and collectors are generally willing to include holed medals in their
collection if the medal is otherwise in F-12 condition or better.
- Edge Damage
Medal rims can be damaged with bumps or dings, and a significant ding or rim bump
reduces the value of the coin about one grade. Damage to the edges of Admiral
Vernon medals is common. In describing the medal, minor edge damage need not be
mention unless the overall medal condition is VF or better. The medal is described
grading and a description of the damage, as in: "VF-20 with a rim bump on the obverse"
or "VF-20 with a rim ding at 2 o'clock
on the obverse." Minor edge damage to otherwise VF or better medals can reduce
the value of the medal about one grade.
- Example of a Damaged Medal
Scale: 6 pixels equals one millimeter
The medal above probably has an overall grade of EF-40 (Extra Fine), with light
wear on the highest points, and at least 90% of fine detail present. However
this medal has major edge damage, somewhat similar to having a severe hole.
I would penalize the medal three grades, so it would have the same value as
as a VG-8 medal. Others may penalize this medal even more and give it the same
value as an AG-3 medal.