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How to Grade American Silver Eagles

Updated on February 11, 2011
American Silver Eagle
American Silver Eagle

Grading you own American Silver Eagles is an important step before sending your coins off to be graded by a professional grader.

Uncirculated Silver Eagle Grading:

American Silver Eagle coins are never released into circulation so the grades are normally between 65 and 70. A silver eagle with a grade of 70 means that the coin has no hairlines, no handling marks, and no defects at all. A grade of 65 on an american silver eagle means that the coin has a few scattered bag marks on the surface and 2 or 3 light rim marks. The less bag and rim marks on the coins the closer the coin is to an MS70. If the silver eagle has a edge knick it can be rated as low as MS60.

Proof Silver Eagle Grading:

Proof American Silver Eagle coins are graded tougher than their uncirculated counterparts.  Of course a perfect coins with still have the grade of 70 but proof coins are rated PROOF-70 instead of MS70.  A PROOF-65 silver eagle only shows fine hairlines with a magnifying glass.  The less hairlines that are found with a magnifier the close to PROOF-70 and most Silver Eagles are between PROOF-65 and PROOF-70.  If the proof silver eagle has handling marks that can be seen without a magnifying glass than it can be rated as low as a PROOF-60.

Grading Serivices

There are 2 top tier grading services that are well respected in the coin collecting universe.  These are PCGS and NGC.  Both grading services require you to send your coins in for grading and have masters at grading that send your coins back in a slab that protects your coin and generally increases the value.  There are 2 second tier grading services that I would not waste my time with.  These are IGN and ANACS.  This companies are generally trustworthy but not as consistent as PCGS and NGS and therefore not as well respected.  Any other grading company besides these four are just scammers, there are no other legitimate companies grading coins out there.


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