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Cold Sea

Burnished grade

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Cold Sea



I found the above listing interesting and discovered the following:


NGC defines as follows: BURNISHED is the term used when the cleaning is more aggressive and gives the coin a very brilliant but unnatural sheen. Sometimes this action is performed with some abrasive media such as ball bearings, or it may result from treatment within a rock tumbler.


I also found this loose definition:


Burnishing: A process by which the surfaces of a planchet or a coin are made to shine through rubbing or polishing. This term is used in two contexts – one positive, one negative. In a positive sense, Proof planchets are burnished before they are struck – a procedure done originally by rubbing wet sand across the surfaces to impart a mirror like finish. In a negative sense, the surfaces on repaired and altered coins sometimes are burnished by various methods.In some instances, a high-speed drill with some type of wire brush attachment is used to achieve this effect.



The first picture shows a rock tumbler and the second the result.


In the second definition, it mentions a wire brush to achieve this result, but this is defined as whizzing by NGC.


And then I found this:


An Uncirculated coin usually means a coin that has never been circulated, a coin that is in "Mint State." This means the coin is just as minted, with absolutely no wear on it at all (although bag marks are okay.)

Throughout most of the history of coin collecting, the term Uncirculated has always been clear; it meant a coin that had never been circulated. However, in 2005 the U.S. Mint made a change to the finish on the coins in its annual "Uncirculated Mint Sets" to give the coins a distinctive burnished, or so-called "Satin Finish" appearance. Because the Mint continues to use the term "Uncirculated" to describe Satin Finish coins, despite objections from the hobby, there is much confusion in the current coin collecting marketplace among new collectors regarding this term.

The easiest way to solve the confusion is to avoid using the term "Uncirculated" altogether. Current coin grading standards call a coin that has never been circulated "Mint State," so "Mint State" is the term that should be used to describe such coins. If you are describing a coin that has the burnished appearance, refer to it as "burnished" or "Satin Finish." This way, you are clearly describing the coin in a non-confusing manner.

Interesting and confusing to say the least.


Edited by Cold Sea

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