Definition of AG-3
A circulated coin graded AG-3 is very heavily worn, with portions of the lettering, date, and legends worn smooth. The date is barely readable. Rims merge into the lettering. A coin grading AG-3 will show significant wear that makes it almost unidentifiable. Most coin collectors try to obtain specimens that grade higher than AG-3. However, if budget restrictions prohibit you from obtaining a higher graded coin, obtaining a coin of this grade may be the only way for you to complete your collection.
Going beyond the Grade
AG-3 is one of the lowest grades that a coin can be graded. There are only two grades that are lower: PO-1 (Poor) and Fair (FR-2). Additionally, coins can grade AG-3 and still have some of their lettering and rims well defined. However, the overall condition of the coin must be taken into consideration. If the obverse has extensive wear on it to the point where some of the lettering and the rim is worn smooth, but the reverse has a defined rim and clear lettering that could be graded as G-6, the coin will still be graded AG-3. This is because whichever side of the coin has the lower grade this will be used to assign the overall grade that the entire coin.
Some coins may have details that may lead one to believe that the coin would grade higher than AG-3. But there may be problems on the coin that will push the grade to a lower grade than what your first impression may lead you to believe.
This may include significant scratches or dings that will dictate a lower grade.
The bottom line in grading coins is determining what the coin will sell for an open market. Remember, coin grading is subjective and what one person may think is an AG-3, another person may believe it is a G-4. There is no one correct answer since coin grading is an opinion and not a science.
Also Known As
A Morgan dollar that is graded AG-3 will have the letters along the rim merging into the rim.
- The exact descriptions of circulated grades vary widely from one coin issue to another, so the preceding commentary is only of a very general nature. It is essential to refer to the specific descriptions for a particular coin type when grading coins.
- While numbers from 1 through 59 are continuous, it has been found practical to designate specific intermediate numbers to define grades, resulting in steps. Hence, this text uses the following descriptions and their numerical equivalents, as approved by the ANA Board of Governors.
- While the preceding guidelines will undoubtedly prove useful to the reader, it is strongly advised that viewing actual coins in the marketplace will enable you to better determine grading practices affecting the series which interest you most. For example, the collector of Morgan silver dollars would do well to examine Morgans graded by a variety of services and sellers in order to determine in general what is considered to be MS-63, MS-64, MS-65, and higher grades.
Reproduced with permission from The Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards for United States Coins, 6th edition, © 2005 Whitman Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.