PCGS: The Standard for the Rare Coin Industry

PCGS CoinFacts Condition Census

IMPORTANT NOTE: The PCGS CoinFacts Condition Census is a work-in-progress and should be used as a guide only. While every effort is made to be as accurate as possible, errors and omissions may occur. In addition, the census of any particular coin can and does change as new coins are graded and/or discovered. Buyers or sellers of a particular coin should do their own research to determine the relative importance of that coin. PCGS CoinFacts welcomes the input of knowledgeable collectors and dealers to help improve the PCGS CoinFacts Condition Census listings.

The PCGS CoinFacts Condition Census lists the ten finest examples known of a particular coin. PCGS certified coins are listed at their stated grade. Raw coins and coins certified by other companies are listed with an estimated grade. Where known, auction history or private offerings/sales are included.

Here are the terms used for the grades and what they represent:

  • PCGS grade – This refers to a coin that has been graded by PCGS.
  • PCGS estimated grade – This refers to a coin that has not been submitted to PCGS for grading but has been examined by PCGS Graders and the "PCGS estimate grade" is what they believe the coin would most likely grade if submitted to PCGS for grading.
  • Estimated grade – Estimated grades are used for great collections that were put together and/or sold before PCGS was in existence. The estimated grades are based on auction catalog notes of PCGS founders, all of whom attended many of the great auctions held in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s and viewed the actual coins. The estimated grades are also derived from input from the PCGS Advisory Board. For older collections sold at auction prior to 1970, the estimated grade is a guess based on the cataloguer’s description.

Coins with multiple designations will have multiple census listings. For example, Mercury dimes have a census for the non-full band, i.e. “MS” designated coins, a census for full band, i.e. “MSFB” coins, and a census for “All” which is a combination of both non-full band and full band coins. Thus, it is important to compare all the designations for a particular coin in their proper context. The censuses for the various designations can be view by clicking the specific tab at the top of the census listing. The following coins (and their designations) are affected:

  • Copper coins (BN, RB, RD)
  • Jefferson Nickels (non-FS and FS)
  • Mercury and Roosevelt Dimes (non-FB and FB)
  • Standing Liberty Quarter Dollars (non-FH and FH)
  • Franklin Half Dollars (non-FBL and FBL)
  • Morgan Silver Dollars (non-PL, PL, and DMPL)
  • Proof coins (non-CA, CA, DC)

Note that for the “All” census the census order for mixed designations is achieved by comparing the value of the particular grade and designation combination as listed in the PCGS Price Guide.