What Does AU Mean in Coins

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money.My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges.I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights.

Discover the intriguing world of coin grading, where a letter or number often follows the word “grade.”

Find out the exceptional level of preservation of the coin through this number. Learn the true meaning behind the AU coin grading in this article.

Gain a better understanding of whether this description accurately represents your coin.

What Does AU Mean in Coins?


Did you know that the AU grade is quite popular among coin collectors? AU” stands for “almost uncirculated,” and it’s a term commonly used to refer to coins with no signs of wear or damage.

So basically, they’re in mint condition, and you can hardly see any wear and tear. So basically, if a coin has never been used or circulated, it’s considered uncirculated.

But even if a coin has been in circulation, it can still be uncirculated if it hasn’t been damaged.

I want to let you know that when it comes to American coins, the term “mint condition exactly accurate since an official mint does not produce them.

However, you can still use it instead of the AU grade when discussing your coin finds. Let me tell you something important about this grade.

You should know the difference between “perfectly” and “imperfectly” graded AU coins. Even though both are almost uncirculated, collectors value them differently due to their condition.

50% to 70% of Mint Luster Remaining

So basically, when a coin has a grade of AU, it still has about 50% to 70% of its original mint luster. Hey there! Just wanted to let you know that when coins are graded as AU, they’re not fully struck.

This means that they might have a few marks or signs of wear. Hey there! Just wanted to let you know that in all numismatic markets, including coins and paper money, people use the term “AU.”

So basically, if a coin doesn’t have much shine from being freshly minted, it’s not quite considered in perfect condition (UNC).

But if it still has some shine and looks pretty good, it’s considered Almost Uncirculated (AU).

However, if it’s in pristine condition with no signs of wear, it’s considered Mint State (MS). These grades can vary quite a bit depending on the dealer or even the day.

It all comes down to their current inventory and what they think buyers are willing to pay for it. Hey there!

Did you know that dealers usually consider coins in this grade to be collectible?

That’s because they tend to have better eye appeal than lower-quality coins that may have been damaged by improper storage techniques or cleaned excessively over time.

Moderate Wear on High Points of Design


I think moderate wear on the high design points is the appropriate level for your coin. So, it’s not too worn out, but it’s also not still crisp and shiny.

On the flip side, it’s not too extreme. It’s just perfect! Hey, if you’re curious about what AU coins look like in real life and why we use this term, just look at the image above.

Slight Friction on Rims and Other High Spots

AU coins typically have only a little friction on their rims and other high spots.

You must be careful when rubbing a PCGS AU coin between your fingers. Otherwise, you might feel a slight amount of wear.

Learn about coins graded as AU or About Uncirculated.

An uncirculated coin denotes a numismatic item that has not been subjected to any circulation. The coin in question may be a mint state coin, meaning that it has never been circulated and is currently held in storage by either a government entity or a private collector.

The presence of “AU” on your coins indicates that they are in a satisfactory state of preservation, albeit exhibiting some degree of wear.

If one were to examine an AU-graded Morgan silver dollar closely under light, it would exhibit indications of wear, such as scratches but no dents.

No surface imperfections, such as scratches, will be observed upon examining an uncirculated Morgan silver dollar under magnification.

Before you go…

Now that you know what AU means in coins, you can feel confident when making your next coin purchase. You’re sure to find the grade of “About Uncirculated” precisely what you need for your collection!

Check out my next article: “Where to Send Your World Coins for Grading?

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