Coin collectors strive for the highest degree of preservation that they can get. In Canadian coins, it can generally be said that those dates from the past 40 or 50 years should be “Uncirculated” (UNC) to be collectable. No wear at all.
A few decades ago, the top grades were “UNC”, “BU” (Brilliant Uncirculated) and “BU Gem”. Now they go by a numbering system, the ordinary UNC with normal bag marks and so-so lustre are “MS-60”; “BU”s are now MS-62 or -3 while the Gems are MS-64 to -67 (MS-70 is absolutely perfect, held to be impossible). For older coins, these increasing degrees of perfection are worth money, a “BU” worth perhaps double an ordinary UNC and a Gem several times that of a BU – it all depends on the scarcity.
Check with your local coin or book store for the following titles. These are two great books to help you begin to understand how to grade your Canadian Coins.
“Guide for Grading Coins of Canada”,
first edition (2015) by
Anndre Langlois, ANPB Editor Boucherville.
Guide to Coin Collecting – Index