What Does Mint Condition Mean?

What does mint condition mean? An ancient coin in mint condition shows the original patina with little or no wear and tear. You can determine right away that some coins are worn and some coins aren't. The...

You can determine right away that some coins are worn and some coins aren't. The degree of wear varies by how much the coin has been handled. An unhandled coin has the same sharpness of image at the highest point and at the lowest point. If the coin has been handled quite a bit, the highest points will wear off.


Wear and tear stops when a coin is taken out of circulation. Once a coin is lost, it generally stays in about the same condition until it is found again. Some factors might change it, though. For example, if the coin was lost in acidic soil, the acid could cause the coin to corrode, and it could even corrode to the point that it vanishes. Most ground is not highly acidic or alkaline. Some coins may also oxidize on the surface, but once you put them through a cleaning process to get back down to the original patina, you'll find that they are in just about the same condition as they were when lost.


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