GFRC Quality Ratings

What is the GFRC Quality Rating System?
The GFRC Quality Rating System is a means to qualitatively identify how desirable a coin is based on the criteria of a typical coin collector. The system provides five levels of differentiation: Gem, Choice, Original, Market Acceptable, and Cleaned. The order of these levels is most desirable to least desirable.

Why Create this System?
Pricing Transparency. The value a collector can obtain from a coin can vary significantly based on its quality. Within a single TPG rating, the retail sale price can range from +50% to -30% of the PCGS CoinFacts average based on the coin's quality. Understanding the quality of a coin is critical for collectors to negotiate a fair price for acquisition and divestment of individual coins.

Original Surfaces + Full Strikes + Eye Appeal = Higher Value (and Retail Pricing)

System Basis:
The assignment of a coin into a quality/pricing level is based on parameters employed for selecting the best possible coins when building my own Liberty Seated dime collection during the 1990 - 2010 timeframe.

To verify the value of this system and its accuracy to pricing impact, GFRC is performing data analysis on its sales history, comparing sales against the PCGS CoinFacts database. The hypothesis is the highest pricing premiums will transpire with Gem designed coins, while Cleaned coins will bring below average prices.

How does this compare to the CAC rating?
CAC approved coins will typical fall into the Original through Gem ratings with the majority being at the Choice level. CAC's mission is to identify those coins in the top 20% for each grade level, and this leads to many choice coins being stickered. Gems and Original make up the balance of the distribution. Purchasing CAC approved coins brings one additional layer of buyer protection beyond the TPGs certification and grading opinion. With the GFRC rating system, customers also receive an evaluation based on the scrutiny of long time collector and Liberty Seated researcher, Gerry Fortin.

Quality Rating Definition Example
Gem These are coins that offer no question original surfaces, are fully struck, are blemish free and have toning colors or luster that tickles the eyes. Bright light as well as in hand viewing performance is superior. The Classic Silver collection Liberty Seated quarters in the recent Gobrecht Journal (#125) centerfold are all gems. These are coins that astute collectors enjoy sharing with friends. Gems have high pricing premium against the guides while being the most liquid with presented to knowledgeable dealer (like GFRC).
Choice Commonly refered to as 'Choice Original', these are coins that have strictly original surfaces and few if any marks at their grade level. CAC Green stickered coins are typically above average and fail into this most cases. Eye appeal is high as there is strong contrast between device and fields on silver coins. Almost Uncirculated and Mint State coins will have bold mint frost. Choice coins will trade with a premium to the guides and are also straightforward to sell to fellow collectors or knowledgeable dealers.
Original These are coins that have surfaces that are most likely original with no obvious signs of a past cleaning. There will be some blemishes. Eye appeal may be limited due to uniform toning or coloring. Coins designated as original should slab if submitted in raw state to the TPGs. Original coins should sell near or at the price guides and dealers will expect a typical purchase discount unless the coin is a key or semi key date and easily resold.
Market Acceptable Coins with obvious mishandling but not severe enough to be immediately placed in Details or Genuine holders. Many of these pieces are "net graded" for some type of issue whether coloring is off or surfaces have too many blemishes. There could be faint hairlines from a subtle cleaning or dull surfaces from being over dipped. Many Market Acceptable coins are borderline in terms of TPG certification and best to leave in their holders as the plastic dominates the value and not the coin. Selling these types of coins will be difficult and expect a substantial discount.
Cleaned How in the world did this coin ever get into a TPG holder at a straight grade? These are what I believe to be obvious TPG grader mistakes as I can never get these types of coins to straight grade if I submit. Many of these types of coins are floating around in the numismatic industry and should be heavily discounted.