Banknotes and coins grading

Banknotes grading process

When a submission is received, we activate a strict protocol to be sure that every collectible is certified with maximum professionalism and care.

First of all, we check the package against the submission paperwork to be certain that all the banknotes described on it are in NCV Grading facilities and that the description of the client matches. Once we have done that, we take high quality photographs of every collective. 

Then we verify the authenticity and check the Pick of each banknote submitted. NCV will only grade original banknotes and coins with a pick or km, except on rare occasions in which a replica or a document of value without a pick has a special attraction for the collector and requests it.

At this point, we make a first analysis of its conservation and grade. We will repeat this analysis before graduating it definitely.

Now is when we encapsulate the banknote with last generation materials that will grant its optimal protection. We create a label with all its characteristics in detail. 

Our specialists inspect the banknote one more time and add the certification details and photographs to the NCV Grading registration database. 

Finally, after all these quality controls, encapsulated banknotes are carefully prepared to be returned to the client. 

NCV Grading Scale 

We can’t understand a banknote certification without the highest accuracy. That’s why in NCV Grading we go further than a simple analysis of conservation of the collectibles our clients submit us. 

In our scale, based on internationally recognized Sheldom scale, we consider the print quality and the original paper conservation. So we grade with 1, 2 or 3 stars those characteristics going from lower to higher excellence.
If we observe that a banknote has been restored, we point it in the label reverse with an “R” (Minor repairs) if it’s a professional, quality and small job, or an “R+” (Repaired) if the restoration job is a big one. 

  • Let’s see how our scale is and every grade meaning: 
  • Three stars: superior paper quality and originality so it will be assigned with the TQP designation (Top Quality Paper). Must be banknotes in all its magnificence and completely original and will not have been physically or chemically processed. They will have and special attractive.

  • Grade 70: Uncirculated premium.
    The excellence grade. Banknote must have no evidence of handling and condition couldn’t be better. These banknotes will be always designated with 3 stars quality paper with no sign of manipulation.  Design centred and extremely attractive. This grade is quite exceptional as imply perfection not only in design but in conservation. Having a 70 is like having a jewel. 

  • Grade 69. Uncirculated premium.
    No evidence of manipulation and very close to perfection. Design may appear slightly off centre but practically unappreciable. 

  • Grade 68. Uncirculated premium.
    A minor incidence could be seen. One of the margins may be slightly off centre. Very attractive.

  • Grade 67 Choice Uncirculated.
    Could have a minor handling and/or above-average margins. Very showy.

  • Grade 66. Choice Uncirculated.
    A banknote with a very slight incidence or slightly off centre so it can’t have a higher grade. 

  • Grade 65. Choice Uncirculated.
    The banknote could have very slight incidences or small accidents. Could be slightly off centre but still exceptional quality and very showy. 

  • Banknotes that not reach 3 stars in originality and paper quality will be assigned with a 65 grade as much. Demerits will make them lose higher positions.

  • Banknotes handled and designated with an R or R+ on its label will get a 63 as much and, of course, will lose the 3 stars paper qualification. 

  • Grade 64. Uncirculated.
    Banknote with 3 or more small incidences. Could be off centre. With no important folds or creases. Visual attractive is untouched.

  • Grade 63. Uncirculated.
    Banknote with incidences that stop it to reach higher grades. Could be very off centre. Attractive to the eye. With no important folds or creases. 

  • Grade 62. Uncirculated.
    This banknote has never circulated. Incidences in the margins and/or corners. With no significant folds or creases but may have minor incidences 

Grade 60. An uncirculated banknote with incidences. May have corner issues, counting marks, small smudges, staples or pores. No important folds or creases. It is attractive but even having never been on circulation has several low impact incidences that set it on this level. 


  • Grade 58. Choice About Unc.

Very showy banknote. Usually one or two slight folds set it on this level. It looks like a higher grade to the eye but a professional analysis shows evidences to set it here without losing attractiveness. Excellent conservation. Consistent paper and part of the original lustre

  • Grade 55. About uncirculated.

  • Commonly assigned to a note that has two slight creases or one crease bigger. This doesn’t make it less attractive to the eye, with consistent paper and lustre. No bigger incidences.

  • Grade 53. About uncirculated.
    Banknote with a medium fold and/or two small creases and/or corner issues. Keep being a beautiful collectible with lustre and consistency. 

  • Grade 50. About uncirculated.
    Banknote with a medium fold and/or two bigger than the ones allowed in higher grades.  It is still visually attractive and has a good conservation. Keeps lustre and consistent paper. 

  • Grade 45. Choice Extremely Fine.
    Could have several folds, maybe no evident.  Sometimes it is so attractive that may be thought to be in the wrong grade but this is because professional analysis detects incidences and/or accidents. A bit attractive and excellent conservation 

  • Grade 40. Extremely Fine.

A banknote with 3 evident medium folds but still showy. It keeps the attractive and a bit of lustre but has incidences/accidents of circulation. Could have slightly rounded or folded corners, creases, smudges, micro cracks and/or pores of circulation. Consistent paper and visually attractive. 

  • Grade 35. Choice Very Fine.
    A banknote with incidences of medium consideration for having been in circulation. Accidents/incidences on its original state are evident. 4 or 5 folds can be seen without losing its attractiveness. Minor visible and/or hidden stains and low-impact micro cracks can often be found. 

  • Grade 30. Very Fine.
    No significant folds and moderate dirt don’t allow it to have higher grades. Consistent paper. Clear evidences of circulation but still showy. 

  • Grade 25. Very Fine.

Moderate soiling and numerous folds. No heavy incidences or accidents. Paper could be whole. Incidences don’t allow it to have higher grades. Could have 6 to 10 folds of diverse consideration without heavy damage but evident incidence and/or accidents.

  • Grade 20. Very Fine.

Light soiling and numerous creases/accidents. No serious incidences. It can have multiple incidences/accidents. It is very possible that it has worn corners and small micro cracks without being significant. Paper will have lost consistency, with evident marks of circulation.

  • Grade 15. Fine.
    Numerous creases, accidents e incidences from moderate to severe. Banknote clearly worn. Paper keeps a bit of its original consistency. It is obvious that it had an intense circulation. It has visual attraction but can have intense stains and soiling.

  • Grade 12. Fine.

Clear signs of circulation. Creases, stains, corner issues, cracks… Paper with a bit of consistency. Could have small holes with no big missing pieces.

  • Grade 10. Very Good.
    Many stains, multiple accidents, numerous and considerate creases, weak paper, worn corners and/ or margins and small cracks or splits. Evidences of heavy circulation. 

  • Grade 8. Very Good.
    Paper weak and/or dirt. Could have splits, rounded corners and considerable stains. Numerous accidents and/or incidences without very serious problems that would set it in lower grades. 

  • Grade 6. Good.
    Serious incidences of circulation. Numerous creases. Banknotes no very visually attractive. Very circulated. Cuts, creases, splits, micro cracks, worn corners and intense stains. Weak paper. This grade is for banknotes that can’t reach a Very Good/BC- because their numerous incidences/accidents. 

  • Grade 4. Good.
    Multiple incidences and/or accidents. Could be missing paper, splits, micro cracks, intense stains or cracks. Many incidences that don’t allow it to go higher in the scale. Little visual attractive. 

Lower grades usually have no interest for the collector. NCV Grading will designated under grade 4 extremely rare, valuable and/or uncommon banknotes.  


  • Grado 70. Uncirculated premium.
    La excelencia del grado. No existe ningún tipo de incidencia ni puede tener mejor condición. Los billetes con puntuación del 70 siempre tendrán 3 estrellas en su calidad de papel y no habrá ningún signo de manipulación. Centrados en su diseño y extremadamente atractivo. Rara vez se alcanza este grado por implicar la perfección tanto en diseño como en conservación. Tener un 70 es tener una joya.
  • Grado 69. Uncirculated premium.
    Sin ninguna incidencia de manipulación y rozando la perfección. Puede estar ligeramente descentrado siendo prácticamente inapreciable o tener una mínima incidencia no visible a simple vista. Billete casi perfecto.
  • Grado 68. Uncirculated premium.
    Se puede observar alguna incidencia prácticamente inapreciable. Puede estar descentrado ligeramente. Muy atractivo.
  • Grado 67. Choice Uncirculated.
    Puede tener una incidencia muy menor y/o estar algo descentrado ligeramente estando por encima de la media. Muy vistoso.
  • Grado 66 . Choice Uncirculated.
    Billete con alguna incidencia muy ligera y/o descentrado. Deméritos que le hacen perder los grados superiores.
  • Grado 65. Choice Uncirculated.
    El billete puede tener incidencias o accidentes muy ligeros. Puede estar descentrado pero sigue siendo de una calidad excepcional y muy vistoso.
  • Los billetes que no alcancen las 3 estrellas en su clasificación de la originalidad y calidad del papel llegarán como máximo al grado 65. Presentarán deméritos que les hagan perder este valor añadido.
  • Los billetes reparados y clasificados con una R o R+ en el reverso de la etiqueta, tendrán un grado máximo del 63 y, obviamente, perderán las 3 estrellas de la calificación de papel.
  • Grado 64. Uncirculated.
    Billete con 3 o más incidencias de impacto ligero. Puede estar descentrado. Sin doblez ni pliegues de importancia. No ha perdido el atractivo visual.
  • Grado 63. Uncirculated.
    Billete con incidencias que le hacen perder los grados superiores. Puede estar muy descentrado. Atractivo a la vista. Sin doblez ni pliegues de importancia. Es posible que tenga incidencias que no le permiten calificar en grados superiores.
  • Grado 62. Uncirculated. Sin circular.
    El billete no ha entrado en circulación. Se observan incidencias en los márgenes y/o picos que lo hacen llegar a este grado. Sin doblez ni pliegues significativos pero puede haber incidencias menores.
  • Grado 60. Uncirculated. Sin circular.
    Un billete con incidencias sin haber circulado. Puede haber daños en los picos, marcas de conteo, minúsculas manchas, grapa o poros. No hay pliegues ni doblez importante pero las incidencias existentes hacen que se clasifique en este grado. Sin perder su atractivo y no habiendo circulado presentará múltiples incidencias de bajo impacto.
  • Grado 58. Choice About Unc.
    Billete muy vistoso. Frecuentemente el hecho de que se observe uno o dos pliegues muy ligeros sobre el diseño le hace calificar en este grado. A simple vista puede parecer un grado más alto pero el análisis minucioso muestra evidencias para graduarlo en este nivel sin perder su atractivo. Excelente conservación. Papel consistente y muy entero.
  • Grado 55. About uncirculated.
    Es frecuente en este grado un pliegue algo marcado y/o dos pliegues muy ligeros. Incidencias a la vista que no hacen que deje de ser atractivo visualmente, con brillo y consistencia en el papel. No presenta incidencias graves que le hagan bajar a grados inferiores. Puede alguna mancha de baja intensidad o algo de suciedad.
  • Grado 53. About Uncirculated.
    Billete con un pliegue de media intensidad y/o dos pliegues ligeros, y/o accidentes en los picos que le hacen obtener este grado. El papel puede tener algo de suciedad o manchas de baja intensidad. Sigue siendo un bello ejemplar con brillo y consistencia.
  • Grado 50. About Uncirculated.
    Billete con un pliegue de media intensidad y/o dos pliegues algo más pronunciados que los grados superiores. Pueden observarse  accidentes en los picos y/o manchas de baja intensidad. No ha perdido su atractivo visual y posee muy buena conservación. Conserva brillo y papel consistente. Vistoso.
  • Grado 45. Choice Extremely Fine.
    Billete que puede presentar varios pliegues no necesariamente evidentes pero existentes. En ocasiones presenta un atractivo visual que  no tiene enlace con el grado otorgado pero en el análisis minucioso se han detectado incidencias y/o accidentes. Se pueden observar manchas o sueciedad. Atractivo y con una excelente conservación.
  • Grado 40. Extremely Fine.
    Billetes que pueden tener 3 pliegues evidentes de media intensidad que le hacen tener este grado sin dejar de ser vistoso. El billete conserva su atractivo y algo de brillo pero tiene incidencias/accidentes de haber circulado. Puede tener los picos ligeramente redondeados o con doblez, arrugas, manchas de intensidad media, micro fisuras y/o poros de haber estado en circulación que no lo hacen calificar en grados superiores. Papel consistente pudiendo tener algo de suciedad. Conserva atractivo visual.
  • Grado 35. Choice Very Fine.
    El billete tendrá incidencias de consideración media por haber estado en circulación. Se nota a simple vista que sus accidentes/incidencias impactan en su estado original. Manchas de intensidad moderada y suciedad podrán observarse. Puede tener 4 o 5 pliegues sin perder su atractivo. Frecuentemente se pueden encontrar fisuras o microfisuras  de muy bajo impacto. Atractivo visualmente.
  • Grado 30. Very Fine.
    Se observan pliegues y suciedad moderada sin ser significativa que no le permiten tener grados superiores. Papel consistente. Evidencias claras de circulación sin dejar de ser vistoso. Pueden observarse fisuras o microfisuras.
  • Grado 25. Very Fine.
    Suciedad moderada y numerosos pliegues. Sin incidencias ni accidentes graves. Puede que el papel no esté completamente consistente y se pueden observar fisuras. Las incidencias existentes no le permiten estar en grados superiores. Pueden tener de 6 a 10 pliegues de diversa consideración sin daños graves pero evidentes incidencias y/o accidentes.
  • Grado 20. Very Fine.
    Suciedad leve y numerosos pliegues/accidentes. Sin incidencias muy graves. Pero puede presentar múltiples incidencias/accidentes. Es muy posible que presente picos desgastados y pequeñas fisuras. El papel habrá perdido consistencia y tendrá muestras evidentes de haber estado en circulación.
  • Grado 15. Fine.
    Numerosos pliegues, accidentes e incidencias de intensidad media/alta. Billete con desgastes claros de haber circulado. Papel que mantiene baja consistencia original y dureza viéndose a simple vista que ha circulado intensamente. El billete tiene atractivo visual pero puede tener manchas y suciedad. Es posible que se observen fisuras, y/o faltas de papel.
  • Grado 12. Fine.
    Billete con signos claros de haber circulado. Pliegues, manchas, picos dañados, fisuras estarán presentes. El papel conservará baja dureza y consistencia. Puede tener pequeños agujeros sin grandes roturas o pérdidas de papel de consideración.
  • Grado 10. Very Good.
    Manchas intensas, múltiples accidentes, pliegues importantes en número y consideración, debilidad del papel, picos y/o márgenes desgastados y pequeñas fisuras o grietas. Evidencias claras de circular intensamente.
  • Grado 8. Very Good.
    En este grado el billete tendrá el papel blando y/o sucio. Puede presentar fisuras, picos redondeados y manchas considerables. Numerosos accidentes y/o incidencias.
  • Grado 6. Good.
    Incidencias serias de circulación. Numerosos pliegues. Billetes con poco atractivo visual. Muy circulados. Cortes, grietas, fisuras, microfisuras, picos desgastados  y manchas intensas. Debilidad en el papel. Este grado se asignará para billetes que no puedan llegar a Vey Good por sus numerosas incidencias/accidentes.


Los grados posteriores no suelen tener interés para el coleccionista. NCV Grading calificará con grados por debajo de 6 piezas extremadamente raras, valiosas y/o escasas que no son comunes.

Coins grading process

Professionalism in our protocol is basic for us. When submission of coins is received to certificate, the first we do is check the package against the submission paperwork to be certain that all the collectibles the client descript are in our facilities. Then we photograph in every coin we have received. 

We now verify the authenticity. In a first exam we assign the conservation and, after a second analysis, we finally graduate the coin. 

At this point, we encapsulate the collectible using last generation materials and technology, guaranteeing protection and conservation. All the grading details will be specified in a label we create. 

Once sealed and encapsulated the coin, we check it all again. At this moment we add the characteristics, photographs and relevant information to the NCV grading registration database.

Finally, after all these quality controls, encapsulated coins are carefully prepared to return to the client.

NCV Grading coins scale

The strict analysis of every coin and our scale based in the internationally recognized Sheldom scale, allow us to work with the maximum warranty and accuracy. We analyze not only conservation but mint quality and original lustre. 

 NCV Grading reserves the right to refuse submitted coins for the following reasons: 

  • Manipulation

  • Incidences 

  • Alterations

When an incidence is detected in a coin, it will be designed with an ‘I’ on its label and it may or may not be graded depending on the case. 

  • MS 70. Uncirculated premium/SC++
    The excellence grade. There is no incidence and couldn’t be in a better condition. Coins with a grade 70 will have no circulation signs, marks or scratches. They will have a minimum of 90% of their original lustre. This grade is quite exceptional as imply perfection. Having a 70 is like having a jewel.

  • MS 69. Uncirculated premium/ SC++
    No more than two or three minor incidences of very low intensity and only seen with a loupe. Original lustre almost complete, at least 85% . Close to perfection. Could have tiny scratches or marks almost unappreciable. Exceptional visual attraction and mint.

  • MS 68. Uncirculated plus/SC+
    May have tiny incidences (maximum 6), hardly seen by eye. Not relevant incidences. Very attractive and showy. Sharp angles and mint over average. Lustre complete, at least 75% of it is original. 

  • MS 67. Uncirculated plus/SC+
    Could have a few minor incidences, tiny scratches detected by loupe. No more than 8 and of a very low impact. Very show. Sharp angles and excellent mint. At least 70% original lustre. Its visual attractive is over the average. 

  • MS 66. Uncirculated plus/SC+
    Excellent mint, quality lustre of 60% and sharp angles. A few tiny scratches only seen by loupe. Very attractive and showy.

  • MS 65. Uncirculated plus/SC+
    Could have light scratches and marks, low impact and no more than 10. Not seen by eye. High quality lustre and 50% original. Mint quality is over de average. Sharp angles. 

  • MS 64. Choice Uncirculated/SC
    At least 45% original lustre. Could have marks or scratches of no high impact. Visually attractive. Sharp profiles  

  • MS 63.Choice Uncirculated/ SC

No circulated coins with subtle incidences that make them lose higher grades. They could have small scratches or light marks. Visually very attractive. Lustre can be muted.

  • MS 62. Uncirculated/ SC-

This coin hasn’t circulated. There are some incidences in the rim or relief that set it on this level. No hits or scratches of relevance but could have minor incidences. Lustre could be muted.

  • MS 61. Uncirculated/SC-

Uncirculated coin with some incidences that set it on this grade. Could have tiny marks in the rim, field or legend or tiny scratches. No worn observed and keep, although poor, its original lustre

  • MS 60: Uncirculated/SC-

No signs of worn, with small damage in the rim or tiny scratches. Incidences make it to be in this level. Lustre may be poor.


  • XF 58. Choice About Unc/ EBC+
    Showy coin. In this level because may have incidences or be slightly worn in the high part. To the eye could be in a higher grade but the professional analysis shows evidences to graduate here without losing attractiveness. Nice original lustre, but poor. Extraordinary clearness in the details. Excellent conservation. May have some angles sharp.

  • XF 55. About Uncirculated/EBC+

Very light wear in the superior part of the relief. Excellent clearness on the details. Incidences that don’t make it lose attractiveness. Keep original lustre and an excellent mint. Don’t show heavy incidences that would make it grade lower.

  • XF 53. About Uncirculated /EBC

  • Coin with light wear in several parts and/or incidences. Tiny scratches, low intensity hits or tiny marks could be present. Very good conservation and clearness in the details. It keeps 50% original lustre. Showy.

  • XF50. About Uncirculated/EBC
    Coin with light wear in several parts and/or incidences a bit heavier than in superior grades. Tiny scratches, low intensity hits or tiny marks. Its attractiveness is intact and has a very good conservation. Keeps at least 50% of its original lustre. Showy and with good details definition.

  • XF45. Choice Extremely Fine/EBC-

Coin worn in the higher parts of the relief. Sometimes it has an attractiveness that doesn’t match with this grade, but professional analysis detects slight wear or incidences. Small scratches, tiny hits or light marks can be observed. It keeps an excellent conservation of all the details and part of its original lustre.


  • XF 45. Extremely Fine/ EBC-

Coin with all its details. Could have 3 evident incidences of medium impact that set it on this level. It is still very showy and visually attractive. Marks, scratches and low intensity hits may be present. It may keep part of the original lustre.

  • VF 35. Very Fine /MBC+
    A coin with evident circulation incidences. Clearly seen accidents/incidences that impact on its conservation, but all parts are seen and its details are clear. Its attractiveness is intact. Still good conservation and remains of its original lustre.

  • VF 30. Very Fine /MBC

Moderate but not significant incidences. All parts are visible. Clear signs of circulation and wear but showy. May have remains of its original lustre.


  • VF 25. Very Fine /MBC

  • No incidences or serious accidents. All parts of the coin are visible. Design is mostly complete. Could have scratches, hits and marks not very pronounced. Keep a bit of clarity on its details.


  • VF 20. Very Fine/MBC-
    It shows multiple incidences/accidents of different consideration. The original lustre is gone and it will show clear evidence of circulation. Could have scratches, marks or hits seen by eye. Reliefs are clearly worn. 


  • F 15. Fine /BC+

Numerous incidences from medium to high intensity. Clearly wear because of circulation and incidences. Metal has lost its original lustre and heavy circulation can be clearly observed by eye showing marks, scratches and hits. Low details definition.


  • F 12. Fine/BC
    Some areas strongly worn and poorly seen or disappeared. Some details are gone. Scratches, marks and hits can be visible. No lustre.

  • VG 10. Very Good/BC-

Intense circulation clearly seen. Wear and incidences that don’t allow it to go to higher grades. Scratches and hits are quite common in this grade. With no lustre and some reliefs can be gone or not defined.

  • VG 8. Very Good/ RC
    Coin will be worn and/or numerous incidences and accidents. Areas flat and heavily worn. No lustre. 

  • G 6. Good/RC
    Incidences and serious circulation wear. Poor visual attractiveness. Very circulated with areas completely flat and no reliefs at all. Hits and scratches may be observed. This grade is for coins that can’t reach a Very Good/BC grade because its numerous incidences and wear. No original lustre.

  • G 4. Good/RC
    Coin with multiple incidences and/or wear. Design is visible but gone in some areas. Some others are completely flat due to wear, scratches and hits. Not very attractive visually. No lustre at all. 

Lower grades usually have no interest for the collector. NCV Grading will design under grade 4 extremely rare, valuable and/or uncommon coins.