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What is the NGC star given to a coin for? I see it on a 1949-S Lincoln penny. - Thanks

13 posts in this topic

From NGC’s website:


NGC assigns its trademarked Star  Designation to coins with exceptional eye appeal for their assigned grade. 

Eye appeal is the most subjective attribute of a coin, but there are many standards shared by numismatists. Exceptional eye appeal may include attributes such as vibrant, colorful toning; intense luster; or, in the case of Proof coins, especially strong cameo contrast. To receive a , coins must be free of any obvious planchet irregularities, and display no bothersome spots or blemishes. Toned coins can be of a single color or multicolored but cannot have any areas that are dark brown, approaching black.

It's important to remember that coins with the Star () Designation can fall anywhere within the grades to which they are assigned. For example, a coin graded NGC MS 64 could be at the lower end, mid-range or higher end of NGC MS 64.

NGC applies the  to qualifying coins in its normal course of grading. Coins already certified by NGC can be resubmitted and reviewed for  using the Designation Review service.
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12 minutes ago, Simple Collector said:

Mark, it is still listed as in option but when I submitted some last year for designation review they called and told me that the designation review is no longer available.

Obviously they need to edit their site.

Yes, see my post above yours.😉

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RE: "What is the...star given...for?"

Stars are given for being good or doing good things. For example, little boys get a silver star for not going "pp" in their pants, and a gold star if they hit the pot. Some use shiny green or gold stickers, or plus-signs for the same purpose.

Not sure about coins, but likely something similar...or maybe it's like a "participant" trophy....?



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1 hour ago, Coin Cave said:

Does anyone know when NGC started using the star grade?  Was the T grade the predecessor?

The star designation was introduced in 2000. The T (toned) and W (white) designations were introduced just prior to the star, but were only used for a couple years, and discontinued in 2002. I actually have a 1945 Jefferson Nickel that has both the star and T designations. 

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