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Definitions and standards

Conditioning Description

1. Conditioning Description of Philatelic Materials (including Phone Cards)

Condition Abbreviation Conditioning description
Extremely Fine XF The overall look of the philatelic item is identical to the condition when issued; the color is fresh; neat perforations; no contrived mark and printing defect. (For stamp with gum, the gum must be original and complete; the gum, due to the time, is allowed to be naturally toned but must be very even; for multiples, folded perforation is not allowed; for stamp with golden powder, the powder must be perfectly kept.)
Very Fine VF The condition of the philatelic item is basically close to XF; the color is fresh; neat perforations; no contrived mark; extremely tiny defect spot and extremely soft crease on the paper are allowed. (For stamp with gum, the gum must be original and complete; the gum, due to the time, is allowed to be naturally toned but must be very even; for multiples, folded perforation is not allowed; for stamp with golden powder, the powder must be perfectly kept; for philatelic items before Liberation, light hinge is allowed but the gum must be complete.)
Fine-Very Fine F-VF The overall look of the philatelic item is perfect; the color is fresh; defect spot(s) on the paper is allowed but not too obvious; neat perforation; slight soft crease is allowed. (For stamp with gum, tone that is even and folded gum are allowed; for multiples, folded perforation is allowed but no separation; for stamp with golden powder, the powder must remain even; light hinge is allowed; for philatelic items before Liberation, toning, partial gum, no gum, or hinge is allowed.)
Fine F The overall look of the stamp is perfect; the color is basically fresh; the perforations are basically neat; defect spot and soft crease is allowed but no damage or defect (For stamp, toning, partial gum, hinge, regum, no gum is allowed, but no short perf, tear, fading, heavy crease or thin; multiples can be separated; for stamp with golden power, oxidization of the powder in a minor degree is allowed.)
General G The overall look of the philatelic item is average, and there is no serious damage and defect. (Compared with F stamp, the stamp may look old in color and there is allowed to be slight perf short, corner short, tear, fading, or thin, etc. There can be crease to some degree or tiny size difference.)
Poor P The philatelic item has damage or serious defect. (For stamp, there exists serious perf short, corner short, tear, fading, thin, heavy crease, damage, or obvious size difference.)
Repaired RD Repaired stamp. (The stamp has gone through artificial repair, such as re-color, cancel removing, re-back, piece-together, etc.)



2. Conditioning Description of Gold/Silver Coins

Condition Abbreviation Conditioning description
Brilliant Uncirculated BU For any coin falls into the Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) condition, it must be totally unused. The overall pressure will be extremely fine. Full mint luster and natural tone will be present. Slight oxidization may appear, but the oxide will be over nearly all the coin. There will be no spots or scratches on either side, and not blemish on the rim.
Uncirculated UNC For any coin falls in to the condition of Uncirculated (Unc.), it must be in an unused state. The overall pressure will be fine. There may be weak strike or wear in an extremely small area. There will be most of the original mint luster present. Some oxidization will appear. There will be few spots or scratches on either side (no heavy contact marks), and few blemish on the rim.
Almost Uncirculated AU For the Almost Uncirculated (AU) coin, it is in a basically-unused state. The overall pressure will be intact. There may be weak strike or wear in a small area. Mint luster is well presented. Some oxidization will appear. There will be a little spots or slight scratches on either side (no heavy contact marks), and a little blemish on the rim.
Extremely Fine XF The Extremely Fine coin is in a lightly-used state. The overall pressure is even. There will be about 85% of the original detail visible. There will be partial wear. Almost no mint luster will be present. Some tone may appear and evenly distributed, but no patina will be present on the surface. There will be some spots or scratches on either side (no heavy contact marks), and a little blemish on the rim.
Very Fine VF The Very Fine (VF) coin is used in a certain degree. The overall pressure is even. Over 70% of the original detail will be visible. There will be some wear. No mint luster will be present. Tone will appear, but no patina on the surface. There will be scratches on either side (no heavy contact marks), and a little blemish on the rim.
Fine F For Fine, the coin is obviously used. There will be over 50% of the original detail visible. Heavy wear will be over the entire coin. There is no mint luster at all. Tone or patina will appear. There will be a lot of scratches or scrapes on either side, or heavy contact marks. Blemish will appear on the rim.

3. Conditioning Description of Paper Money

Condition Abbreviation Conditioning description
Uncirculated Plus UNC+ For the Uncirculated Plus (Unc+) note, it is perfectly preserved, never mishandled and in a state identical to that when being published. Paper is clean and firm, without crease, stains or any artificial repair.
Uncirculated UNC An Uncirculated (Unc.) note must be unused. The state will be very close to that of the Unc+, only presenting a little discoloration or stains due to the age or improper preservation. There may be one or two slight corner creases or evidence of rounding.
About Uncirculated Plus AU+ An About Uncirculated Plus (AU+) note is virtually perfect. It may look like uncirculated note with naked eyes. There will be one slight vertical fold or one or two slight corner creases and evidence of rounding.
About Uncirculated AU An About Uncirculated (AU) note is almost unused. It may look like uncirculated note with naked eyes. There will be no more than two slight vertical folds or one obvious vertical fold, and one or two slight crease or rounding appearing at the corners. There may be evidence of artificial handling and flattening.
Extremely Fine Plus XF+ A note falls into the condition of Extremely Fine Plus (XF+) is the one that shows obvious circulation. There will be no more than three vertical folds and obvious evidence of corner crease and rounding. Evidence of artificial handling and flattening are very common.
Extremely Fine XF An Extremely Fine (XF) note shows obvious circulation, with no more than three vertical folds, one of which may be horizontally. There will usually be evidence of artificial handling and flattening.
Very Fine VF A Very Fine (VF) note show very obvious circulation. Paper bears dirt and softness. There will be four or five folds and minor corner tears.
Fine F A Fine (F) note shows very considerable circulation. Paper bears many folds and crease. Problems like serious dirt, softness, tears and center hole etc. also exist.
Very Good VG A Very Good (VG) note is in a state close to that of Fine. Discoloration and wear will appear on the design, and there may be short corners.
Poor P A Poor (P) note is basically the one in a bad condition. The design is very fuzzy and paper totally limp. Serious problems such as crack and larger pieces missing, etc exist.

4. About the Condition of Ancient Coins

Condition Abbreviation
Extremely Fine Plus XF+
Extremely Fine XF
Very Fine VF
Poor P

5. About the Condition of “None”

Condition Abbreviation Conditioning description
None None About the Condition of “None”, Please View Picture and Detailed Description.

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