What is a Cull Coin?

Cull Coin

Any coin, regardless of its material or design, may be designated as a cull if it is in poor condition. From cosmetic problems to structural defects, a range of flaws can justify this classification. Cull coins often exhibit holes, scratches, pitting, bends, severe retooling, dark toning, and even poorly performed repairs. By professional coin appraisal and grading standards, which consider a coin’s strike, preservation, luster, color, and attractiveness, cull coins can be classified anywhere from Fair to Basal State, or Poor.

Circulated vs Uncirculated Cull Coins

When grading the quality of a coin, the discretion for cull coins differs between uncirculated and circulated coins. Let’s take Morgan Dollar coins and Silver American Eagle coins as examples. Since Morgan Dollars were used in circulation, they typically show more wear and scratches. In contrast, Silver Eagles have never been circulated, resulting in less wear and fewer visible scratches. Due to these differences, a cull Morgan Dollar will appear visually distinct from a cull Silver American Eagle.

Cull Coins Retain Value as Precious Metals

Despite their poor condition, cull coins can still hold value as precious metals. Some collectors choose to purchase cull coins for their unique design or historical significance. For instance, cull coin Morgan Silver dollars were the first coins to feature Lady Liberty in an American style. These vintage coins are highly sought after by numismatists and can be acquired in cull condition at a lower premium compared to their undamaged or uncirculated counterparts.

Collecting Cull Coins

One of the appeals of coin collecting is that coins always retain their inherent value as precious metals. For example, even a heavily damaged gold coin will still be worth at least its spot price value based on its weight in gold.

Avoid These Mistakes

There are certain industry and personal practices that automatically downgrade the quality of coins to cull. The most common practices to avoid are cleaning and coin coloring. Cleaning a coin to make it shiny is strongly discouraged as it diminishes the numismatic value. Coins derive their grading and value from their originality, so altering their original state significantly decreases their worth. Coin coloring, another common practice, may add visual appeal but devalues the coin to a cull condition. It is essential to preserve the original state of your gold or silver coin to maintain its value. Proper storage is crucial in protecting your coins and ensuring their long-term value.

Expand your coin collection today by exploring our assortment of currency and rare coins.

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