$20 Saint-Gaudens Gold Coins MS 64
MS 64 is the contraction for the denotation "Mint State Grade 64". "64" refers to a grade between 1 and 70, with 70 being the top of the scale. This scale was developed by Dr. William Herbert Sheldon in 1949 and is currently used by the top independent coin grading services today. Coins that are made of harder metals than gold often show less wear, but gold coins like the $20 Saint-Gaudens can be easily marred, it is for this reason that today few of the large Saint-Gaudens' pieces grade higher than MS 66 or MS 67. The higher the Sheldon grade, the higher the premium over the spot price of gold.
Specifics of the Grade
A $20 Saint-Gaudens gold piece in MS 64 will have a brilliant gold hue or "Mint luster" and any defects in the coin's minting will be hard to detect with the naked eye. Scratches or nicks in the coin will either few or small, and will probably not detract from the most detailed areas of the coin such as the "Striding Lady Liberty" on the front of the coin or the nested eagle design on the reverse of the coin. If there are any large imperfection in the coin, they will probably be in the "field", or plain part of the background of the coin's designs.