$5 Indian Head Gold Coins MS 61
MS 61 is a contraction for the denotation of "Mint State Grade 61" as defined by the Sheldon scale, which was created by Dr. William H. Sheldon in 1949. He created the scale to better categorize the condition of U.S. Large Cent coins, but his scale was eventually adapted and used to grade all American coinage. "Mint State" means the coin is in uncirculated condition, and this designation begins at MS 60.
Specifics of the Grade
A $5 Indian gold piece in MS 61 condition will still retain it's original "Mint luster" in some areas of the coin, and this luster is produced from the immense pressures created by the U.S. Mint presses, but there will be visible areas where the luster has dissipated. It is important to note that these coins have never been "Cleaned" and that any golden glow is original to the coin and it's condition. Any marks or scratches, or groups of scratches, will probably be visible on the "Field" or plain background areas of the coin, though there may be visible damage to the incused, or sunken, designs of the coin as well. Also common are hairline marks, that are often the results of small cracks in the dies that are used in the minting process. "Bag marks", or wear from being on the bottom of a sack of gold coins, are also not uncommon on MS 61 $5 Indian gold coins.