$5 Liberty 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. Dr. Sheldon was an avid collector of U.S. Large Cent coins, and he devised his scale to more easily describe the condition of these cents. 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 Liberty gold piece in MS 61 condition will still retain it's original "Mint luster" or golden sheen in some areas of the coin, but there will be visible areas where the luster has lessened. One should note that these coins have never been "Cleaned", and that any golden glow is original to the coin and it's condition. Any scrapes or scratches, or groups of scratches, will probably be visible on the "Field" or plain background areas of the coin. There may be visible damage to the artwork of "Lady Liberty on the front of the coin, or the shielded eagle on the back of the coin. Also common to MS 61 grades 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 coins, may also be present.