French and English gradation : equivalency and translation

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This message aims at: reporting a bug

Status: Opened
Upvotes: 2
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I just noticed there is a problem about the equivalence of the gradations between the French and the English sides :

FDC in French = FDC in UK = MS65+ in US (UNC)
SPL in French = UNC in UK = MS63+ in US (UNC)
SUP in French = XF in UK = AU55+ in US (UNC and part of AU)
TTB in French = VF in UK = XF40+ in US (XF and part of AU)
TB in French = F in UK = VF20+ in US (VF)
B in French = G in UK = VG8+ in US (VG and F)
AB in French = AG in UK = AG3+ in US (AG and G)

Colors show the equivalences in Numista (can be open in a new table) : it seems to be a mixt-up between the UK and US standards (none of them perfectly match).

We have :
A FDC in French equals a UNC in English (the UNC of Sheldon ?).
A SPL in French equals a AU in English (sic... the AU doesn't equal a AU in UK or in US)
A SUP in French equals a XF in English (the XF of the UK standard ?)
A TTB in French equals a VF in English (the VF of the UK standard ?)
A TB in French equals a F in English (the F of the UK standard ?)
A B in French equals a VG in English (the VG of Sheldon ?)
A AB in French equals G in English (the G of Sheldon ?)

What standard is supposed to follow Numista on the English side ? UK standard or Sheldon ?

The UK standard, that follows the international standards unlike Sheldon, seems to have been the reference for the main translations except for the extremum (newest grades added).
If we follow the logic, the FDC should be called FDC, the SPL = UNC, B = G and AB = AG.

Regarding this point, I'm wondering if people use Sheldon or the other standart when they add their coins on Numista ; it's really ambiguous.

I think some adjustments are required :
- We should precise the standard using on the English interface.
- Correct the name of some grades

Those points are important as it changes the way people enter their coins on the plateform (prices adding by users and exchange of coins between users are impacted).
In short: Sheldon.
I collect anything: If it's Italian or Italian states i collect it even more!
In short : that sucks.

Numista started with the French interface : French gradation was used at the beginning so the logic would have been to keep the international standard and use the UK notation instead of Sheldon for the English interface.

If people are using Sheldon like you said, we have a big problem : the grades doesn't match at all with the French side for most grades.

For example, a "XF" in Sheldon doesn't equal a "SUP" but a "TTB" in the French gradation.
If you got a coin in XF 40, you will enter it as XF on Numista, right ?
On the French interface your coin will appear as a "SUP" : that means French people see your coin as a "AU 55" ("XF" in the UK gradation)...

In short, we have a shift of one gradation between the two interface when people are using the Sheldon scale for the common grades.
It's quite irrelevant anyways because I have seen in some YouTube videos how people put there coins in the database.
Person has a coin that is hardly F but silver ... Oh look that is in good condition,
Puts it under VF, takes the next coin ... seems to be at least EF but base metal, this coin seems to be in good condition, puts it in VF.
Serious collectors don't do that, so it matters.
The video may show someone who didn't know much about grading : if he learn how to grade his coins correctly, he may adjust those informations later.

Anyway, what is the point to have the choice between different grades if those informations are wrong and interprated differently ?

Once, I read on the French forum that some "foreign people" (=non-french people) tend to overgrade their coins. Regarding this problem, I guess it wasn't on purpose : they entered the correct grades but used the sheldon scale... so they appeared overgraded on the French side.
I don't believe there to be a convenient answer.
As a Quebecois Francophone myself, I have a significant distaste for plying my own culture and systems to those of others, specifically when it is English, and I can understand completely that the French side may be uninterested in the Sheldon scale.
However, having seen the benefits of both, (as an Italian collector, our Italian scale is practically identical to the French scale) I strongly prefer the greater precision in the subdivision of circulated coins that is found in the Sheldon scale, and have issues with many people not understanding, and even fewer seeing the difference between a SUP and a FDC, while an UNC grade is usually easy to explain.
Putting any advantages aside, I have to argue that the critical mass of collectors engaging with the Numista website is to be found on the English side of the forum, and that while Numista was started as a French website, it is now an international site, where we have had issues with some things such as catalogue listings keeping up in French.
In short, I think there is no chance of forcing the English side to use anything similar to a French scale, and think it is pointless to try and translate effectively the French into the Sheldon scale, however I have seen many cases of a Francophone-sheldon scale, in which the terms are read, as with numista, as being literal French translations of the Sheldon grade. Sup=AU FDC=MS which seems to be the easiest way to go about the question,
however distasteful to me.
I collect anything: If it's Italian or Italian states i collect it even more!
That doesn't just concern French people.

There are two main grading systems used in the World :
- Sheldon Grading System (mostly used in North America) ; more precise, numeral system, used by most grading companies, but hardly used when it's not about other coinage than US.
- International Grading System (used in UK, Italia, France, Germany, Australia...) ; less precise, adjectival system, first standard that existed and more accessible for most collectors.

So I'm wondering how users from other parts of the World use the English interface as there is no mention about the grading system used on this interface.

I guess the Sheldon gradation wasn't intented to be used on Numista : we are on a adjectival system and, until last year, the grades perfectly match with the UK standard. Then, we added new grades that matches with Sheldon.
That makes me feel the Numista interface used the International grading system until recently (even if people entered their coins with Sheldon).

For me we should have continue to follow the UK notation on the English side and precise the equivalence on the Sheldon scale for all those grades to prevent any confusions.
I'm pretty sure people from USA, UK, Australia, NZ, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Germany, Canada, ... use either the International or the Sheldon standards when they add their coins on Numista via the English interface.
Hi fellows,
In my opinion this issue is highly relevant since it has an impact on international trades as well as on values calculated by the site.

Even if I've used Numista since its beginning, I've just suscribed recently and I'm still in the process of registering my coins. Trust me, I do it very carefully as regards grading and think most of people do the same. Indeed, what's the point to do it if not ending with a precise catalogue of your coins?

I agree most of your points but I don't think the vast majority of us is able to grade with the Sheldon accurateness. Therefore the best path seems to be the one Cycnos is putting on the table.

You said : "For me we should have continue to follow the UK notation on the English side and precise the equivalence on the Sheldon scale for all those grades to prevent any confusions."
Seems great to me but I won't mind if US notation was used provided that most of users are more familiar with it ( let's vote about it!;)).
Anyway, numbers should be used in order to prevent misunderstandings.
And if someone wants to be more precise than the internationally acknowledged steps one still can add a comment on his coin where you can go fully Sheldon if you want.
Actually, as long as there's no more discrepancy in translations, it should be fine.
There is no question here of each individual being held to TPG grading standards. The question is instead most easily simplified to, "does the scale we use on numista represent Sheldon-style values, or UK style values"
To which my response is that I believe it to be the former.
I collect anything: If it's Italian or Italian states i collect it even more!
You're absolutely right Loruca but I'm not so sure that everyone is aware of it.

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