Other Numismatic Information > Rarity System Thursday, 21. August 2014, 17:57

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Rarity System

The Universal Rarity Scale by Q. David Bowers

URS-0 None known
URS-1 1 known, unique
URS-2 2 known
URS-3 3 or 4 known
URS-4 5 to 8 known
URS-5 9 to 16 known
URS-6 17 to 32 known
URS-7 33 to 64 known
URS-8 65 to 125 known
URS-9 126 to 250 known
URS-10 251 to 500 known
URS-11 501 to 1,000 known
URS-12 1,001 to 2,000 known
URS-13 2,001 to 4,000 known
URS-14 4,001 to 8,000 known
URS-15 8,001 to 16,000 known
URS-16 16,001 to 32,000 known
URS-17 32,001 to 65,000 known
URS-18 65,001 to 125,000 known
URS-19 125,001 to 250,000 known
URS-20 250,001 to 500,000 known  

Fuld rarity scale for token coins:
GEORGE FULD RARITY SCALE FOR TOKEN COINS
RARITY ESTIMATED NUMBER IN EXISTENCE

R - 1 Greater than 5000 (Relatively Common)
R - 2 2001 to 5000
R - 3 501 to 2000
R - 4 201 to 500
R - 5 76 to 200
R - 6 21 to 75
R - 7 11 to 20
R - 8 5 to 10
R - 9 2 to 4
R - 10 1 Only

The Sheldon Scale

R-1 Common
R-2 Not So Common
R-3 Scarce
R-4 Very Scarce (population est at 76-200)
R-5 Rare (31-75)
R-6 Very Rare (13-30)
R-7 Extremely rare (4-12)
R-8 Unique or Nearly So (1,2 or 3)



From the degrees of Rarity as defined in Scholten in Coins of the Dutch Overseas Territories
Scholten Description

C Common
N Normal
S Scarce
R Rare
RR Very Rare
RRR Extremely Rare
RRRR Of the utmost rarity

Michael Marsh in his book The Gold Sovereign expands the last rarity.

Marsh Description
R4 15 to 25 examples known
R5 9 to 14 examples known
R6 4 to 8 examples known
R7 Highest rarity known

Andrew Pollock in his book US Patterns uses the rarity as,
Marsh Description

R1 over 1250 examples known
R2 500 to 1250 examples known
R3 201 to 500 examples known
R4 76 to 200 examples known
R5 31 to 75 examples known
R6 13 to 30 examples known
R7 4 to 12 Highest rarity known
R8 2 or 3 examples known

Overton (and bust half collectors as a whole) use the Sheldon Rarity System where:

R1 is common (1000+ pieces known)
R2 is Slightly uncommon (501-1000 pieces known)
R3 is Scarce (201-500 pieces known)
R4 is Very Scarce (81-200 pieces known)
R5 is Rare (31-80 pieces known)
R6 is Very Rare (13-30 pieces known)
R7 is Extremely Rare (4-12 pieces known)
R8 is Unique or nearly so (1-3 pieces known)


English Rarity Scale - from The English Silver Coinage from 1649 by Seaby & Rayner.


R7 - only 1 or 2 examples known
R6 - 3 - 4
R5 - 5 - 10
R4 - 11 - 20
R3 - Extremely Rare
R2 - Very Rare
R - Rare
S - Scarce
N - Normal, neither scarce nor common
C - Common
C2 - Very Common
C3 - Extremely Common

Hard Times tokens rarity scale

R1 - common
R2 - less common
R3 - Scarce
R4 - estimated 76-200 specimens survive
R5 - estimated 31-75 specimens survive
R6 - estimated 13-30 specimens survive
R7 - estimated 4-12 specimens survive
R8 - estimated 2 or 3 specimens survive
R9 - Unique (only one known)
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