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Coaster Grades (condition)

At beercoast.com we don't save images of coasters based on a particular 'grade' or condition. We try to obtain the best image of a coaster available, as it looked when it was fresh from the printer.

We will clean up an image of a coaster, removing stains and marks where it's apparent that they weren't part of the original design. So bear that in mind when you are viewing images - you may be looking at something that is a really perfect coaster, but the original was quite different. But if you happen to find an old pre-prohibition example of a coaster that is really clean, and cleaner than what is already on file, send it in so others can see!

Following are grade classifications, descriptions and examples from Tom Byrne's Coaster Book published in the early 80's. It's always good practice to mention the grade of an older coaster when trading or selling to eliminate confusion and hard feelings.

The coaster is absolutely flawless.
  • No stains or discoloration
  • No printing errors and no frayed edges
GRADE 1 (Very Good):

An excellent coaster that has a slight printing error, tiny frayed edge, or minor spot of stain.

A tiny pin hole on an otherwise mint coaster
would drop it to grade 1
GRADE 2 (Good):

This is a nice displayable coaster but there are some definite flaws with it.

The coaster was probably used on a bar and has a moderate amount of wear, stains or marks.

A larger pin hole or light overall fading would place a coaster in this grade
GRADE 3 (Fair):

This grade probably is the lowest grade that you would want to buy.
  • It may have overall fading and stains from being used.
  • There are certainly rough edges with dents or creases at the corners.
  • One or more nail holes will bring a clean coaster down to a grade 3
GRADE 4 (Poor): Signs of a grade 4 coaster are:
  • Large nail holes with bits of paper shredded off
  • Stain or burn marks
  • Warped edges
  • writing
  • mildew spots
GRADE 5 (Filler):

A grade 5 is one with::
  • corners that are bent or broken off.
  • Stains that obliterate part of the writing on the coaster
  • nail holes that have split a corner of the coaster
  • a stain that has been erased to the point where some of the ink is removed
This is the type of coaster that should be definitely upgraded as soon as possible.
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