Have you ever been looking at an auction and heard the seller say that his or her item is in “mint condition”?
Let me assure you that “mint condition” does not mean covered in toothpaste. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at what “mint condition” means, where you might hear it, where the phrase comes from, and how this system works.
What does “mint condition” mean?
Mint Condition is when a second-hand item is in the same condition as when it was first brought. Items in “mint condition” can end up selling for a lot of money.
The term was started by people who like collecting old coins.
What can be in “mint condition”?
Although pretty much anything second hand can be described as “mint condition”, most of the time, it’s talking about things that are worth a lot of money.
Pokemon Cards. Baseball Cards. If you find yourself with a rare card, the better the condition, the rarer it will be.
Vintage cars can be valuable. But only if they still work as cars.
First editions and comic books. In the beginning, they will be printed in small batches, so first editions can be worth a lot of money.
Pretty Much Anything
Furniture. Glasses. Pots. Whatever you can think of. If it can be resold, it will be better for it to be in mint condition.
Origin of the phrase “mint condition”
The first things to be described as “mint condition” were coins. Even today, many people enjoy collecting coins from across the world and throughout time.
A “mint” is a factory where money is made. When money first leaves the factory, the condition is perfect. When people described their coins as “mint condition”, they were saying that the conditions of their coins are the same as it was when they first left the mint.
The phrase stuck around and even made its way into other areas.
Origin of the word “mint”?
This now leads to the question of “Why is a coin factory named after a plant?”. I hate to burst your bubble, but they’re not.
The first coins to be mass made were silver. This was all the way back in 269 BC, during the Roman Empire.
Back then, all coins were made at the Temple of Juno Moneta. Juno Moneta was the personification of money and wealth. His surname, Moneta, is where we get the words “mint” and “money” from.
The word “mint” is an excellent example of how the English language is made up of parts from loads of different languages.
Why “mint condition” items are worth more
Being in good condition can be the difference between an item being worth $10 or $10,000. To understand why let’s think about something like a comic book.
When the first Superman comic book was published, nobody knew the impact that Superman would have. Several thousand copies were made, but the publishers might have thought this would be something that people would soon forget about.
Most people who brought the first superman comic would not have treated it too well. They may have torn it, thrown it, got sauce on it. But just a small number would have kept it in “mint condition”.
Even though there are probably thousands of copies of the first superman comic book, there are far fewer copies still in good condition.
Types of “Mint Condition”
Even within the category of “mint condition”, there are a few different versions of “mint condition”.
When something is in mint condition and in the same box, it came in.
Mint in package
In mint condition, in the same packet, it came in.
Mint in sealed box
When a mint condition item is in a sealed box.
Mint on card
When an item is in mint condition and attached to a card.
Never Removed From Box
An item which never left the box it came in.
Below “Mint Condition”
If something is not “mint condition”, it will be on a level below. The way the system works is…
As you can probably figure out, something in “mint condition” will be worth a lot more than something in “poor condition”. Usually, anything in “poor” condition is hardly worth selling as you could barely make anything from it.
Examples of “Mint Condition” in a sentence
“Although collectors are often willing to pay top dollar for models in mint condition , especially when in original box or package , it is often possible to purchase models for considerably less”.
“The values listed in Comics Values Annual are all for comics in “Near Mint” condition. “
“This is a real no-brainer, yet each year millions of dollars are thrown away by buyers who believe they are purchasing cards in mint condition”.
“Mint condition means that an item is complete and undamaged — in effect, just as it looked the day it was made”.
“And in mint condition , the same cards are worth a whole lot more”.
Phrases similar to “Mint Condition”
“Mint Condition” isn’t the only financial phrase that talks about “mint”.
When someone is “Minted”, they are incredibly wealthy.
The Royal Mint is a British institution in charge of printing all of the Great British pounds of pennies.
And the Mint Ratio is the ratio of the value between Gold and Silver. It’s used as a generic proxy for market risk.
If you are Minting it, you’re making a lot of money. Same if you are earning a mint.
Most of the time, these phrases will be said in informal contexts.
When something is “mint condition” it’s in the same state that it was when it first left the factory or printing press. Because most people will not treat their cards, comics, etc., with a huge deal of respect, the few who do can end up making a mint.
Next time you’re watching your favourite auction show and see something described as “mint condition”, you now know that it’s in perfect condition.
Perhaps you even have a few things in “mint condition” lying about your own house. It won’t do you any harm to look into how much they could be worth.
Although originally, “mint condition” was only referring to coins, it can be talking about more or less anything these days.