/ Fun of Coin Collecting / Glossary of terms.

logoCollectors Corner bill
The Fun of

Coin Collecting

{ Terms }**{ Abbreviations }
{ Weights & Measures }

Created, Hosted & Up-dates by
Disk Works of South Jersey
For your enjoymen


(Troy Weight)
1 pound = 12 ounces or 373.24 grams or 5,760 grains.
1 ounce = 20 pennyweights or 31.1035 grams or 480 grains.
1 pennyweight = 1.5552 grams or 24 grains.
1 carrot = 200 milligrams or 3.086 grains.
1 grain = 0.0648 gram.


AG: About good.
G: Good.
VG: Very good.
F: Fine.
VF: Very fine.
EF/XF: Extra fine.
AU: Almost uncirculated.
UNC: Uncirculated.
MS: Mint state.
D/S: This is a "D" mint mark struck on top of a "S" mint mark.
S/D: This is a "S" mint mark struck on top of a "D" mint mark.
no VDB: This means the designers initials on the 1909 cent is missing.
DD: Double die, Double date ect.


Adjustment Marks - Marks caused by filing a planchet before striking to reduce its weight to the standard, early U.S. coinage

Album - A book-like holder with slots for storing coins

Alloy - A mixture of two or more metals.

Altered - Intentionally modified after the minting process

Ancient - A coin produced prior to about 500 A.D.

Artificial Toning - a coin by a treatment added to the coin with chemicals for coloration

Attribute - characteristics of a coin; (the country of origin, denomination, series, date, mintmark ect.)

Authentic/Authentication - An original, non-counterfeit coin; determination by an expert.

Bag Marks - Small scratches and nicks resulting from movement of coins in the same bag

Bank Note - Paper money issued by a bank

Bar - form of precious metal (Bullion)

Base Metal - An inexpensive metal; a metal other than gold, silver or platinum.

Billion - Gold or silver alloyed with a large amount of lesser metal, such as copper, tin, or zinc.

Bi-metallic - A coin or coin-like object combining parts composed of two different metal alloys.

Bit - One eighth of a Spanish milled dollar; 12½ cents.

Blank - A piece of metal that is to be struck with a design.

Broadstrike/Broadstruck - A coin,showing all design details, struck without a firmly seated collar, resulting in "spreading" outwards.

Brockage - A mirror image of the design from one side of a coin impressed on the opposite side.

Bullion - Metal in bulk form; bars of metal.

Bust - The head and upper portion of the body.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing - An agency of the U.S. Treasury Department responsible for production of currency.

Business Strike - A coin struck for circulation.

Cameo - A coin, usually struck as a Proof, with a frosted or satiny central device surrounded by a mirrorlike field.

Certified Coin - A coin authenticated and graded by a professional service.

Chop Mark - A letter or symbol added to money by someone other than the government which issued it to indicate authenticity.

Circulated - Denotes money that is no longer in mint state, generally as a result of normal handling.

Clad coins - Coins that are composed of three layers of metal bonded together.

Cleaning - any process that removes foreign substances, corrosion or toning, which include using solvents, dipping, and rubbing with abrasive materials or substances.

Clip - A coin, planchet or blank missing a portion of metal. Types of clips include curved (most common), ragged, straight, eliptical,

Clipped coin - A coin from which some of the metal has been illegally or accidently cut or shaved, usually around the edge.

Coin - A piece of metal with a distinctive stamp and of a fixed value and weight issued by a government and used as money.

Collection - The numismatic holdings of an individual.

Colonial - A coin issued by European colonies in the Americas in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Commemorative coin - A coin issued to honor a person, place, or historical event.

Contact Marks - Small surface scratches or nicks resulting from movement of coins in the same bag or bin.

Corrugated edge - The edge of a coin stamped with vertical lines; a reeded edge.

Counterfeit - An altered or non-genuine coin or note made to deceive collectors, usually a more valuable date or variety (an imitation)

Countermark - A mark stamped over an existing design, changing its value or making it current in another country.

Cud - A raised lump of metal on a coin caused by a piece of a die having broken off

Cull - A coin that is extremely worn and/or damaged.

Currency -Paper money / notes used for payment.

Damage - Physical change, such as a scratch, nick, ding, cleaning, hole or pitting.

Date - The year(s) shown on a coin, usually the same as the year it was minted.

Dealer - A person or company that regularly buys and sells numismatic collectibles such as coins.

Debasement - Lowering the purity of a metal by adding a cheaper metal.

Delamination - Metal missing or peeling from the surface due to incomplete bonding or impurities in the planchet

Denarius - An ancient Roman silver coin, roughly the same size as a U.S. dime but a little thicker.

Denomination - The face value of a coin.

Design - The faces, symbols, dates, lettering, etc. appearing on a coin and their arrangement with respect to each other.

Designer - The creator of a coin design.

Die - A metal stamp bearing a design. It is used to strike a coin.

Die Chip - A small fragment of metel broken off from a die, resulting in a small raised lump on the surface of the coin

Die Clash - Upper and lower dies coming together in a coin press without a planchet between them; which cause mirror images on coins.

Die Crack - A narrow fissure in the surface of a die; coins struck with such a die have a narrow raised line corresponding to the crack.

Die Erosion - Wear on a die from use in the minting process.

Die Polish - Small raised lines in the field of a coin resulting from polishing of a die to remove chips, clash marks, etc.

Dipping - Cleaning by immersion in a liquid capable of removing particules from the surface.

Disme - The original spelling of dime, 1/10 of a dollar.

Double Die - A term sometimes intended to mean a doubled die coin caused by machine doubling.

Doubled Die - A die with doubled details, letters and/or numerals during its minting.

Double Eagle - A U.S. gold coin with a face value of $20, first minted in 1849 and last officially minted in 1932

Drachma - An ancient Greek silver coin, roughly the same size as U.S. dime but a little thicker.

Eagle - A U.S. gold coin with a face value of $10, first minted in 1795 and last minted in 1933; also, the current U.S. $50 face value gold bullion coin.

Edge - The "third side" of a coin, encompassing the perimeter.

E Pluribus Unum - "Out of many, one"; the motto on many U.S. coins.

Double Struck - A blurred design on a coin, caused by striking the coin twice.

Electrum - A natural mixture of gold and silver.

Error - Any deviation in the minting process causing one or more coins to be struck with a different appearance than intended.

Exonumia - Tokens, medals and other non-monetary coin-like objects from a certain time period.

Face - Obverse of a coin containing the principal design.

Face value - The value as stated on a coin.

Fasces - A bundle of wooden rods tied together with a thong, with an ax blade in the center.

Field - The blank background on a coin that is not occupied by the design.

Flan - The blank metal used to make a coin; British term for planchet.

Flip - A soft plastic or vinyl holder normally used for a single coin.

Flow Lines - Microscopic lines in the surface of a coin resulting from the outward flow of metal during striking.

Fiat Money - Money that is not backed by specie and is legal tender by decree.

Fractional Currency - Paper money with a face value of less than one dollar. (ie. 25 cents-50 cents)

Fugio Cent - The first coin issued by authority of the United States, produced by contractors in 1787.

Grade/Grading - One of several terms summarizing the overall condition of a coin or other numismatic item.

Greysheet - the Coin Dealer Newsletter, a price guide for U.S. coins intended for dealer-to-dealer transactions.

Hairlines - Light scratches in the surface of a coin.

Half Cent - A U.S. coin with a face value of 1/200th of a dollar first minted in 1793 and last minted in 1857.

Half Dime - A U.S. coin with a face value of 5 cents issued with dates between 1794 and 1873; originally called a half disme.

Hoard - A hidden stock of coins.

Hobo Nickel - A coin (usually a U.S. Buffalo nickel) physically altered to produce a substantially different image.

Holed - Having a hole drilled through it, usually as a result of being used for jewelry.

Holder - Any device designed for storage and sometimes display of numismatic items.

Hub - A steel bar used to make dies having the same raised design on one end as one side of the coins it produced.

Incuse - A design sunk into a coin, as opposed to a raised design.

Inscription - All letters, words, or numbers appearing on a coin.

Key coin - A hard-to-get coin needed to complete a collection.

Large Cent - A U.S. coin with a value of 1 cent, minted from 1793 to 1857, composed primarily of copper and larger in diameter than the current U.S. quarter

Legal tender - Money that must be accepted , by law, as payment in financial transactions.

Legend - Words appearing on the surface of a coin along the curved edge.

Lettered edge - Letters that appeared around the narrow, up-and-down edge of earlier coins. The purpose was to prevent clipping.

Loonie - Popular name for the Canadian loon dollar coin first issued in 1987.

Loupe - A type of magnifying glass used by numismatists and jewelers.

Luster - The brilliance of a coin, resulting from reflection of light off die flow lines.

Machine Doubling - Doubling of details resulting from loose dies during striking.

Mail Bid - An auction format in which bids are submitted by mail; the highest offer for each lot received by the closing date wins the lot.

Matte Proof - A proof coin with a granular (rather than mirrorlike) surface produced by dies treated to obtain a minutely etched surface.

Medal - A coin-like object struck to honor one or more persons or events. Sometimes awarded to persons in recognition of service or other accomplishment.

Melt Value - The worth of precious metal in a coin, determined by multiplying the amount of the metal it contains by the spot price of the metal

Milled edge - The thick rim around a coin that forms a raised border.

Mint - A facility for manufacturing coins

Mintage - The quantity of a coin produced at a mint during a period of time (usually one year)

Mint Mark - A small letter or symbol on a coin to indicate where it was struck. (example: P, D, O, S, CC )

Mint Set - A specially packaged group of uncirculated coins from one or more mints of the same nation containing at least one coin for most or all of the denominations issued during a particular year.

Mint State - In the same condition as when delivered from the mint (natural toning excepted); uncirculated.

Motto - A phrase imprinted on a coin, for most U.S. coins "E PLURIBUS UNUM"

Mule - A coin struck from two dies not intended to be used together.

Multiple Strike - A coin struck more than once as a result of not being properly ejected from the coining press.

Natural Toning - Coloration resulting from chemical change on the surface during normal environmental exposure over a prolonged period of time.

Numismatics - The science or study of coins, tokens, medals and currency of all kinds.

Numismatist - A person who collects and/or studies numismatic items

Obverse - The "head" side of a coin. It usually bears a portrait and the date.

Off Center - Incorrectly centered during striking, resulting in part of the design missing (off the edge)

Original Toning - Having natural surfaces resulting from long exposure to ordinary environmental conditions; uncleaned.

Overdate - A coin struck from a die with at least one digit of the date repunched over a different digit, e.g. 1809/6 or 1942/1.

Over Mintmark - One mintmark on top of a different mintmark, such as a 'D' over an 'S'

Overstrike - A new design that has been struck over an earlier one.

Paper Money - Paper notes with standardized characteristics issued as money

Patina - A tone or coloring found on some coins, caused by action of the air.

Pattern - A trial piece run off to test a proposed design or metal sometimes without a date.

Pieces of Eight - A former Spanish coin with a face value of eight reales; the U.S. dollar was originally valued at and tied to eight reales.

Pitted - Having a rough surface due to loss of metal by corrosion

Planchet - The blank metal disk from which a coin is struck ; also called a blank or flan.

Plugged - Denotes that a holed coin has been filled.

Porous - Having a granular surface as the result of oxidation, most frequently found with older copper coins.

Prestige Set - A set of coins produced by the U.S. Mint containing one or more proof commemorative coins released in the same year, as well as a proof cent, nickel, dime, quarter and half.

Proof - A coin especially struck for collectors. It usually has a mirror-like finish; coins having a frosty surface are called matte proofs.

Prooflike - Having mirrorlike fields, similar to a coin struck as a Proof.

Proof Set - A specially packaged group of coins containing at least one of most or all of the denominations of proof coins struck in a particular year.

Quarter Eagle - A U.S. gold coin with a face value of $2.50 first minted in 1796 and last minted in 1929.

Rarity - An object/coin ect. determained by the number of surviving specimens.

Real - A former basic monetary unit of Spain and Spanish colonies in the Americas.

Red Book - The Handbook of U.S. Coins, a retail price guide for U.S. coins published annually,

Reeded edge - Vertical markings around the edge of a coin to prevent clipping; also called corrugated or grained edge.

Relief - A design that is raised above the surface of a coin. The designs on a cent or a dime are in relief.

Repunched Date - A date with one or more of the digits punched more than once in different locations.

Restrike - A coin struck at a later date from original dies.

Reverse - The back or "tail" side of a coin.

Rim - The outer edge of a coin, often raised to avoid premature wear.

Round - A disc shaped piece of precious metal bullion.

Scrip - A note issued by and redeemable at a merchant or group of merchants.

Seigniorage: profits from the difference between the cost to make a coin and its face value.

Series - Coins of the same major design and denomination, including every combination of date and mintmark minteda single type such as Roosevelt dime series or Lincoln cent series.

Sheldon Scale - A numerical grading system ranging from 1 to 70 created by Dr. William H. Sheldon to denote proportional values of large cents minted from 1793 to 1814 and subsequently adaped as a general grading scale.

Silver Certificate - A note (paper money) once redeemable for its face value in silver.

Silver Clad - A clad coin with one layer containing silver, such as U.S. halves struck from 1965 to 1970.

Silver Eagle - A coin produced by the U.S. mint beginning in 1986 containing one ounce of silver and having a nominal face value of $1

Slabed Coin - A coin certified by a professional grading service as authentic and encapsulated in a sealed hard plastic holder also containing a label bearing the service's opinion of its grade and other information.

Slider - A coin with very slight traces of wear, such that it almost passes for an uncirculated specimen.

Specie - Precious metal used to back money, usually gold and silver.

Split Grade - Different grades for the obverse and reverse sides.

Spot Price - The current market price for delivery of a precious metal.

Spread - The difference between buy and sell prices on the same item.

Stella - A U.S. gold coin pattern with a face value of $4 minted in 1879 and 1880

Striations - Incuse marks caused by rolling bars during planchet production.

Strike - The process of impressing the design from a die into a planchet to make a coin, token or medal.

Tetradrachma - An ancient Greek silver coin, roughly the same size as a U.S. quarter but three times thicker.

Token - A piece struck by a private individuals or companies in imitation of a coin, to be used for advertising or as a medium of exchange in transactions with that company

Toning - Color acquired from chemical change on the surface.

Trade Dollar - A U.S. coin with a face value of $1 minted from 1873 through 1885 specifically for commerce in the Orient.

Trime - A U.S. coin with a face value of 3 cents minted in silver alloys from 1851-1873.

Tube - A plastic container designed for storing a roll or other quantity of coins of the same size.

Type Coin - Any coin of a particular design and denomination, usually one of the more common dates.

Type Set - A collection of coins of various designs, the goal of the type collector is to obtain at least one example of several different types.

Uncirculated - Never circulated; without any wear.

Variety - Any coin struck from a die pair that differs from others with the same date and mintmark, such as die doubling, different style letters or numerals, or a repunched mintmark.

Vecture: transportation token

Water Mark -A design put into paper at the manufacuring stage by pressing it while wet between rollers bearing the design.

Wear - Metal lost during handling and contact with other objects .


If you know of any terms we forgot, please E-Mail the site to have them added.

Please us the links at the Bottom of the page to check out the rest of the site.
Thank You..
Webbie :-)


Top of Pag

Go to-- Home

Starting a Coin Collection | Types of Coins (Photographic Journey) | Pocket Goodies "what to look for"

Mint Marks | Grading | Prices | Coin Clubs | Collectors Clearing House | Questions & Answers

News & Note Worthy | Dealer, Invester & Private Collector Listings | Coin Collecting Software

Glossary of coin collecting terms| Coin Related Links | View Past Guestbooks

Site Map- (listing of all pages) | Guestbook

Site Meter

buy coin supplies

save on coin supplies

Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!

Site Creation & Design by Sleepy

Disk Works of South Jersey

Copyright © 1997-2003,
All Rights Reserved