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Coin Gallery Numismatic Glossary
Category: Sport and Leisure > Coin Collecting
Date & country: 11/09/2007, USA
Words: 211

Light friction rubbing or scuffing which is different from hairlines and bag marks. Sometimes referred to as 'cabinet friction' because many times it is caused by a sliding action in a coin cabinet.

Quantities of coins, tokens and other numismatic material which has not been sorted, classified, attributed nor organized in any meaningful way, unlike a true coin collection.

adjustment marks
Marks or grooves caused by filing a planchet prior to striking in order to reduce it to a standard weight. This was a fairly common practice on many early U.S. coins, in particular bust dollars.

A holder with slots for storing and displaying coins in a book type manner. Common brand names include Whitman, Dansco and Harco.

A combination of two or more metals, such as electrum or cupro-nickel.

Illegal practice of tampering with the date, mint mark, or other feature of a coin in an attempt to be deceptive. For example, adding an 'S' mintmark to a 1909-VDB Lincoln Cent struck at the Philadelphia Mint.

A coin produced prior to the generally accepted date of 500 A.D.

artificial toning
Adding color(s) to a coin by various treatments with chemicals, heat and other methods in an attempt to increase its value. While a coin with natural toning may at times provide exceptional eye-appeal and command higher prices than an untoned specimen, a coin known to have been artificially toned (a deceptive practice) will bring much lower than usual prices.

noun: A specific characteristic of a coin.verb: Identifying a coin via the origin, denomination, type, date, mintmark, variety, etc.

Determination by a numismatic expert as to the status of a coin being original and genuine - not counterfeit.

bag marks
Nicks and scratches resulting from contact with other coins in the same mint bag. Especially common on large, heavy coins such as Morgan Dollars.

bank note
Paper money issued by a bank and payable to bearer.

bas relief
A style in which the design elements are raised within depressions in the field, so that no part of the design is undercut.

A coin with the center and outer ring(s) having different metal alloys.

A low-grade alloy of silver and other metals, usually copper, which is used in minor coinage.

Spanish pieces of eight were physically cut into eight pieces with each piece as one bit. The quarter dollar is sometimes referred to as two bits, so that an eighth of a dollar would be one bit or 12 and one-half cents.

A piece of metal (usually round) being prepared for coinage before the rims have been raised via the upsetting mill.

Minor nicks, marks, flaws or spots of discoloration that mar the surface of a coin.

A place where dealers, collectors and the general public get together to buy, sell and trade coins with each other. Usually the most active section of a coin show.

A yellowish alloy consisting mainly of copper and zinc.

A coin struck without a firmly seated collar which results in an outwards 'spread', but still includes all design details.

A mirror image of a design from one side of a coin impressed on the opposite side, e.g. a newly struck coin may adhere to the die, causing the next coin struck to have a First Strike Mirror Brockage of the coin stuck to the die; by the second strike the mirror is distorted, and later strikes are termed Struck Through A Capped Die.

An reddish/brown alloy consisting mainly of copper and tin, with a small amount of zinc.

A coin or other object composed primarily of a precious metal (such as gold, silver or platinum) with little to no numismatic value over and beyond that of the metal itself.

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

business strike
A coin struck with the intent of serving in the channels of commerce, i.e. to be circulated.

cabinet friction
See abrasions.

A coin, usually a Proof strike, with a frosted or satiny central device surrounded by a mirrorlike field.

Post confederation Canadian numismatics.

The pattern of light reflected by flow lines of mint state coins, resembling spokes of a wheel; Name given to the British pennies and twopences of 1797 due to their unusually broad rims.

certified coin
A coin authenticated and graded by an unbiased, 3rd-party professional service.

To secure the purchase a rare variety of a coin worth a premium over the seller's asking price for a common variety.

chop mark
A symbol added to money by someone other than the government which issued it to indicate authenticity. Commonly found on U.S. Trade Dollars which circulated in the Orient.

Denotes money that has served a purpose in the channels of commerce, i.e. it is no longer mint state (uncirculated).

Composed of more than one metallic layer, e.g. dimes, quarters, and halves currently minted by the U.S.

clash mark(s)
Elements of designs from the opposite side of a coin which is the result of coin dies clashing into one another when no planchet is present during the striking process.

cleaned coin
A coin which has been dipped, polished, whizzed, wiped, etc. Generally speaking, a certain amount of very light cleaning (such as dipping) done by a professional may be acceptable.

Any procedure that removes corrosion, unattractive toning, etc. such as dipping or rubbing with abrasive materials.

A coin, planchet or blank missing a portion of metal from its periphery, caused by an error during production of the blank, usually at the end of a strip.

Deliberate shearing or shaving from the edge of gold and silver coins. Was quite common from the Byzantine to the Colonial eras, so much so that many authorities employed edge devices in order to discourage this practice.

A piece of metal (usually round) with a distinctive stamp and of a fixed value and weight issued by an authority and intended to be used as a medium of exchange.

coin show
An event where numismatic items are bought, sold, traded and often exhibited.

A device in a coining press used to restrict the outward flow of metal during striking. Allows the rounding of coins to be much more precise. Also, can be used to put an edge design on the coin.

An organized unit of various numismatic holdings.

A coin with a design honoring a person, place or event in history.

condition census
The finest known specimens of a particular coin type or variety.

contact marks
Small surface scratches or nicks which is caused by contact of coins in the same bag.

A fake coin deceptively made with the intent of passing it off as if it were the genuine article.

A raised lump of metal on a coin caused by a piece of the die breaking off.

A coin that is worn to the point of being barely identifiable, and/or damaged.

cupro-nickel (or copper-nickel)
Composed of an alloy of copper and nickel, such as the U.S. Flying Eagle cents struck from 1856 thru 1858.

See paper money.

A problem such as scratches, nicks, holes, harsh cleaning, pitting, etc. which lowers the value of a numismatic item.

The year(s) stamped on a coin, representative of the year it was minted.

An individual or organization that regularly buys, sells and trades coins.

deep mirror prooflike
An attribute given to coins with highly reflective mirrorlike fields, giving it a similar look to that of a proof strike.

Metal missing (or nearly so) from the surface due to incomplete bonding in the planchet.

An ancient Roman silver coin weighing about 3 grams, roughly the same size as a U.S. dime but much thicker.

The face value of a coin.

denticles (dentils)
Tooth-like raised features near the rim of a coin.

The arrangement of devices, lettering, etc. on a coin.

The artist(s) responsible for a coin's design.

A major design element, e.g. the bust of a person or a ship on the high seas.

A piece of steel (usually cylindrical) bearing at one end the design of one side of a coin.

die chip
A small fragment broken off from a die similar to a cud, but much less dramatic.

die clash
Upper and lower dies coming together in a coin press without a planchet between them.

die crack
A narrow fissure in the surface of a die which produces a raised line on the coins it strikes.

die erosion
Nornal wear on a die from its 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.

die state
The condition of a die at a specific time in its life.

A form of cleaning by immersion in a liquid which is capable of causing molecular changes in the surface (with the intent of providing a more appealing look).

A frequently-used spelling of 'dime' in the 17th century.

double denomination
An error in which a coin is restruck by the die pair of another denomination.

double die
A term sometimes intended to mean a doubled die coin and sometimes indicating a machine doubled coin (note that there are vast differences in the values).

double eagle
A U.S. $20 gold coin, minted from 1849 through 1933.

doubled die
A die with doubled device details, letters and/or numerals resulting from an error in manufacture. Also, a coin struck from such a die.

An ancient Greek silver coin weighing about 3 grams. The predecessor to the Roman denarius.

A U.S. $10 gold coin minted from 1795 through 1933. Also, the current U.S. bullion program pieces.

The perimeter of coin, sometimes referred to as the '3rd' side.

A naturally occurring alloy of silver and gold. The earliest coins of ancient Asia Minor and many Byzantine issues were struck in this metal.

Any mistake in the minting process which results in a different appearance than intended on the resulting coin(s).

The lower section of a coin or medal, usually divided from the field by a line and often containing the date, mintmark or engraver's initial(s).

Tokens, medals and other non-monetary coin-like objects.

face value
The ordinary monetary worth of a coin or note at the time of issue.

fiat money
Money not backed by specie and is legal tender by virtue of decree.

The background on a coin, not used for a design or inscription.

fillet head
The head of Liberty on U.S. coins with her hair tied with a band, generally on the forehead.

The purity of a precious metal coin, usually expressed as a percentage one thousand parts.

A 3 cent silver U.S. coin sometimes referred to as a trime. Also, a 5 cent silver Canadian piece.

Another term for a planchet.

A plastic coin holder, usually with 2 sections - one for the coin - one for a small card containing information about the coin.

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

Minute oxidation spots on a coin, often caused by small dropplets of spittle from talking over the coin.

Fugio cent
The first coin issued by authority of the United States in 1787. Fugio is Latin for 'I fly', in this instance, referring to time.

An epoxy coated plaster relief model of a coin created in order to produce master hubs, which in turn produce coin dies.

Condition assigned to a coin mainly in an effort to determine its relative value. See our article on Grading United States Coins.

The nickname given to the Coin Dealer Newsletter, a price guide for U.S. coins intended primarily for dealer-to-dealer transactions for uncertified coins.

Light scratches in the surface of a coin, usually caused by light polishing.

half cent
A U.S. copper coin minted from 1793 through 1857 (1/200th of a dollar).

half dime
A U.S. silver coin minted from 1794 through 1873 (five cents).