Copy of `Coin Gallery Numismatic Glossary`

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Coin Gallery Numismatic Glossary
Category: Sport and Leisure > Coin Collecting
Date & country: 11/09/2007, USA
Words: 213


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

half eagle
A U.S. $5 gold coin minted from 1795 through 1929.

high points
The areas of highest relief in a coin design. Usually the first to show evidence of wear or abrasion. May be incomplete due to a 'soft' strike.

hobo nickel
A coin (usually a U.S. Buffalo nickel) reengraved to produce a different image.

holder
A device designed for storage and/or display of numismatic items.

holed
Having a hole drilled through it, usually for jewelry use.

hub
A steel bar used to make coin dies.

impaired proof
A proof coin with wear or damage resulting from circulation or mishandling.

incuse
Design elements are impressed into the surface (opposite of relief).

inscription
The legend or lettering on a coin.

intrinsic
Net metallic value sans numismatic/face value.

jugate
Conjoined busts facing the same direction slightly offset from each other in such a way as to allow the bottom bust to be partially seen while the top bust is shown in its entirety.

key date
The rarest (or one of the most rare) and therefore most expensive members of a coin series, e.g. the 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent or 1916-D Mercury dime.

KM number
Chet Krause/Clifford Mishler number assigned to a coin in popular referrence books.

lamination
A defect caused by metal detaching from the rest of a coin. Somewhat common with clad coinage.

large cent
A U.S. copper coin minted from 1793 through 1857, similar in size to a current U.S. quarter (worth 1/100th of a dollar). Also, a similar Canadian coin issued between 1858-1920.

legend
The principle inscription on a coin other than the denomination or nation which issued it.

lettered edge
The inscription found on the edge of a coin.

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

loupe
A type of magnifying glass used by numismatists to more closely examine a coin.

luster
The glossy brilliance of a coin seen from the reflection of light off the flow lines.

machine doubling
Doubling of details resulting from loose dies during the striking process (much more common and much less valuable than die doubling).

matte proof
A proof coin with a grainy surface appearance produced by dies treated to obtain a minutely etched surface.

medal
A coin-like object struck to honor one or more persons or events, but without any denomination (which may then classify it as a commemorative coin).

melt
The value of precious metal in a coin (see intrinsic).

milled edge
A raised rim around the outer surface of a coin.

mint
A manufacturing facility for producing coins.

mint bloom
The original surface of a newly minted coin (see lustre).

mint mark
A letter or symbol used to denote the mint which produced the coin.

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
A level of preservation signifying the same basic condition as when originally delivered from the mint (uncirculated).

mintage
The number of coins produced by a mint for a specific time period.

misplaced date
One or more digits of a date punched away from the intended location.

motto
A world or phrase found on a coin, e.g 'E Pluribus Unum'.

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

natural toning
Coloration resulting from chemical change on the surface during normal environmental exposure over a prolonged period.

nick
A small mark on a coin usually caused by contact with a another coin.

numismatics
The art and science relating to the study of coins, tokens, medals, paper money and similar objects.

numismatist
A student and/or collector who is knowledgeable in numismatics.

obol
A small ancient Greek silver coin (worth 1/6 of a drachma).

obverse
The front or 'heads' side of a coin, usually the side with the date and main design.

off center
An error caused by incorrectly centering the planchet during the striking process, which results in part of the design missing from the coin.

original
Refers to a coin that has not been 'doctored', i.e. cleaned or tampered with post the original minting process.

over mintmark
A mintmark punched on top of another mintmark, such as a 'D' over an 'S'.

overdate
A coin struck from a die with one or more digits of the date repunched over a different digit, e.g. the 1942/1 Mercury dime.

overgrade
The practice of assigning a higher grade to a coin than it truly deserves.

overstrike
An impression made with different dies on a previously struck coin.

oxidation
The formation of oxides or tarnish on the surface of a coin from exposure to humidity, air pollutants, or other environmental elements.

paper money
Paper notes with standardized characteristics issued as money.

paranumismatica
Another term for exonumia.

patina
A surface film found on coins (usually brown or green) caused by oxidation over a long period of time.

pattern
A coin struck as a trial or test piece for a new design - many times without all final legends, dates, design details, etc. - may be struck on different alloys than the final issue.

piece of eight
An early Spanish coin with a face value of eight reales.

pitted
Having a rough surface due to loss of metal by corrosion.

planchet
A piece of metal - previously termed a blank - now with raised rims from an upsetting machine - but not yet struck by the coin dies.

plugged
A holed coin that has been filled.

porous
Having a granular surface as the result of oxidation.

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.

problem coin
Any coin that has been cleaned, damaged or has other undesirable traits.

proof
Coins struck mainly for collectors as special presentation pieces using specially polished or otherwise prepared dies.

proof set
A specially packaged set of proof coins.

prooflike
An business strike coin having mirrorlike fields giving it an appearance similar to that of a proof strike.

quarter eagle
A U.S. $2.50 gold coin minted from 1796 through 1929. <

rarity
Generally relates to the infrequency or relative unavailability of a coin, as a direct function of important factors such as the original mintage and overall survival rate.

rarity scale
A convention for designating the relative rarity of a coin.

real
A former basic monetary unit of Spain and Spanish colonies.

Red Book
The nickname for A Guide Book to United States Coins, a retail price guide for U.S. coins published annually since 1947.

reeded edge
The edge of a coin with grooved lines that run vertically around its perimeter.

relief
The part of a coin design that is raised above its surface (opposite of incuse).

repunched date
A date with one or more of the digits punched more than once in different locations and/or orientations.

repunched mintmark
A mintmark punched more than once in different locations and/or orientations. (RPM)

restrike
A coin struck with authentic dies later than the original date of issue.

reverse
The back or 'tails' side of a coin.

rib
The vein lines on the surface of a leaf.

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

Roman Finish Proof
Term given to designate certain U.S. proof coins made at the Philadelphia mint in 1909-1910.

scratch
A deep line or groove in a coin caused by contact with a sharp or rough object (much more dramatic than a hairline).

series
One coin of each year issued from each mint of a specific design and denomination, e.g., Shield Nickels 1866-1883.

sight seen
Available for examination prior to a final purchase decision.

sight unseen
Unavailable for examination prior to a final purchase decision.

silver certificate
Paper money that was once redeemable for its face value in silver.

silver clad
A clad coin with one layer containing silver, e.g. U.S. half dollars 1965-1970.

silver eagle
A coin produced by the U.S. mint beginning in 1986 containing one ounce of silver and a face value of one dollar (not intended for circulation).

slab
The sealed hard plastic holder used by 3rd-party professional grading services to house coins they have determined to be authentic - has a label denoting the specific grading service, grade assigned to the coin and other information.

slider
A coin which is just this side of uncirculated with only very slight traces of wear - (AU58).

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

split grade
Assigning individual grades to the obverse and reverse sides of a coin.

spot
A small area of corrosion or foreign substance. Also, short for spot price.

spot price
The market price for immediate delivery of a commodity, such as gold, silver or platinum.

spread
Difference between buy and sell prices on the same coin(s) from the same party. Also, the degree of separation between impressions on a doubled die.

stella
A U.S. $4 gold coin pattern minted 1879-1880.

striations
Thin raised lines on the surface of a coin, caused by excessive polishing of the die.

strike
The process of impressing a design into a planchet by force of the dies to create a coin.

strike doubling
Another term for machine doubling.

tetradrachm
An ancient Greek silver coin weighing about 13 to 17 grams, similar in size to a U.S. quarter but much thicker.

thumbing
The rubbing of skin oil onto a coin in an attempt to hide contact marks.

token
A coin-like object redeemable for a particular product or service, such as bus rides, beer or video games.

toning
Color acquired from chemical change on the surface.

trade dollar
A U.S. dollar coin minted from 1873 through 1885 specifically for commerce in the Orient; A U.K. dollar coin minted from 1895 through 1935 specifically for commerce in the Orient.

trime
A small U.S. 3 cent silver coin minted from 1851-1873.