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Glossary Of Coin Terms For Collectors

Jun 18, 2008
Every collector should know all the basic glossary terms when ever collecting coins, so that they will have a much better understanding when they are purchasing from private coin dealers, due to so many individuals becoming first time collectors a glossary of terms has been composited just for you.

An alloy is a mixture or two or more metals combined together to create one, which sometimes can be a less expense metal mixed with a much more valuable one. The American Eagle Bullion Coins are platinum, silver, and gold coins that were released by the United States Mint beginning back in October of 1986. An American Eagle Proof Coin is a proof quality bullion coin of platinum, silver, or gold where there production process has specially adapted coin pressess, dies, and polishes that create the most remarkable clarity of any coin.

A nonprofit educational organization that helps encourage the study and collection of money throughout the world is the American Numismatic Association or (ANA). The process of heating blanks or planchets in a furnace that softens metal and then cooling slowly in order to toughen to reduce the brittleness is called annealing. Assay means to analyze or examine to determine the purity or quanity of gold, silver, or other metal within coins.

A mark created on a coin from the contact with other coins inside of a mint bag is called a bag mark. Bi-metallic is a coin that is comprised of two different metals that have been bonded together. Another word for planchet is blank, which is a coin design that is stamped. A bullion is platinum, gold, or silver in the form of bars or other storage shapes that include coins and ingots. Precious metal coins traded at current buillion prices is considered to be a bullion coin.

Any coin produced for the general circulation is called a business strike. The portrait on each coin, which usually includes the head, neck and upper shoulders is called a bust. Clad coinage are coins that have a core and outer layer that consists of different metals. For instance, all circulating United States dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars have been clad since 1965. A flat piece of metal issued by the government and considered as money or currency is called a coin.

The collar is a piece of metal that restrains the expanding metal of a blank or planchet during the striking process. A speciality coin or medal issued in honor of an outstanding individual, place, or event is called commemorative. Condition is the physical state of the coin itself. A fake coin or any other piece of currency made to make individuals think that it is real is called counterfeit. Currency is any type of money, whether it is paper or coins, that is used as a way to purchase goods and services.

The variety of values in money is called denomination. Currently, United State coins are made in the six denominations, which are penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar, and dollar. An engraved stamp that is used for impressing a design or image upon a blank piece of metal to create a coin is a die. Designer is the artist that creates a design on a coin, but does not necessarily actually engrave the design into the coinage die.

The edge is the outer border of a coin and is also considered to be the third side of a coin; this is not to be confused with the rim. Some coins feature lettering, reeding, and even ornamental designs on their edges. An artist, who sculpts a claymodel of a design on a coin in bas relief is an engraver. An improperly produced coin that has been overlooked during production and then later released into circulation is called an error and colletors find these coins extremely fascinating.

Face value is the amount inscribed on the outside of coins. The portion on the surface of a coin that is not used for any design or inscription is the field. Grade is the rating that indicates exactly how much a coin has been worn during circulation. Tiny lines or scratches on coins that are usually caused by cleaning or polishing are hairlines. Incuse is opposite of relief and the part of the design that the coin is pressed into the surface.

Words stamped on a coin is the inscription and the current market value of the precious metal within a coin is its intrinsic value or bullion value. The date required to complete a collection, which is usually more difficult to find and afford is a key date. Legal tender are coins, dollar bills, or any other currency that is issued by a government as official money or currency. Principal lettering on a coin is a legend.

A metal object that resembles a coin, which is issued to recognize an event, place, person or group that has no stated value and is not intended to circulate as money is called medal. Medium of exchange is anything that people may agree on to have a certain value.

The United States Mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver produce all circulating coins, while West Point now produces all the uncirculated coins. The mint is a place where coins are manufactured under government authority. The dull, frosty, or satiny shine found on uncirculated coins is a mint luster and a mint mark is a tiny letter that identifys which of the mint facilities struck the coin. Mint state is the same as being uncirculated and mintage is the quanity of coins being produced.

Any word, sentence or phrase that is inscribed within a coin to express a national principle is considered to be a motto. The study and collecting of things used as currency is called numismatics. A coin design that is no longer produced is said to be obsolete. Obverse is the front side or heads of a coin. If a coin has received a misalignement strike from the coin press and/or has portains of its design missing is considered to be off-center. A new coin that is produced with a previously struck coin used as the blank is said to be an overstrike.

Pattern is an experimental piece that is usually a new design or metal. The blank piece of metal where a coin design is to be stamped is called a planchet. A specially produced coin made from highly polished blanks and dies that is struck more than once to help accent the design is called a proof. Proof coins always receive the highest quality strikes possible and are distinguished by their great sharpness of detail and brilliant, mirror-like surfaces. A complete set of proof coins including a denomination of each in a given year are called a proof set.

Any part of the design on a coin that has risen about the surface is called relief, which is the opposite of incuse. A restrike is a coin that has been minted using the original dies but at a later date. The back or tails of a coin is called the reverse. The machine that screens our blanks or planchets that are the wrong size or shape is called a riddler. The rim is the raised edge on both sides of a coin that protects the design on the coin from wear and is created by the upsetting mill.

Rolls are coins packaged by bank, dealers, individuals, or the United States Mint. A collection of coins that contains the date and mint marks of a specific design and denomination is considered a series. Slab is the nickname for some of the protective coin encapsulation methods. A process of stamping a coin blank with a design with the strength of the imprint being either full, average, or weak will affect the value of coins and is called a strike. A collection of coins based on their denominations is a type set.

The coin term uncirculated has three different meanings that applys to coins with the first being the manufacturing process which the coin is made, second, as a grade with the degree of preservation and quality of the strike, and third, the coin is not used in everyday commerce. A machine that raises the rim on both sides of a coin is an upsetting mill and variety is a minor change from the basic design type of a coin. A collection of all coins issued during on year is considered to be a year set.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about rare coins, stamp collections, and rare collectibles. Follow these links to find the best marketplace for: rare coins, collections, and coin collecting.
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