Keeping up with the terms and jargon can be sometimes frightening. We hope that the following Coin Collecting Glossary on the most frequently used terms, acronyms and definitions will be beneficial to you. If we missed a word or phrase, please help us and let us know. We would like to grow and expand this list with your help.
This grade is given to a coin that falls short of Good. Only the main features (such as the Peripheral lettering, date, stars, etc.) of the coin are present in this grade or partially worn away. This grade is also sometimes referred to as grade AG-3.
At first glance these coins would appear Uncirculated, but will show slight friction or slight wear when they are investigated closer. The grades given for them are AU50, 53, 55, or 58.
Any Area(s) of the coin where a foreign object or another coin has displaced metal in an abraded fashion.
A miscellaneous grouping of coins, and should not be confused with a coin collection. Example of these are a grouping of a particular type, date, or series. (Example: an accumulation–of coins with Swallows or a certain animal on.)
These are Pre-striking file marks usually found on gold/silver coins that were minted prior to 1840. After 1840 these are not seen due to the improvement of the striking process and that the filing was on the rim.
About Good (the Grade). The letter(3) refers to the corresponding numerical description. The lettering on the coin is readable, with some moderate heavy wear in the rim.
Actual Gold Weight - This refers to the physical amount of pure gold in a coin, medal or bar. Any alloys are included in the gross weight of the gold coin, but excluded when referring to the AGW. 22 Carat Gold coins, does have a percentage of copper in them.
Friction might be slight, due to rubbing on the high points – Similar to album slide marks.
Album Slide Marks
Lines, due to the surface of a coin by the plastic partition of an album.
A mixture of two or more metals. Metals are sometimes mixed to make the coins more durable or metal value less.
Opposite of About Uncirculated.
Inclusion of a date, mint mark, or other feature that has been changed, added, or removed, usually to simulate a rarer issue. Example of this is the “99” over-stamped ZAR Kruger Pond which only 130 where produced.
The United States Mint started in 1986 to sell silver bullion coins in the denomination of $1. The following year, they added a series of gold coins to the series and expanded it to 1/10, ¼, ½, and 1 ounce versions. On the reverse of each coin, a family of eagles are shown, hence the name.
American Numismatic Association - Founded in 1888 as a non-profit numismatic organization founded to promote numismatics.
American Numismatic Association Certification Service - Started out originally only doing authentication, but grading services was later introduced. This service were later sold and now operates as a third party grading service, under the same name.
This certificate are supplied by the ANA Certification Service to authenticity
Any coins in the world struck circa 600 B.C. to circa 450 A.D.
The heating of a die or planchet to soften the metal. This is done before
American Numismatic Society
The die upon which a planchet rests prior it get striked. Lower die refers usually to the reverse – although on some issues with striking problems, the obverse was employed as the lower die. The fixed lower-die impression is in some cases better struck than the upper-die impression, due to the process of minting.
To file or collect
Normally design element – Look at the left claw of the eagle seen on many United States coins.
Arrows and Rays
Referes to the quarters and half dollars of 1853. The rays were removed in 1854 – This was done due to the complexity of this design.
Arrows at Date
Term referring to the arrows to the right and left of the date, added to the dies to indicate a weight decrease of increase.
Coloring to the surface of a coin by means of heat or introduction of certain chemicals.
The price or selling quotation on any form of publication, this can be either on the internet, newspaper, newsletter or in person.
To test (analyze or examine) the metallic content of a coin.
The elements that make up a coin’s grade for example the marks, luster, strike, and eye appeal.
AU-50 , AU-53, AU-55, AU-58
"About Uncirculated" (the grade) and "50" (the numerical designation of that grade). There are four AU grades. AU-50 is the lowest. The other grades are AU53, AU55, and AU58. High points of the coin will have wear that is easily noticeable to the naked eye. AU-58 shows the slightest wear on the high points, even though it may be necessary to tilt the coin towards the light source to see the friction.
Auctions are taking place everyday and a very good example is ebay.com or bidorbuy. Coins are offered for sale – Buyers interested will look at picture and description and based on this, bid against other byers. The price is not fixed.
The process of determining the genuineness of a coin or numismatic item by inspecting it and using consistent methods.