Keeping up with the Terms, Abbreviations and Jargon

can be sometimes frightening - We made is easier to understand

We hope that the following Coin Collecting Glossary on the most frequently used terms, acronyms, and definitions will be beneficial to you.

Coin Term Glossary
























About Good


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.

About Uncirculated


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. Examples of these are a grouping of a particular type, date, or series. (Example: an accumulation–of coins with Swallows or a certain animal on.)

Adjustment Marks


These are Pre-striking file marks usually found on gold/silver coins that were minted before 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 do have a percentage of copper in them.

Album Friction


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 a metal value less.

Almost Uncirculated

Opposite of About Uncirculated.



Inclusion of date, mintmark, 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.

American Eagle

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 is 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 originally only doing authentication, but grading services were later introduced. This service was later sold and now operates as a third-party grading service, under the same name.

ANACS Certificate

This certificate is supplied by the ANA Certification Service to authenticity
and/or grade coins.


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
preparation of the die or striking of the coin.


American Numismatic Society

Anvil Die


The die upon which a planchet rests prior it get struck. 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

Refers to the quarters and a half dollars of 1853. The rays were removed in 1854 – This was done due to the complexity of this design.

Arrows at Date

A term referring to the arrows to the right and left of the date, added to the dies to indicate a weight decrease of increase.

Artificial Toning

Colouring to the surface of a coin using heat or introduction of certain chemicals.

Asking Price


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, lustre, strike, and eye appeal.

AU-50 , AU-53, AU-55, AU-58

About Uncirculated(the grade) and50(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 every day and a very good example is or bidorbuy. Coins are offered for sale – Buyers interested will look at picture and description and based on this, bid against other buyers. The price is not fixed.


The process of determining the genuineness of a coin or numismatic item by inspecting it and using consistent methods.

If we missed a word or phrase, please let us know. We would like to grow and expand this list with your help.

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