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 contact us and let us know. We would like to grow and expand this list with your help.
"Good" (the grade) and "4" (the numerical designation of the grade). The major details of the coin will be worn flat. Minor wear into the rims is allowable, but the peripheral lettering will be nearly full.
"Good" (the grade) and "6" (the numerical designation of the grade). A higher grade (i.e., less worn) than a G-4 coin. The rims will be complete and the peripheral lettering will be full.
The large metal relief used in the portrait lathe from which a positive reduction in steel, called a hub, is made.
Adjectival description applied to Mint State and Proof-65 coins. It also is used for higher grades and as a generic term for a superb coin. "gem" refers to a coin GRADING 65 on the SHELDON SCALE.
Gem Brilliant Uncirculated
Gem Uncirculated - adjectival equivalent of Mint State 65 or 66.
The silver dollars dated 1836, 1838, and 1839 struck in those years and restruck later (some 1836-dated coins were struck in 1837). These are named for their designer, Christian Gobrecht.
AU, an precious metal
Any of the eleven commemorate coins struck in gold from 1903 until 1925. Also, any of the modern United States commemorative gold issues, sometimes called modern gold commems.
The small coins of one dollar denomination struck from 1849 until 1889
The adjective corresponding to the grades G-4 and G-6. Coins in these grades usually have little detail but outlined major devices. On some coins, the rims may be worn to the tops of some letters.
Grade Point Average
The numerical or adjectival condition of a coin based on a standard set of rules.
Grade Point Average
Refers to the Grade Point Average of a PCGS Set Registry set. If a set is unweighted the GPA is figured by adding up the grades of each coin and dividing the sum by the number of coins in the set. If a set is weighted (and someday all of the sets will be weighted) then the rarity of the coins is also factored into the equation.
An individual or company who evaluates the condition of coins.
The process of numerically quantifying the condition of a coin. Before the adoption of the Sheldon numerical system, coins were given descriptive grades such as Good, Very Good, Fine, and so forth.
Abnormalities on a coin's surface, caused by oil or grease dropped onto a die during the minting process.
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