H - Coin Collecting Glossary

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

























The area of a coin that represents hair and maybe an important grading aspect.


Thin scratches on a coin, usually in the fields or across the devices which are caused by rough or careless cleaning, wiping or drying of a coin.


Jargon for a half dollar.

Half Crown

Refers to the Silver Two and a Half Shillings produced between 1892 and 1897 as part of the President Kruger series(Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek)

Half Dollar

The denomination was first struck in 1794 and still minted today.

Half Rolls

At times rolls were issued with one half the number of coins in a roll that we consider to be normal today.

Halogen Light

A powerful light source that enables a viewer to examine coins closely. This type of light reveals even the smallest possible flaws.

Hammer Die

The upper die, usually the obverse – which descends to STRIKE the PLANCHET in the coining chamber.


A cloudy film, original or added, seen on both business-strike coins and Proofs.

Heraldic Eagle

Also referred to as the large eagle, this emblem of Liberty resembles the eagles of heraldry.

High End

A term applied to any coin at the upper end of a particular grade.

High Points

The area that is the highest on the coin and prone to wear.


A group of coins held for either numismatic or monetary reasons.

Hoard coin

A coin that exists, or existed, in a quantity held by an individual or organization.


An individual who hoards a large number of numismatic products.

Holder Toning

Any toning acquired by a coin as a result of storage in a holder. Mainly refers to toning seen on coins stored in any type of cardboard holder which contained sulfur and other reactive chemicals.


Minting term for the steel device from which a die is produced. The hub is produced with the aid of a portrait lathe or reducing machine and bears a positive image of the coin's design – that is, it shows the design as it will appear on the coin itself. The image on the die is negative– a mirror image of the design.


Impaired Proof

This refers to a circulated proof, and grades less than PR-60.

Incandescent Light

Direct light from a lamp for photography, as opposed to indirect light such as that from a fluorescent bulb.

Incomplete Strike

A coin that is missing design detail because of a problem during the striking process. The incompleteness may be due to insufficient striking pressure or improperly spaced dies.

Incuse Design

The intaglio design used on Indian Head quarter eagles and half eagles. These coins were struck from dies which had fields recessed so that the devices – the areas usually raised – were recessed on the coins themselves. This was an experiment to try to deter counterfeiting and improve wearing quality.

Indian Cent

The common name for an Indian Head cent.

Indian Head Cent

James Longacre design cents(1859 to 1909). Coins between 1859-1864 were produced with copper-nickel alloy, and between 1864 to 1909 in Bronze.

Indian Head Eagle

The Saint-Gaudens designed ten-dollar gold coin struck from 1907 to 1933.

Indian Penny

Jargon for an Indian Head cent.


A square piece of cast metal, usually of gold or silver, with weight and fineness, specified used in the production of coins.


The legend which is struck onto the coin, some coins have an inscription on the obverse, reverse and even the rim.

Intrinsic value

The value of the metal(s) contained in a numismatic item.


An individual who buys numismatic items strictly for profit. These people do not care to complete a set or particular collection but look at the mintage, scarceness, value and profit ranges.

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