Coin Term Glossary

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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.

 

N

Net Grading

Refers to a compromising method of grading a coin. For example, if a particular coins's OBVERSE grades MS65 but it's REVERSE only warrants a grade of MS63, then the dealer / grader might label the coin MS64. It may also refer to a coin which might otherwise grade MS65 but has been cleaned so it is "net-graded" MS62.

New

A term for a coin that never has been in circulation.

New Orleans

 

The branch Mint established in 1838 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It struck coins for the United States until its seizure in 1861 by the Confederacy. (Some 1861-O half dollars were struck after the seizure.) It reopened in 1879 and struck coins until 1909 (actually closed in 1910). Now this facility is a museum.

New Orleans Mint

The New Orleans opened its doors in 1838 and closed 1942. This mint uses the “O” mintmark.

NGC

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation

Nickel

Popular term for a five-cent piece struck in cupro-nickel alloy(actually 75% copper, 25% nickel).

No “CENTS” nickel

Those Liberty Head or “V” nickels struck in 1883 without a denomination. This was very confusing to the public and led to the “racketeer” nickel scandal.

No Arrows

Term applied to coins without arrows by their dates during years when other coins had arrows by the date.

No Motto

 

Coins struck without the motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST.” This motto was mandated by an act of Congress and appeared on nearly every United States coin since the 1860s. (Teddy Roosevelt felt this was disrespectful and had it removed from the 1907 eagles and double eagles. Citizen protests soon were overwhelming and it was reinstated in 1908.) This also refers to coins struck before the motto was added in the 1860s.

No Stars

Term applying to the Christian Gobrecht designed Liberty Seated coins that does not have stars.

No-grade

Term applied to a coin returned from a third-party grading service that was not encapsulated, because of varying reasons. (This could be for cleaning, damage, questionable authenticity, etc.) This no-grade is still charged for.

Numerical Grading

Specifically, the Sheldon 1-70 scale employed by PCGS and others.

Numismatics

The science of money; coins, paper money, tokens, inscribed bars, and all related items are included.

Numismatist

Any person who are interested and studies or collects money or substitutes thereof.

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation

Third-party grading service based in Parsipany, New Jersey.

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