T - 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
























Tab toning


Describe the toning often seen on commemorative coins which were sold in cardboard holders with a round tab. Coins toned in these holders have a circle in the centre – and referred to having tab toning.

Target Toning

Any coins with circles of colour, similar to an archery target, with deeper colours on the periphery, often fading to white or cream colour at the centre.

Technical Grading

The type of grading which only relies on certain technical merits of a coin such as a strike and marks. As opposed to aesthetic merits such as lustre, toning and overall eye-appeal. For example, a coin may be technically awesome but receive a more modest certified grade because the toning is just too dark and unattractive.

Teddy’s Coin

Refers to the first design submitted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens at the personal request of then-President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.


A coin merchant uses leads and sells coins over the telephone. Leads are created when a buyer shows an interest in a coin, by filling in an online request to get more information on coin investment or information on a particular coin that is on display.


Jargon for an eagle or ten-dollar gold coin

Ten Indian

A common name for an Indian Head eagle

Ten Lib

A common name for a Liberty Head eagle

Tensor light

A small, direct light source used by many graders or numismatists to help investigate, examine and grade coins.


The Germanic spelling of the Europe silver-dollar size coins. Our word “Dollar” is derived from Thaler.

The Numismatist

Monthly publication of the American Numismatic Association(ANA).


A common name for the Indian Head three-dollar Gold coin.

Three Cent Nickel

The 75% copper and 25% nickel three-cent coins (1865-1889) with Liberty Head motif on.

Three Cent Silver

The USA three-cent coin with a star motif struck in silver alloy.



A term used to describe a coin that has been adjusted in an explicit way to cover up any marks, hairlines, or other instabilities. The natural oils in the skin were used to when rubbing with your thumb gently over the disturbances. The skin oils helped to disguise small problems.

Tissue toning


Colour, often vibrant, acquired by coins stored in the original Mint paper. Some of this paper contained sulphur and this created some toning on the coins over long periods of storage.


A substitute for a coin, normally for use on general equipment such as vending machines, gaming, casinos, etc. These have been issued in the past and are still currently issued in huge quantities.


Refers to the colour seen on coins. These can be hues, shades and pattern variations. Toning results from how, where and how long under certain conditions coins are stored. Almost any coin will start toning and this can add value to it.


A term used in reference to the engraving of a coin, usually outside the Mint, in an effort to artificially enhance a coin's appearance and value

Tooling Mark

Usually a small and fine line, that can be found on any coin. On genuine coins, such lines result when Mint workmen touch up dies to remove fragments of an overdate or other unwanted areas. On counterfeits, they often appear in areas where the die was inconsistent.


Synonym to “Pop-Top”. Refers to a coin of the finest grade or at the TOP of the POPulation report.

Trade dollar

A U.S. silver coin (1873 to 1885) was slightly heavier than the regular silver dollar. These dollars were intended to facilitate trade in the Far East-hence its name. Trade dollars were made with this a bit higher silver content than the standard silver dollars in an effort to gain acceptance for them in being used for commerce.

Transfer Die

The die is created by sacrificing a coin for a model.


Short for a transitional issue.

Transitional issue

A coin struck after a series ends, and when a new series starts. One side could still have the same design, as well as the new design on it and then phased out over time.

Treasure coin

Known to have come from a buried/hidden source such as a shipwreck.


A term used for a three-cent piece.

Turban Head

Synonymous with Draped Bust.


Common term for Double Eagle or the Twenty Dollar gold coin.

Twenty Lib

A common name for Liberty Head Double eagle or the Twenty-dollar gold coin.

Two and a Half

A common name for a Quarter (¼) eagle or two-and-one-half dollar gold coin.


A variation in design, size, or metallic content of a specific coin design.

Type Coin

A representative coin, usually a common date, from a particular issue of a specific design, size, or metallic content.

Type One

A term for any coin from the first Type within a Series.

Type One Buffalo(Bison)

1913, Indian Head five-cent coin with the reverse buffalo (Bison) on a raised mound.

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