Keeping up with the Terms, Abbreviations 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.
A coin of the same date and basic design, but with slight differences. PCGS recognizes all major varieties while there are thousands of minor varieties, most of which have significance only to specialists of the particular series.
Short for 1909 VDB Lincoln Head cent. The controversy was due to having a non-Mint engraver’s (VDB) initials on a coin. The initials of Victor D. Brenner’s initials were removed.
The grader at PCGS looks at already graded coins and due quality assurance of grading. The grader will tag a coin under dispute and have it re-graded.
The term corresponding to the grades VF-20, 25, 30, and 35. This has the broadest range of any circulated grade, with nearly full detail on some VF-35 coins and less than half on some VF-20 specimens.
The term corresponding to the grades VG-8 and VG-10. In these grades, between Good and Fine, a coin has slightly more detail than in Good, usually with full rims.
Very Fine(the grade) and 20(the numerical designation of the grade). Most of the detail is clear, lettering is readable but sometimes unclear and some minor detail is sometimes separate, but usually blended.
This is for Very Fine(the grade) and 25(the numerical designation of the grade). In this grade, about 60% of the original detail is evident, with the major devices being clear and distinct.
This is for Very Fine(the grade) and 30(the numerical designation of the grade). The devices are sharp with only a small amount of blending. Up to 75% of the original detail is evident.
This is for Very Fine(the grade) and 35(the numerical designation of the grade). This grade used to be called VF/EF (or VF/XF) before numerical grading was accepted throughout the hobby. Devices are sharp and clear and up to 80% of the detail is in evidence.
This is for Very Good(the grade) and 10 (the numerical designation of the grade). A higher grade (less worn) than the VG-8 coin. Design detail is still heavily worn but the major devices and lettering are clear.
This is for Very Good(the grade) and 8(the numerical designation of the grade). A slight amount of design detail is still showing on the coin, such as a couple of letters in the lettering.
If we missed a word or phrase, please let us know. We would like to grow and expand this list with your help.