Coin Terms- Coin Collector's Dictionary




[ Home ]


Articles and Coin News


Dictionary of Coin Collector Terms and Definitions:

A | B | C | D | E

F | G | H | I  | J

K | L | M| N | O

P | Q | R | S  | T

U | V | W| X | Y



Abbreviations & acronyms






Coin Dealers and shops


Books and Price Guides

for Coin Collectors

  Most popular COIN Price Guides and BOOKS -our selection at AMAZON






Where the investor goes to buy precious metals.

Buy gold online - quickly, safely and at low prices

Get a FREE gram of gold when you sign up!  For a limited time!

Trade online, in amounts as small as $20 at a time.


Information about New Presidential Dollar coins:

~Unusual Edge Letters on Dollars

~US mint press release.

~Production Schedule of Dollars to be released

~Legislation Authorizing Presidential Dollars in 2007


[back to beginning]        A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

"A Glossary of Coin Collecting Words and Definitions"

Locate the meaning of coin dealer and numismatic words.


that start with the letter

" A "


about good
- one of the lowest grades in most grading standard books. Typically an about good coin is a very worn coin with some outline of the design and a readable date. Falls below below the grade of good. Sometimes abbreviated as AG.
About Uncirculated
- Same as "Almost Uncirculated". Sometimes abbreviated as "AU".
- marks or small scratches on the surface of a coin where another coin or object has slid across or bumped the coin. Can also be caused by the coin sliding in a holder or coin drawer. Not as deep or noticeable as bag marks. Usually found on the high parts of a coin or in the open fields (background). Sometimes the terms scuffing, light rubbing, or hairlines are also used to indicate light abrasive wear.
- A group of coins, sometimes not of any certain type or date. Also can be a "hoard".
Click here to see our list of coin collecting abbreviations and what they mean.
- elemental abbreviation for SILVER

- Same as "About good".
AirTite Holder
- A popular brand of plastic found shaped holders for coins.  They snap together and are often used to display, protect, and store individual coins. 
Album, or coin album
- Coin albums resemble a book, with holes or openings for displaying coins on each page.  Some are push in types where the coin is pushed in a hole in the cardboard page.  Other albums offer plastic sleeves or protective clear places for coin storage and display.
album friction or slide markings
- see friction.
- a mixture of two or more metals melted into one compound. For example old Liberty Head gold coins minted prior to 1933 were made of an alloy.  Although they were mostly gold a small amount of other metal was added to the gold to give the resulting coins a hardness that pure gold didn't offer.  Harder gold coins withstood wear better during circulation.  Most coins are made of some type of alloy.  Even the US nickel is made of an alloy of nickel and other metals.
Almost Uncirculated
- A coin or paper money note that is very close to being uncirculated. Upon first glance it may appear un-circulated. When inspected closely it will have a slight amount of wear or friction. Same as "About Uncirculated". Sometimes abbreviated as "AU", or "A Unc".
- intentional tampering of a coin usually to make it appear more valuable.  Often deals with the coin's date or mintmark.  However, it can involve changing the appearance (after a coin was minted) such as when hobo nickels were made.  If the intent of altering can be viewed as an attempt to deceive or fraud, prosecution can result.  Also, see altered date.
altered date
- a coin with the date manipulated or altered after the coin was produced. Often done to try to deceive someone. For example, an unscrupulous person might alter the date of a 1944-D cent to look like a 1914-D cent, by filing off part of the first 4 to make it look like the number 1.
American Eagle
Silver, gold, and platinum gold coins released by the US government starting in Oct. 1986. Front (obverse) depicts Liberty walking and reverse side bears an American Eagle and nest design. Produced in both Uncirculated and Proof conditions. The silver coins are often called Silver Eagles, gold coins often called Gold Eagles, and Platinum are called Platinum eagles.
American Eagle Bullion Coins
These are the uncirculated - mint condition versions of the United States "American Eagles" gold, silver, or platinum coins.  See "American Eagles".
American Eagle Proof Coins
Silver, gold, and platinum US gold coins that are of special "Proof" quality.  Sold by the United States Mint.  Proofs are made with special polished coin dies that give the coins a polished mirror-like appearance.  See "proof".
American Numismatic Association (ANA)
- the most popular nonprofit educational coin collectors organization in America. Encourages the study of numismatics; collecting of money. The American Numismatic Association headquarters and national 'Money Museum' are located in Colorado Springs, CO. Often called the A.N.A.
American Numismatic Society (ANS)
- another nonprofit educational organization of coin collectors and dealers. Established prior to the civil war it promotes the study of coin collecting, numismatics.  Often called the A.N.S.
American Silver Eagle
- sometimes called the silver eagle dollar coin or ASE.  American Silver Eagle coins were first minted by the United States government in 1986.  These 1 ounce solid silver coins are sold to collectors and dealers by the US Mint, and no versions are made for circulating through the banking system.
- abbreviation for the "American Numismatic Association".
- American Numismatic Association Certification Service.  This grading and certification service certifies coins as genuine, grades, and encapsulates them. One of the original grading services.  Has now changed ownership and is no longer under the direction of the American Numismatic Association (ANA).
- abbreviation for the "American Numismatic Society".
anvil die
- bottom die. A coin is struck using two dies. One for the obverse (front) of the coin and another for the reverse (back). The anvil die is the one on the bottom, which is usually the reverse. The term comes from when the die was placed on an anvil with the coin blank (planchet) on top. The hammer die (top die) was placed on top of the coin and struck with a hammer. See "hammer die" and "die".
- the process of heating coin blanks (planchlets) in a furnace to soften the metal prior to striking coins out of them.
artificial toning
- changing the color or surface tone of a coin by applying chemicals, heat, or treating a coin with something.  Done to make the coin appear natural or unusual, or to cover up signs that the coin has been cleaned or polished. See toning and natural toning.
ask price
- The price a dealer or trader is asking for a coin. Often used to indicate the "wholesale" asking price between dealers or on a coin trading network.
- to determine the purity of the metal by scientific means. An assay of precious metal coins (gold and silver) is often done to establish that the coins do indeed contain the proper purity and amounts of precious metal.
authentic (authenticate)
- A coin issued by an official government or a token issued by the original entity. Authentic indicates it is not a replica or counterfeit coin.  Grading services such as PCGS, NGC, and ANACS will first authenticate (determine that it is genuine) before grading the coin.  See genuine, official, and Certificate of Authenticity (COA).
- official description of the weight system we use in the USA for weighing most items.  This unit of weight consists of 16 ounces in a pound and 2,000 pounds in a ton.  Same weight system used in US grocery stores to weigh produce.  This unit of weight differs from the "troy ounce" weight system used to weigh precious metals.  One avoirdupois ounce does not weigh the same as a troy ounce.  Many a coin collector has lost money by weighing silver coins on a "common" (avoirdupois) scale instead of a troy ounce scale.  See troy ounce.
- elemental (scientific) abbreviation for the metal GOLD.
- See "About Uncirculated" or "Almost Uncirculated".
[back to beginning]        A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z








Popular search terms:


Liberty gold coin


Buffalo gold coin



Gold price

.999 fine gold



Where the investor goes to buy precious metals.

Buy gold online - quickly, safely and at low prices

Get a FREE gram of gold when you sign up!  For a limited time!

Trade online, in amounts as small as $20 at a time


New Presidential Dollar coins:

~Unusual Edge Letters on President coins

~US mint $ coin press release.

~Production Schedule for upcoming Dollars.

~Legislation Authorizing Presidential Dollar Coins in 2007.


Webmasters - Privacy Statement - Coin Collecting articles wanted - Contact us - Disclaimer  -  Site Map

Copyright  (c) 1999-2008 Coin Terms ~ Some content Copyright 1999 to 2007 by 

All rights reserved.  Reselling or reposting this content is in violation of federal and international laws.

We hope you find this numismatic site helpful.   If you own a coin collecting or interesting web site, we appreciate your links to us.

Questions/suggestions for this site? Please email us at