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An abbreviation for Five Full Steps designation on for instance - Jefferson Nickles




An abbreviation for Six Full Steps designation on for instance - Jefferson Nickles




Marks or small scratches on the surface of a coin, not to be confused with hairlines or bag marks.




A mixture of two or more metals Example "Cpin Silver"  (90 % Silver 10% copper)




A change in a numismatic item that is often done to deceive an individual and increase the value of the item.


American Gold Eagle


Bullion coins released by the U.S. mint in one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce and tenth ounce. These coins are traded at current bullion prices.




American Numismatic Association, the national organization for coin collectors


Ancient Coin


A coin usually identified as being issued before A.D. 500.




The American Numismatic Association Certification Service. A third party grading service.




A test of items containing metals which determines their metal type, composition and purity. Some precious metals come with assays that identify the metal composition, weight and purity. In the case of scrap metal, it is the test that is performed on the material to determine the purity. These tests may be performed using an acid or an electronic device, but the purpose is the same, to determine the element content of the material.


Gold is measured in karats of fineness related to percentage of pure gold content:

  • 9 KT =  .375 percent Pure Gold

  • 10 KT = .419 percent Pure Gold

  • 14 KT = .585 percent Pure Gold

  • 16 KT = .633 percent Pure Gold

  • 18 KT = .750 percent Pure Gold

  • 21.6 KT = .900 percent Pure Gold

  • 22 KT = .916 Percent Pure Gold

  • 24 KT = .9999 percent Pure God


Most Gold is an alloy or mix of metals, primarily used to harden to increase durability of the material or to alter it's color such as Platinum is used to change the normally Yellow Gold to White Gold, Copper is added to change the color  to a Rose Gold, and silver and copper are sometimes added to harden the metal.


Silver is measured in percentages these are primarily:

  • Fine silver or .999

  • Britannia or .950

  • Sterling or .925

  • Coin or .900

  • German or .833

  • Nordic or 830

  • European or .800

  • Mexican Coin or "Ley .720"

  • Debased Silver or below .700


Platinum is measured in either pure =999 or 90 Percent .900





The designation of a coin’s variety according to standard reference books




The determination of a coin’s genuineness


Bag Mark


Minor abrasions on an uncirculated coin, acquired when coming into contact with others in a mint sewn bag.


Bank Note


Paper currency issued by a bank.




Any precious metal shaped in the form of a rectangle weighing anywhere from 1gram to several thousand ounces.


Base metal


A non-precious metal, such as copper, nickel or zinc




This is a three letter ackronym for the United Sates Bureau of Engraving and Printing




An unstruck coin disc, the same as “planchet”




A series of related notes indicated by the same prefix and suffix letters in the serial number.


Blue Book


Handbook of United States Coins. An annual price guide for collectors depicting average price paid by retailers




The outer edge of the design on either the face or the back of a note where the design ends and the plain currency paper outer margin begins. 




A popular term for the sales floor of a coin show. An area within a coin show where dealers set up tables todisplay and sell numismatic collectibles.




An abbreviation for Brown designation most often associated with Copper Coins




An alloy of copper and zinc




An alloy of copper and tin


Broken Bank Note


Paper money issued by a bank that went out of business or failed and often applies to any obsolete bank note.


Brown Back


A Brown Back note is a Second Charter, First Issue national bank note. The note has brown ink on the back.




Refined precious metal in non-coin form


Bullion Coin


Coins made of precious metal and sold at current bullion prices.




An abbreviation for Cameo designation




The process of having a coin authenticated, graded and encapsulated


Check Number


A small number found at the lower right on the reverse of a note. The number identifies the printing plate from which the note came from.


Civil War Token


Token like coins issued during the Civil War due to the shortage of small change. There were two types issued patriotic and store cards.




A laminated or sandwiched coin metal most often associated with the copper and nickle coins produced by the US after 1964




A retaining ring which imparts a coin’s edge, whether plain or reeded




This term refers to coins or paper money issued by the thirteen colony states.




A coin honoring an event, place or individual, usually of limited mintage


Compound Interest Note


A type of U.S. paper money issued in1863 and 1864.


Condition census


A roster of the five or six finest known specimens of a particular coin


Contact marks


Small nicks imparted by contact with other coins (Also may be considered an abrasion or blemish)


Continental Currency


Banknotes issued from 1775-1779 to finance the Revolutionary War.


Copper Nickel


Coinage composed of copper and nickel.




A non-genuine coin, whether made to circulate as money or to deceive collectors. These are illegal in the US and should be removed from circulation when ever encountered and turned over to the Secret Service




A crown or tiara frequently seen on the Liberty portrait of 19th Century US coins




Circulating money, used numismatically to denote a non-proof coin most often associated with paper monet or notes




This is a three letter ackronym for th term "Doing Business As"


Demand Note


The first paper money issued by the Federal Government in 1861.




The face value of a coin, such as one cent, ten cents, etc.




The toothlike projections seen on the borders of older US coins




A raised design element on a coin, such as a portrait or lettering




A cylindrical shaft of steel that imparts one side of a coin’s design (two are required)




The act of removing dirt, tarnish or changing the coloration of a coin by chemical means.


District Number


Designates the Federal Reserve Bank that issued the note. The number appears four times on the face of the note.


Double Die


A die which, has a multiple image, created during the diemaking process. Coins will show double letters or numbers.


Double eagle


A United States $20 gold coin, issued from 1850 to 1933




An abbreviation for Deep Prooflike designation




A US $10 gold coin, issued from 1795 to 1933




The third side of a coin, it can be plain, reeded, lettered or starred


Educational Note


A 1896 series silver certificate large size notes issued in $1, $2 and $5 denominations. Considered td by some to be the most beautiful of all US Notes. 


Encapsulated coin


A coin which has been sealed inside a plastic holder




Any numismatic item including coins, paper money and tokens that have some type of defect or mistake during its manufacture.




A broad category of non-money, non-legal tender numismatic items, including tokens, medals and badges.




The front of a piece of of a coin or note.


Face Value


A legal tender value assigned to a bullion coin by its issuing country or government\ a dime equals 10 cents 10 dimes equal 1 dollar of face value, while the silver content may be quoted in multiples of Face Value (15 times face etc.)




An abbreviation for Full Split Bands designation associated with the Liberty head or Mercury Dimes




An abbreviation for Full Bell Lines designation almost always associated with the Franklin Half Dollar


Federal Reserve Bank Note


A series of U. S. paper money authorized by the Federal Reserve Acts of 1913, 1918 and 1933. The obligation to pay was the individual issuing bank and not the Federal Government or other Federal Reserve Banks.


Federal Reserve Note


The only form of paper money (Currently)being printed in the United States




The flat surface area of a coin between the various devices (head, legend or other designs)




An abbreviation for Full Head designation




The percentage or decimal proportion of precious metal in a coin. It represents the purity of precious metal, either in monetary orbullion form.




A flexible, transparent, plastic envelope having one pocket for a coin and one for its label


Fractional Currency


Usually refers to the United States paper money issued from 1862 to 1876 in denominations from three to fifty cents.




Describes a coin’s surface which is textured rather than smooth or glassy




An abbreviation for Full Torch designation Most oftern associated with the Roosevelt Dime


Gold Certificate


A form of U. S paper money once redeemable in gold coin.


Gold Plate


Plated Items are usally a lesser valued base metal which is dopped in a solution of gold that allows the peice to have a very thin coating of gold around the outside surfaces. These can be extreamly thin ans are sometime plated multipule time to build up the thickness of the gold. 


The amount of gold are so small it is not worth while to extract the gold due to the cost of the materials (Acids etc) and Labor (take hours to process) except in very large quanities, (100's of pounds)




The numerical value assigned to a coin’s condition on a scale of 1 to 70


Grading Service


A business that grades and authenticates numismatic items and places them in some type of sealed plastic packaging.




Issued in 1861 and was the first note to have a green reverse or back.




Fine scratches on a coin’s surface which may affect its grade, usalley associated with cleaning or wiping or rubbing the surface of the coin


Half cent


A US copper coin of that value, issued from 1793 to 1857


Half dime


A US silver five-cent coin, issued from 1794 to 1873


Half eagle


A US $5 gold coin, issued from 1795 to 1929


Hard Times Token


An unofficial large cent sized copper token struck in a wide variety of types during 1833-1843, serving as a de facto currency. May bear political legends or advertising.




A group of coins secretly hidden in the past and accidentally found or discovered.




A popular nickname for U.S. Large size notes.




A steel cylinder bearing one side of a coin’s design and used to produce dies


Intrinsic value


The value of a coin’s metal, irrespective of its face or collector value


Junk Silver


This refers to old circulating coinage which contains 90%, 40% or 35% silver. Though the name suggests that the coins are “Junk”, they are actually often a viable option for many investors due to their high purity and are also quite collectible. Generally speaking coins with the "Junk" status are those coins where the intrinsic values of the material they are made of exceed their respective numismatic value. Most junk coins were minted by the United States Mint, prior to 1965 and possess a silver purity level of 90%. They are often sold in rolls based on face value.


Key date


Indicating the rarest date and mintmark of a coin series. Some coin series have multiple key date coins also known as Semi-Kets




A gold bullion coin of South Africa. Comes in 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz and 1 oz




This is a three letter ackronym for Limited Liability Corporation


Large Cent


A U. S. cent issued from 1793 to 1857. Larger than a quarter and smaller than a half-dollar.


Large Date


A variety of coin on which the date is larger than other varieties of the same year.


Legal tender


A coin or currency declared by a government to be acceptable in the payment of all debts




An inscription which appears on a coin, such as LIBERTY


Lettered edge


The edge of a coin on which either raised or sunken letters appear


Love Token


A coin that has been altered by smoothing one or both surfaces and engraving initials or messages.




The reflected light from a coin as determined by its surface texture and quality




The purposely dulled surface of a coin, this style was used on certain US proof coins




An object made of metal that resembles a coin. Often identifies a person, place or event.


Medieval Coin


A coin struck from about A.D. 500 to 1500.


Military Currency


Notes officially issued solely for the use of its armed forces by a country’s military.


Military Payment Certificate


Also called MPC. Military notes issued solely for use by its military and only in establishments of the U.S. armed forces.


Minor coin


A base-metal coin of small value, such as a cent or nickel




When talking about coins, a mint is the place where a country’s currency is produced under the control of its government. With precious metals and collectables there are also “private mints” which are not government run. Private mints produce bullion rounds, bars or medallions.


"Warning: Be careful of private mint products, many are simply plated  and have little or no value. Read any accompaning material carefully as the underlying metals ma​y only be refered to by it's periodic table element symbols"


Mint Error


Any coins with major mint errors as a result of human or mechanical error during manufacturing




The amount of coins produced in a year or from a specific series\ as reported by the Mint either the US or other regulatory Mint or a private firm or mint.




A small letter appearing on a coin to denote its city of manufacture.Generaly a letter or symbol that identifies which U.S. Mint produced acoin.


Mint Set


A complete set of coins produced by a particular mint.


Mint State


Describes an unworn coin and means the same as Uncirculated




A term used for the brilliant surface of a coin, typically the fields of a proof or prooflike coin




A phrase or saying on a coin. 




A clear plastic material used to store coins.




The abbreviation for Mint State, it’s used with a numerical figure to grade unworn coins




Numismatic Guaranty Company. A third party grading service.


National Gold Bank Note


National bank notes payable in gold coin by some California banks and one Boston bank pursuant to authorization by Act of July 12, 1870.




A small mark on a coin.




The studying and collecting of coins




A Person who engages in numismatic activity for whatever end


Obsolete Bank Note


Note of an American bank of issue prior to 1865.




The front side of a coin, usually with an individual’s head of some kind, celebrating a person or event.




A coin variety in which one date is impressed over another made by superimposing one or more different numbers on a previously dated die.




Professional Coin Grading Service – A third party grading service.




An experimental coin made as a test of a new design, material or technology




The abbreviation for Proof, it’s used with a numerical figure to grade proof coins




An abbreviation for Prooflike designation


Pieces of Eight


Silver Spanish 8-real pieces. Pirate treasure.


Pioneer Gold


Gold coins, often privately produced and struck in areas of the US to meet the needs of a coin shortage.


Plain edge


The edge of a coin which is smooth and lacking any decoration


Plate Number


A small number that sometimes appears on currency showing the number of the plate used to print it.




A blank disc that will be stamped between dies to produce a coin, metal or token.


Postage Note


The first issue fractional note series.


Precious Metal


Precious Metal is a classification of metals, which are rare or have a high economic value. The most common precious metals are gold, silver and platinum.




This refers to the dollar / monetary amount or percentage over the current spot price that a precious metal product carries. Premiums are often associated with production and distribution costs, and profit margins. In the case of collectibles the difference between the Face or intrinsic values and the market price based on:


  • Age - the older the better

  • Condition - does it look just as it would have the day it was minted or does it look like it was run over by a train. (Damage, physical, chemical, environmental, etc.)

  • Rarity - How few were made or how few survived

  • Supply - Number of examples available on the market or available for purchase.

  • Demand - If 10 people are selling and only one buying the prices go down, if one person is selling and 2 or more are buying then prices tend to go up.

  • Eye Appeal - is the example typical or exemplary (Like fast cars and beautiful women; the prettier they are, the more they cost!)




A compression machine in which dies come together to stamp a coin




This refers to a coin which has been struck using a special minting process which gives the coin a mirror-like finish. These types of coins are produced primarily for collecting purposes and almost always carry a higher premium.


Proof Set


A set of one proof coin of each current denomination for a specific year.




Any coin having the appearance of a proof coin, that is, mirrorlike fields, Most commonely seen on Large demonomiation coins like Morgan Silver dollars




The percentage of metal contained in a piece of bullion or other material (See Assay above).


Quarter eagle


AUS $2.50 gold coin, issued from 1796 to 1929


R1, R2, R3, etc.


A scale of coin rarity ranging from R1 (very common) to R8 (unique)




An abbreviation for Red Brown designation associated with Copper coins




An abbreviation for Red designationassociated with Copper coins


Radar Note


A note whose serial number reads the same. Forward or back ward.




A very well worn piece of paper money.




A term used to describe a coin that has not been slabbed or certified.


Red Book


The popular name for A Guide Book of United States Coins, by R. S. Yeoman


Reeded edge


The edge of a coin on which raised lines appear




When talking about precious metals, a refinery is an industrial facility which refines scrap metal and raw materials down to a purer form of the material. Usually associated with a Mint.




The portion of a coin’s design which is raised above the smooth surface or field


Replacement Note


A note which has been issued to replace a damaged destroyed or lost note. A star at the beginning of a serial number indicates a replacement note.




A term refering to a coin made years after the original edition but from the same dies




The back side of a coin




Raised border around the circumference of a coin.




Coin shaped silver pieces. Produced privately and are not official legal tender.


Safe Deposit Boxes

The Vault at "Creedmoor Rd." contains 740+ Safe deposit Boxes ranging from 3x5 to 10x10


Paper currency usually of denominations less than a dollar issued as a substitute for currency to private persons or organizations.

Serial Number


A numbering system used on paper currency to keep track of the number of notes in circulation.




A continuous run of coins of the same type, such as the Buffalo Nickel series of 1913–38




Usually means coin show where dealers and collectors set up tables and display for sale their numismatic items.


Silver Certificate


Notes, which guaranteed payment of its face value in silver. 




A slang term for an encapsulated coin


Small date


A variety of coin on which the date is physically smaller than other varieties of the same year.


Small Size Currency


Usually refers to paper money issued on or after July 10, 1929. 




A tern or abbreviation used for Specimen


Special Mint Sets


Coins produced under special conditions by the U.S. Mint at San Francisco during the years 1965, 1966 and 1967.




A term referring to coined money, as opposed to paper money or other store of wealth


Specimen Note


A sample currency note. The purpose of such notes was to provide banks and other agencies with examples of newly issued money.


Spot Price


The current price of a metal, such as gold or silver, based off of a combination of different markets including futures, over the counter and world markets. Precious metal spot prices are always calculated by the troy ounce. Generally speaking the spot is the approximate price you could purchase larger volumes of the underlying metal at the mine, refinery or mint.


Star Notes


Intended as replacement notes that were damaged, destroyed or lost. A solid star appears at the end or beginning of the serial number. 


Starred edge


The edge of a coin featuring either raised or sunken stars


Sterling Silver


Silver that is .925 fine.




The action of producing a coin, or, the quality of a coin’s detail sharpness impressing the image of a die into a planchet, makinga coin.




A piece of durable material appropriately marked and unofficially issued for monetary, advertising or other services.




Natural patination or discoloration of a coin’s surface. Results when surface come into contact with the air and environment.


Trade dollar


A special type of silver dollar made from 1873 to 1885, primarily for export and use over seas


Treasury Note


Sometimes called a coin note. Redeemable in silver and gold coins.




A Slang term for a US silver three-cent piece, issued from 1851 to 1873


Troy Ounce


A unit of measure used to gauge the weight of precious metals. A troy ounce consists of 31.1034768 grams with 12 ounces to the Troy Pound. This measure should not be confused with Dry or Postal measure known as an avoirdupois ounce which is 28grams to the ounce and 16 ounces to the pound.


Type coin


A coin from a given series or period.


Type collecting


An assembling a collection of one of each coin denomination and design


Type Set


A collection composed of one of each coin of a given series or period.


Two By Two


A nickname for a typical holder for one coin. Usually made of cardboard with a clear plastic center measuring two inches by two inches.




An abbreviation for Ultra Cameo designation




This term describes an unworn coin and means the same as Mint State




A variety is a coin that differs from its basic design type in some distinctive way and is thus differentiated by collectors


Vest Pocket Dealer


Part time coin dealer. One who has a small amount of coins "could be carried in their vest pocket"




A pictorial element of a bank note design that shades off gradually into the surrounding unprinted paper or background rather than having sharp outlines or a frame.




Design formed by differing thickness of paper during production; often used as a security device in paper money.




Whitman Publishing Company. Produces coin books, albums and collecting supplies.


Wire rim


A fine, raised line of metal around the rim of very sharply struck coins


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