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Glossary

A

 

About good: typically it is a very heavily worn coin with portion of lettering, date and legends worn smooth. Abbreviation is AG.

Ag: chemical abbreviation for silver.

Alloy: a mixture of two or more metals in one coin. Any gold or silver coin of less than .999 purity is alloy.

Altered date: a coin with the date changed after the coin was minted. This is the illegal practice which is often used to deceive someone.

American Eagles: gold, silver or platinum coins which are very popular in the investment coin market. American Eagles have been released by U.S. government since October 1986.

Arbitrage: simultaneously buying or selling coins or other products in different markets with the purpose to take advantage taking into consideration price difference.

Au: chemical abbreviation for gold.

B

 

Bid: the price offered by a dealer with the purpose to buy a coin.

BU (brilliant uncirculated): the coin grading term used to describe that a coin has no wear, has never been in circulation and is in new condition.

Bullion coin: an investment coin which market price depends on its precious metal content, rather than its face value.

Business strike: a coin minted for general use and circulation.

C

 

Canadian Maple Leafs: modern bullion coins produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.


Cartwheel (or cart wheel): slang for U.S. Silver Dollar.


Certified (certified coin): a coin determined to be genuine by a coin certification service. Often the coin is graded by a special coin grading service, such as PCGS, NGS, ANACS.


Circulated: a coin which has been used in ecommerce one time or often more.


Coin: a stamped with marks or inscriptions peace of metal issued by a government or a bank as money.


Coin of the realm: a legal tender coin minted for general circulation.


Coin World: one of the most popular weekly coin periodical, and the most influential coin collecting publication for U.S. collectors. Published by Amos Press, P.O. Box 150, Sidney, Ohio 45365.


Comex: one of the largest commodities futures exchanges located in New York City where gold and silver are bought and sold.


Correction: a decline in prices coming around as a result of a rise in a market.

D

 

Double Eagles: U.S. twenty dollar gold coins minted between 1850 and 1932. They contain .9675 ounce of gold and are available in two designs: the St. Gaudens (Walking Liberty) and the Liberty.

E

 

Eagles: modern gold or silver bullions produced by U.S. government.

F

 

Face value: the legal value of a coin stamped on its side.
Fineness (also fine): the purity of a precious metal as a component of a coin measured in 1,000 parts of an alloy. Example: the Canadian Maple Leaf is .999 fine, which means it is 99.9% pure.

G

 

Grade: a rating that indicates the condition of a coin. This is one of the main determining factors of the value. There are two main grading services in the USA: PCGS and NGS.

Grain: earliest measure of weight for gold. One troy ounce is equal to 480 grains.

Gram: the basic measure of weight for coins and other products from precious metals. One troy ounce is equal to 31.1035 grams.

H

 

Half Eagles: U.S. gold coins produced between 1795 and 1929 with the face value of five dollars.

I

 

Intrinsic value: the value of the coin’s precious metal component.

J

 

Junk silver: silver coins produced by U.S. government with no investment or numismatic value.

K

 

Karat: a measure of the purity used in indicating the fineness of gold. Pure gold is 24 karat.

Koala: Australian platinum coin, released since 1987. The fineness is 99.5 %.

L

 

Legend: the main inscription on a coin.

Luster: the brightness of the coin’s metal. It can vary depending on the different factors, such as wear, humidity, polishing of dies, etc.

M

 

Market value: the stated price of a coin or a bullion coin.

Mint mark: a small letter or a symbol usually stamped on a coin to identify where it was produced.

Modern issues: modern coins produced for circulation or for sale to investors.

MS-60: abbreviation for mint state. The numbers that follow show the quality of the coin. MS-60 means the lowest grade; higher-grade coins are indicated MS-61 up to MS-70.

N

 

NGS: abbreviation for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America, one of the largest and most popular grading services in the USA.

Nobel: a current platinum bullion coin minted by the Isle of Man since 1983.

Nugget: a current gold bullion coin released by the government of Australia. The fineness is 99.99%.

Numismatic coins: coins whose market values are determined by their rarity, condition, mint date and marks, not taking into consideration their precious metal content.

O

 

Observe: the face of a coin with the main design.

Ounce: the measure of weight in precious metals market. One ounce is equal to 31.1035 grams.

P

 

PCGS: abbreviation for Professional Coin Grading Service, one of the most powerful coin grading services in the USA.

Planchet (planchlet is also possible): a piece of metal ready to be stamped as a coin.

Platinum Eagles: current platinum bullions produced by the U.S. Treasury.

Precious metals: typically silver, gold and platinum. Also this category includes rare metals, such as palladium and rhodium.

Proof: a coin usually produced for numismatic purpose or collectors market from carefully selected coin blanks that have been highly polished.

Pure gold: gold with the fineness of 99.9%, without alloying metals.

Pure silver: silver with the fineness of 99.9% without alloying metals.

Q

 

Quarter Eagle: U.S. gold coin minted between 1796 and 1929 with the intrinsic value of $2.50.

R

 

Raw: a coin which has not been certified or slabbed.

Red Book: one of the main price guide books of United States coins.

Restrike: officially minted replica of an original circulating coin.

Reverse: the back of a coin.

Roll: a group of original coins of the same denomination, assembled at the time of manufacture by banks, dealers or U.S. Mint, and then put into a paper tube.

S

 

Silver Eagles: current 1-oz silver bullion coins.

Sovereign: English gold coin with the face value of one pound sterling and a gold content of .2354 ounce.

Spot: the cost of the physical delivery of bullion bars.

Spread: the difference between the bid and the quote of a precious metal coin.

Sterling Silver: a product of jewelry, housewares, etc., whose fineness of silver content is 92%.

T

 

Tola: the measure of weight in India which is equal to 11.7 grams or 0.375 ounce.

Troy weight: the measure of weight for precious metals which is primary used in the USA. One troy ounce is equal to 31.1035 grams.

U

 

Uncirculated: a coin in new condition which does not have any trace of wear. Sometimes dealers use a term “Brilliant Uncirculated” for such coins.

V

 

W

 

Whitman: Whitman Publishing Company. The company produces a lot of supplies useful for collectors and investors, including books, albums, etc.

X

 

Y

 

Year: the date when a coin was minted.

Z