To shop on our NEW online coin shop, Click here!

Numismatic Dictionary 101

 

Have you ever heard or read certain words that you don’t understand? You were unsure to ask because you didn’t want to seem stupid.

Here is a list of some words in the coin industry that you might here. So next time, you will understand what someone is talking about.

 

90%/Junk Silver: coins that are made of a majority of silver, that we sell for the silver value as opposed to the collector’s value

Bars and Rounds: commonly used term to describe Bullion made by a non-government mint (third party). They are not coins, so the only value they have in them is the composition.
Base Metal: an element that is less valuable than a precious metal. Typically, they are used as the majority/core of modern coins.
Bullion: 99% pure (such as Gold or Silver)

 

Circulated: the condition of a coin or note that has everyday wear
Coin: an object that has monetary value to it issued by a government. As opposed to a token. (Examples: Dollar, Pound, Euro, Yuan, and Baht)
Cull: a coin that is very worn and/or damaged, that its only worth is in the composition

 

Die: the stamp that gives a coin its image
Error: a mistake made during the coin making process that is supposedly not repeated. As opposed to a variety.
Exomumia: anything else that is remotely associated with or resembles coins and currency, that is not coin or currency. (Tokens, Novelty Pieces, and Medals)
Face Value: the value of the coin or note that is stated on the coin or note

 

Grading: the process of determining a coin or notes condition. There is a standard that is used in the industry.
“Greysheet”: also known as “Coin Dealer Newsletter (CDN)”. It is a pricing guide that every reputable dealer should be using. It is updated daily with the current market trends.
Intrinsic Value: the worth of something, based on the composition

 

Mint error/variety: an error or variety that is made during the minting process, as opposed to afterwards
Minting process: the way a coin is made

Note: also known as cash or paper money

Numismatics: the study of coins

 

Obverse: the “heads” side of a coin
Precious Metal: an element that is more valuable than an “everyday” element. (Gold, Silver, Platinum, and Palladium)
Premium: the dollar value added to a piece because it is also has a collectors value
Proof: a coin that has a mirror-like surface. They are struck twice, and the dies are heavily polished. Most modern (1971 to present) proof coins will have a “S” or “W” mintmark

 

“Red Book”: a guide to U.S. coins. It includes technical information such as: mintage years, composition, weight, names of coins, etc. Even though there are prices in it, it is NOT a price guide. The prices are written months in advance, assuming that is where the market will be. For pricing, we use “Greysheet”.
Relief: the height of the image on a coin
Reverse: the “tails” side of a coin
Spot/Spot Price: the value of a Metal on the market at a specific time. Like the stock market, it can go up and down within seconds.

 

Token: a coin like object which has value not identified by a government. (Gaming, Car Wash, and Mining)
Troy Ounce (toz): unit of measurement of mass used in the world of Bullion, as opposed to an ounce. 1 toz = 1.10 oz
Uncirculated: the condition of a coin or note that has no circulation wear

 

Variety: a mistake made in the coin making process that is repeated. As opposed to an error.
VAM: an acronym for Leroy Van Allen and George Mallis. They spent decades identifying and classifying Morgan and Peace dollar varieties. Every Morgan and Peace has a VAM. Some are common and some are rare. Bill has discovered 42 varieties.

 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.