Coin Industry Terms

·        Bullion - refers to precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium that are in the form of bars, coins, or ingots and are traded for their intrinsic value.

·         Burnished - A process in which the surfaces of a coin or a planchet are shined through rubbing or polishing. This term has both a positive and a negative context: In a positive sense, Proof planchets are burnished before they are struck. The procedure was done originally by rubbing wet sand across the surfaces to impart a mirror-like finish in a negative sense, the surfaces on repaired or altered coins may be burnished by mechanical or chemical methods. For example, a high-speed drill with a wire brush attachment is used to achieve this effect.

·         CAMEO - A proof, or proof-like coin with exceptional contrast between the fields and the devices. On a cameo coin, the fields are mirrorlike, while the devices give a frosty appearance.

·         DEEP CAMEO - Term applied to coins, usually Proofs and proof-like coins that have deeply frosted devices and lettering that contrast with the mirror fields.

·         Die - A steel rod that is engraved, punched, or hubbed with the date, lettering, devices, and other emblems used to strike a coin.

·         Face value - is the denomination or monetary value that is inscribed on a coin, which may or may not correspond to its intrinsic or market value.

·         Grade - The numerical or adjectival condition of a coin

·         Grading - the process of evaluating the condition and quality of a coin, which helps determine its value.

·         High Relief - A coin with deep concave fields due to its design. High-relief coins required extra pressure to be fully struck and were difficult to stack. Therefore, the few coins struck in high relief by the U.S. Mint (such as the 1921 Peace dollar and the 1907 Roman Numeral double eagle) were each made for only one year.

·         Investment grade - is a term used to describe coins or bullion that are considered suitable for investment purposes based on their quality, rarity, and market demand.

·         Key date - is a term used to describe a coin that is rare and highly sought after by collectors, typically due to its low mintage or historical significance.

·         Mint - a facility where coins, medals, and currency are produced under the authority of a government or a private mint.

·         Mint State - Describes a coin that has never been in circulation. Thus, the coin has no wear. A mint state coin may still be weakly struck and therefore lack the detail of even a lower-grade coin. All mint state coins have some imperfections if you study them hard enough. The term “Mint State” may also correctly be applied to coins that were struck as proofs. Marked as MS

·         Mintage - The number of coins of a particular date struck at a given mint during a specific year.

·         Mintmark - Letter(s) stamped into a coin to denote the mint at which it was struck.

·         NGC -Acronym for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, located in Parsippany, NJ. Currently the leading coin grading service.

·         NGC and PCGS - are two of the most reputable third-party coin grading services that evaluate and authenticate coins based on their condition and rarity.

·         Numismatics - is the study of coins, medals, and currency and the history, culture, and art associated with them.

·         Obverse - the front side of a coin that typically features a portrait, symbol, or emblem.

·         PCGS - Professional Coin Grading Service, a leading third-party coin grading service located in Newport Beach, California.

·         Planchet - The blank metal disk, which becomes a coin when struck under high pressure between two dies.

·         Proof - The term Proof denotes a method of manufacture, not a grade. Proof coins are made with special care, exclusively for collectors or investors, and not struck for general circulation. Generally, proof coins are struck on specially selected and polished planchets. They are struck using polished dies. Usually, the coins are made on a slower-moving press and/or are struck more than once. Most proof coins are brilliant, with a mirrorlike surface.

·         Reverse - is the back side of a coin that typically features a design or inscription.

·         Semi-Numismatic - Refers to a coin that has a significant bullion value and some numismatic value.

·         Spot price - is the current market price of a commodity, such as gold or silver, at which it can be bought or sold for immediate delivery.

·         Toning - is the natural discoloration or patina that occurs on the surface of a coin over time, which can add to its aesthetic appeal and value.