Coins and Australia - Glossary - Numismatic definitions

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Definitions

Please select a term below.

Definitions

A

Accumulations

Accumulations are a group of die chips.

Alloy

A combination of two or more metals.

Antique

A collectible object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its considerable age. In numismatic, it's a coin struck before the fall of the Roman Empire.

B

Bag mark

A generic term applied to a mark on a coin from another coin; it may, or may not, have been incurred in a bag.

Base metal

A non-valuable metal used in creating medals or used as an alloy in producing coinage.

Billion

An alloy that contains gold or silver with copper or another base metal.

Blank

The flat disk of metal before it is struck by the dies and made into a coin.

Blank or Planchet

Metal disc for the minting of a coin, a medal or a token.

Branch Mint

Place where coins, medals and tokens are produced.

C

Cameo

Frosted visual appearance of the design of a coin with a polished appearance of the field.

Carat

A unit of weight for precious stones and pearls, now equivalent to 200 milligrams.

Coinage

The issuance of metallic money of a particular country.

Collar

A metal piece that either positions a planchet beneath the dies and/or restrains the expanding metal of a coin during striking. Collars are considered the third die and, today, are used to impart the edge markings to a coin. Collars can be merely a hole in a flat piece of metal or a set of segments that pull away from the coin after it is struck.

Countermark

A punchmark applied to a coin by someone other than a monetary authority such as an advertiser.

D

Denticles

Ornamental pattern used on the edges of coins.

Die

Cylindrical steel piece engraved with the pattern of one side of a coin.

Die alignment

Indicate the relative position of the obverse and reverse dies. If the dies are spaced too close together, the resultant coin may be well struck but the dies wear more quickly.

Die break

An area of a coin that is the result of a broken die. Dies are made of steel and they crack from use and then, if not removed from service, eventually break. When the die totally breaks apart, the resultant break will result in a full, or retained, cud depending whether the broken piece falls from the die or not.

E

Effigy

A representation or model of a person on the obverse of a coin.

Eye appeal

The element of a coin's grade that grabs the viewer. The overall look of a coin.

F

Face Value

Abbreviation : FV

The face value of a coin is the amount that has been struck onto the surface, the denomination that the coin has been given. This can differ from a coin's metal value, in particular for commemorative coins.

Field

Part of a coin characterized by the absence of design.

G

Groove (Reeded)

Grooves on the edge of a coin produced by the collar.

H

Hub

Minting term for the steel device from which a die is produced.

K

Key Coin

The major, or most important, coin in a particular series. The key coin is usually the lowest-mintage coin and/or the most expensive coin in a particular set.

L

Lamination

A thin piece of metal that has nearly become detached from the surface of a coin. If this breaks off, an irregular hole or planchet flaw is left.

M

Medal

A large celebratory piece, sometimes an award, sometimes created in commemoration. Usually made in high relief. Medals are typically minted in bronze, copper, silver, gold, and white medal.

Mintage

The number of coins of a particular date struck at a given mint during a particular year.

Mintmark

The letter(s) stamped into the dies to denote the mint at which a particular coin was struck.

O

Obverse

Side of the coin with the effigy or with the main design.

P

Pattern

A test striking of a coin produced to demonstrate a proposed design, size, or composition (whether adopted or not).

Planchet

The blank disk of metal before it is struck by a coining press which transforms it into a coin. Type I planchets are flat. Type II planchets have upset rims from the milling machine, these to facilitate easier striking in close collars.

Proof

Coin having a different and more refined manufacturing process than circulation coins. The corners and sides of Proof are polished to give a cameo-like effect. A proof coin is usually struck twice to see every detail.

R

Red

Abbreviation : RD

Term used for a copper coin that still retains 95 percent or more of its original mint bloom or color.

Red-Brown

Abbreviation : RB

A copper coin that has from 5 to 95 percent of its original mint color remaining.

Relief

The height of the devices of a particular coin design, expressed in relation to the fields.

Rim

The raised area around the edges of the obverse and reverse of a coin.

T

Troy ounce

One troy ounce is the standard unit used for weighing and pricing precious metals. Coming from Troyes in France, the troy ounce is not the same as an imperial ounce, weighing 1.097 times as much.

Type

A variation in design, size, or metallic content of a specific coin design.

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