Compact course US gold coins

Below you can see terms that you often come across on the Internet, with the original term in English on the left and the translation on the right:

A mixture of two or more metals.

American Numismatic Association (ANA) / American Numismatic Association (ANA)
A nonprofit educational organization promoting the study of money worldwide.

Bi-Metallic / Bi-Metallic
A coin made of two different metals bonded together.

Blank / blank
An alternative term for planchet, the blank piece of metal onto which a coin design is embossed.

Bullion Coin / Bullion Coin
A precious metal coin that trades at current bullion prices.

Bust / Bust
A portrait on a coin, usually showing the head, neck and upper shoulders.

Coin / coin
A flat piece of metal issued as money by the government.

Commemorative Coin / Commemorative Coin
A special coin or medal issued in honor of an outstanding person, place, or event.

Condition / condition
The physical condition of a coin.

Condition Census
Condition Census refers to the five or so best known examples worldwide for a given edition. The population reports issued by NGC and PCGS allow us to determine whether a coin falls into this category. The condition census and the finest coins known are extremely strong performers.

A counterfeit coin or currency manufactured to deceive.

The different values ​​of money.

The / stamp
An engraved stamp used to imprint a design on a blank piece of metal to produce a coin.

Designers / Designers
The artist who creates the design of a coin.

Edge / edge
The outer edge of a coin, considered the “third side.”

Engraver / engraver
An artist engraving the motif of a coin in bas relief.

Error / error
An improperly made coin that was overlooked during production and later released into circulation.

Face Value / Face Value
The amount a coin can be spent or exchanged for.

Degrees / degrees
A grade that indicates how much wear a coin has received from circulation.

Hairlines / hairlines
Tiny lines or scratches on coins, often caused by cleaning or polishing.

Inscription / inscription
Words embossed on a coin or medal.

Intrinsic Value / Intrinsic Value
The current market value of the precious metal in a coin.

Legal Tender / Legal Tender
Coins, dollar bills, or other currencies issued by a government as official money.

Legend / legend
Most important inscription on a coin.

Medal / Medal
A metal object similar to a coin issued to recognize an event, place, person, or group.

Mint / Mint
A place where a country’s coins are produced under government supervision. Example: US Mint

Mint Mark / Mintmark
A small letter on a coin that indicates the mint where it was minted.

Mint State / mint condition
Same as uncirculated.

Mintage / edition
The amount of coins produced.

Obverse / front
The front (or “heads”) of a coin.

Pattern / pattern
A trial or test coin, often featuring a new design or metal.

The blank piece of metal onto which a coin design is embossed.

Proof / Proof
A specially crafted coin with a highly polished finish, often minted more than once to highlight the design. Mintages for all Proof coins are extremely limited and there is a strong collector base. Proof coins have undoubtedly proven to be one of the most profitable areas of the market due to their beauty, extremely limited availability and wide global demand.

A coin minted with the original dies but at a later date.

Reverse / back
The reverse of a coin.

Series / series
A collection of coins containing all date and mintage marks of a particular design and denomination.

Nickname for certain protective coin encapsulation methods, particularly those that are permanently sealed and rectangular.

These are some terms that we think are important and that you will often see in connection with coins. If you have any questions about other terms, please feel free to contact us directly.

Further materials:

FAQ on the topics: Coin materials and properties

Materials and properties of coins

Coins Glossary