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Coin Collecting

Glossary of Terms

Coin Collecting

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Bag Marks - dings and scratches on coins resulting from being stored in a bag.

Clad - Coins that have an outer layer of metal that is different from the inner core.

Double die - Results when a coin got struck twice during the manufacturing process.

Encapsulated - When a coin is stored in an airtight plastic container to protect it.

Grading - the quality or condition of the coin. Here are some common grading terms:


Luster - how shiny a coin is.

Mint Mark - A marking on the coin indicating the mint where the coin was manufactured. In the US the mint marks include:


Numismatics - the study of coins and money.

Obverse - the front of the coin.

Planchet - this is the metal disk from which a coin is stamped.

Proof - a very high quality coin that is specially made by the mint to have greater detail than a regular coin.

Rarity number - this is a scale of 1 to 10 on how rare or hard to find a coin is. The higher the rarity number, the harder the coin is to find.

Reeding - Marks on a coin caused by the reeded edge of one coin hitting another coin.

Reverse - The back of the coin.

Set - A collection of coins from a series. These may be sets of a type of coin or of a date or from a certain mint.

Slab - A storage method for valuable coins. Coins often come this way from a professional grading service. They are encased in plastic with a label describing the coin and grading.

Toning - The color or tone of the coin. Has the coin turned color from the original?

Varieties - Different ways that the same coin has been manufactured.

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