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Coin Collector's Dictionary - A Glossary of Terms

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Coin Collector's Dictionary - A Glossary of Terms

Alloy - Coin metal consisting of two or more metals which are melted and mixed together. Example --- the 5 cent nickel is an alloy consisting of 95% copper and 5% nickel.

Alteration -
An illegally changed coin feature (such as date or Mint mark) to make it appear like a more valuable coin. Example --- the 1922 penny is worth 30 times more with the Mint mark "D" than with it. Many 1922-D coins have been unethically altered to remove the Mint mark "D" hoping to sell it to an unknowing buyer.

ANA -
Abbreviation for American Numismatics Association, established in 1891. Largest organization of coin collectors in the world.

Annealing -
The manufacturing process of heating the coin metal (planchet) just before striking. This softens the metal enough to receive the impression.

ANA -
American Numismatic Society.

Bag Mark -
A scratch or ding caused by coins rubbing against each other in a Mint bag. Very common, especially with large heavy silver coins.

Bit -
An old Mexican coin circulated in America during the 1800's. This coin was sometimes divided into sections. A "bit" was one eighth of the coin, two "bits" was one quarter of the coin, therefor USA quarter dollars began to be called "two bits."

Blackbook -
Pocket size price guide and reference book of USA coins. Updated and published annually since 1962.

Blanking -
The manufacturing process of passing the coin metal strip through a punch press to "bang" out the round metal coin blanks (planchets).

Blemish -
A minor nick, mark, dent or discoloration on the coin's surface.

Bluebook -
Handbook of USA coins published annually since 1941. Gives average prices dealers pay for coins.

Broadstrike -
A coin with a larger than normal diameter. This is caused by the coin being struck with the protective collar in place.

Brockage -
A coin error in which one side of the coin has a "mirror image" of the other side. This is caused by the failure of the coin to be automatically ejected from the holder on the coin press.

Bronze -
An alloy metal consisting of copper and tin. Zinc is sometimes included.

Bullion -
Coins produced of high purity metal, such as 999 fine silver or gold coins. Also, blocks of pure gold or silver.

Cast Coin -
A coin manufactured by a process of pouring metal into a mold, rather than die striking.

Quarter Eagle
- A USA $2.50 face value gold coin, minted from 1796 to 1929.

Redbook - A guidebook of USA coins published and updated annually since 1947, Gives average selling prices by dealers for USA coins.

Reeded Edge - Grooved lines that run vertically around the coin. Used on all modern USA coins from dime to dollar to discourage dishonest practice of clipping off part of the metal.


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