Numismatic Glossary - F

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F
Mintmark for the cities of: Angers (French coins to 1660), Stuttgart (German coins).
F-12
This is for "Fine" (the grade) and "12" (the numerical designation of the grade). The design detail is partially in evidence. The coin is still heavily worn. If there is any eye appeal in this grade it comes from the smooth surfaces associated with this grade, as any distracting marks have usually been worn off through circulation.
F-15
This is for "Fine" (the grade) and "15" (the numerical designation of the grade). Most of the letters in LIBERTY are visible, about 35-50% of the wing feathers are visible, or whatever applies to the coin in question. In other words, the coin is still in highly collectible shape.
face value
The stated value on a coin, at which it can be spent or exchanged. The face value is usually different from a coin's numismatic or precious metal value.
Fair
The adjective corresponding to the grade FR-2. In this grade, there is heavy wear with the lettering, devices, and date partially visible.
fake
Slang for a counterfeit or altered coin.
Falus
Early Islamic copper coin. The name derives from the follis, a copper coin of the Late Roman and Byzantine empire. The name also applies to the cast bronze coins of Morocco made up until the late 19th century, and the modern fractional currency unit the fils was named after this coin.
Fanam
A tiny silver or gold coin from pre-colonial India or neighbouring states like Nepal. Among the smallest coins ever issued anywhere.
fantasy piece
A term applied to coins struck at the whim of Mint officials. Examples include the 1868 large cent Type of 1857 and the various 1865 Motto and 1866 No Motto coins.
Farthing
One-quarter of an English (later British) penny. Originally a tiny silver coin, or a silver penny cut into quarters. Farthings were also struck in Ireland, Jamaica and South Africa.
fasces
Term to designate the Roman symbol of authority used as a motif on the reverse of Mercury (Winged Liberty Head) dimes. It consists of a bundle of rods wrapped around an ax with a protruding blade. The designation "full bands" refers to fasces on which there is complete separation in the central bands across the rods.
Fat head
Slang for the Small Size Capped Bust quarter and half eagles. (Mainly heard as "fat head fives.)
FB
Short for Full Bands.
FBL
Short for Full Bell Lines.
Feuchtwanger Cent
The Feuchtwanger Cent is a coin circulated by Lewis Feuchtwanger during the 1830-40s in the U.S. In 1837, to alleviate the need for small change during the Hard Times, Feuchtwanger created tokens made of argentan (commonly known as German Silver), an alloy made of copper, nickel, zinc, tin and trace metals. It was considerably cheaper to produce than the extraction of copper for the government minted half-cents and cents.
Look at examples of Feuchtwanger Cent on eBay
Fen
The smallest denomination of the people's Republic of China, 1/100th of a renminbi yuan.
Fenig
The Bosnian rendering of the word "pfennig"; the Bosnian mark was originally at par with the German mark.
FH
Short for Full Head.
fiat currency
Coins and paper money that do not have metal value or are not backed up by metal value.
field
The portion of a coin where there is no design – generally the flat part (although on some issues, the field is slightly curved).
Filler
The fractional currency unit of Hungary; there are 100 filler to the forint. The name was also used for the fractional unit of the Austro-Hungarian Korona and the Hungarian pengo.
Fils
The fractional currency unit of Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, names after the old Arabic copper coin, the falus.
finalizer
A PCGS grader who, before computers were used for this task, compared his own grade with those of other graders and determined the final grade. The verifier replaced the finalizer after PCGS began inputting the grades by computer.
Fine
The adjective corresponding to the grades F-12 and 15. In these grades, most of a coin's detail is worn away. Some detail is present in the recessed areas, but it is not sharp.
finest known
The best-known condition example of a particular numismatic item.
first strike
A coin struck early in the life of a die. First strikes sometimes are characterized by striated or mirror-like fields if the die was polished. Almost always fully or well struck, with crisp detail.
Five
Short for a five-dollar gold coin or half eagle.
Five Indian
Slang for the Indian Head half eagles struck from 1908 to 1929.
Five Lib
Slang for the Liberty Head half eagles struck from 1839 until 1908.
fixed price list
A dealer listing of items for sale at set prices.
Flag (mintmark)
Mintmark for the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands, on French coins during the occupation of that city, 1812-1813.
Flan

Synonymous with "planchet", though normally referring to a struck coin rather than an unstruck one. It's the visible design struck onto the coin's surface. An off-centre error therefore has part of it's design "off the flan".

flat edge
Term referring to the particular specimens of High Reliefs that do not have a wire edge.
flat luster
A subdued type of luster seen on coins struck from worn dies. Often these coins have a gray or otherwise dull color that makes the fields seem even more lackluster.
flip
This has two meanings. First, it is the term for the plastic sleeve in which coins are stored. Also, it can mean to quickly sell a recently purchased coin, usually for a short profit. (The plastic flips used to submit coins to PCGS are not recommended for long term storage unless they do not contain PVC. Care should be used with the PVC-free flips as they are very brittle and can damage the delicate coin surfaces).
flip rub
Discoloration, often only slight, on the highest points of a coin resulting from contact with a flip. On occasion, highly desirable coins sold in auctions have acquired minor rub from being repeatedly examined by eager bidders. The shifting of the coin, although it may be slight, can cause this rub.
flop
To sell a new purchase for a short profit.
Florin
Several coins have been known by this name. A mediaeval gold coin of Florence, Italy; a large silver coin of Austro-Hungary; a medium-sized silver coin of Great Britain and it's colonies, valued at two shillings or 1/10th of a pound; the primary currency unit of Aruba.
flow lines
The lines, sometimes visible, resulting from the metal flowing outward from the center of a planchet as it is struck. The "cartwheel" luster is the result of light reflecting from these radial lines.
Flowing Hair
The design attributed to Mint engraver Robert Scot that features Miss Liberty with long, flowing hair.
Flying Eagle
Short for Flying Eagle Cent.
Flying Eagle Cent
The small cent, struck in 88% copper and 12% nickel, that replaced the large cent. This featured James Longacre's reduction of the Gobrecht eagle used on the reverse of the silver dollars of 1836-1839.
focal area
The area of a coin to which a viewer's eye is drawn. An example is the cheek of a Morgan dollar.
Follis
The name often given to the large, ancient Roman silver-washed billon coin first issued by Diocletian in 296 AD. Many historians challenge the labelling of this particular coin as a "follis", preferring the labels maiorina, centenionalis or nummus; the only recorded use in ancient times of a coin being called a "follis" is a later Byzantine bronze coin, valued at 40 nummi.
foreign
Any numismatic item not from the United States
Forint
The primary currency unit of Hungary; there are 100 filler to the forint.
four-dollar gold piece
An experimental issue, also known as a stella, struck in 1879-1880 as a pattern. Often collected along with regular-issue gold coins, this was meant to be an international coin approximating the Swiss and French twenty-franc coins, the Italian twenty lira, etc.
FR-2
This is for "Fair" (the grade) and "2" (the numerical designation that means Fair). A coin that is worn out. There will be some detail intact, the date will be discernible (if not fully readable) and there is almost always heavy wear into the rims and fields.
Franc
The old primary monetary unit of France and it's colonies, as well as Monaco, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Belgium and it's colonies. France, Luxembourg, Monaco and Belgium now use the euro, but the franc is still used in Switzerland, two monetary unions in Africa (the West African franc and the Central African franc), Djibouti, Guinea, Congo-Kinshasa, Comoros, Rwanda, and the remaining French dependencies in the Pacific (New Caledonia and French Polynesia).
Franco
The Spanish form of the word "franc", used on coins of Equatorial Guinea after it joined the Central African Franc monetary union.
Franklin
Short for Franklin half dollar.
Franklin half dollar
The John Sinnock designed half dollar struck from 1948 until 1963. This featured Ben Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse.
friction
Slight wear on a coin's high points or in the fields.
frost
A crystallized-metal effect seen in the recessed areas of a die, thus the raised parts of a coin struck with that die. This is imparted to dies by various techniques, such as sandblasting them or pickling them in acid, then polishing the fields, leaving the recessed areas with frost.
frosted devices
Raised elements on coins struck with treated dies that have frost in their recessed areas. Such coins have crystalline surfaces that resemble frost on a lawn.
frosty luster
The crystalline appearance of coins struck with dies that have frost in their recessed areas. Such coins show vibrant luster on their devices and/or surfaces; the amount of crystallization may vary. Also, this term is applied to coins whose entire surface his this look.
FS
Short for Full Steps.
Fugio cents
These 1787-dated one-cent coins are considered by some to be the first regular issue United States coin. Authorized by the Continental Congress, this would seem to be a logical conclusion. However, the Mint Act was not passed by Congress until 1792, so the case for the half dismes of 1792 as the first regular issue is also valid. (Adam Eckfeldt, Chief Coiner from 1814 to 1839 worked for the fledgling Mint in 1792 and was present for the striking of the 1792 half dismes. He is quoted in the 1840s that he considered the half dismes patterns and that George Washington gave them out as presents. He was a very old man by then, so perhaps his memory was failing him, but debate continues as to which coin deserves the distinction as the first regular issue. If the half disme and the Fugio cent are not the first coins, then that title would go to the Chain cent, which was the first coin struck in the newly occupied Mint building. Although the building was likely occupied in late 1792, as records indicate, it appears that all the machinery was not fully operational as Chain cents were not struck until March, 1793.)
Full Bands
Term applied to Mercury (Winged Liberty Head) dimes when the central band is fully separated (FB). There can be no disturbance of the separation. Also applicable to Roosevelt dimes that display full separation in both the upper and lower pair of crossbands on the torch.
Full Bell Lines
Term applied to Franklin half dollars when the lower sets of bell lines are complete (FBL). Very slight disturbance of several lines is acceptable.
Full Head
Term applied to Standing Liberty quarters when the helmet of the head has full detail (FH). Both Type 1 and 2 coins are so designated but the criteria is different for both.
Full Steps
Term applied to a Jefferson five-cent example when at least 5 steps of Monticello are present.
Full strike
A numismatic item that displays the full detail intended by the designer. Weak striking pressure, worn dies or improper planchets can sometimes prevent all the details from appearing, even on uncirculated specimens.
FUN Show
The first coin show each year. This annual convention is sponsored by the Florida United Numismatists and is held in early January.

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