Numismatic Glossary - A

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& (Ampersand) (mintmark)
Mintmark for the city of Aix (French coins).
7070
The series number of a coin album produced by Dansco Corporation that is designed to house a representative major type set of US coins from half cent through dollar denominations; a page can be added to include a type set of US gold coins. It has become the de facto "standard" for a US Type Set.
A
Mintmark of the cities of: Vienna (Austrian coins) Paris (French coins), Berlin (German, East German and Prussian coins), Alamos (Mexican coins).
AA
Mintmarks for the French coins minted in Metz from the period 1662-1793.
AAAFF
Short for Auro Argento Aere Flando Feriundo title for the triumviri monetalis, the 3 chosen mint masters in the Roman Empire. On some coins minted in the area of Augustus we also find the title shown as III VIR AAA FF (tree men for melting, poring and hammering gold, silver and copper.
Abacus
Greek for table or plate used for counting.
Abbasi
A Persian silver coin named at the Sjah of Persia Abbas I the great, ruler from 1587-1629, the coin is also known as rial.
Look at examples of abbasis on eBay
Abidi
Coin from India, value of a half rupee from Mysore, a state in the south of India, this coin was issued in 1786, before the English occupied this state.
About Good
The grade AG-3. The grade of a coin that falls short of Good. Only the main features of the coin are present in this grade. Peripheral lettering, date, stars, etc. sometimes are partially worn away.
Look at examples of certified about good coins on eBay
About Uncirculated
Alternate of Almost Uncirculated.
abrasions
Area(s) of a coin where a foreign object or another coin has displaced metal in an abraded fashion. Similar to a bag mark but usually on the high points or open fields and not as deep or acute as the former.
Abu kelb
Name for the lionthaler, Abu Tera and Abu Kush where the names for the Maria theresia thaler. Abu = Thaler.
Abu midfa
Middle East name for the Spanish real.
accumulation
A miscellaneous grouping of coins, often as a monetary hoard. Opposite of a coin collection. A second use is as a grouping of a particular date, type, or series.
Ackey
Silver coin issued by the African Company of Merchants in 1796 and 1818 for the trade at the gold coast in Africa (now known as Ghana).
Look at examples of ackeys on eBay
adjustment marks
Pre-striking file marks seen mainly on gold and silver coins prior to 1840. These removed excess metal from overweight planchets. After 1840 these are seldom seen as the filing was on the rim and was usually obliterated by the striking process.
Great forum post about adjustment marks
AE
Bronze, this is from Aes = as, the bronze roman coin.
Aequitas
Roman goddess for equality, op coins to be recognized with sceptre and or horn.
Look at examples of Aequitas on eBay
Aeternitas
Roman goddess for eternity, on coins with a flame, sceptre or globe.
Afghani
Coin nomination from Afghanistan, used sinds 1926. From 1926-1931 in silver, after that in nickel steel struck.
AG
Element symbol for silver.
AG-3
This is for "About Good" (the grade) and "3" (the corresponding numerical designation). Most of the lettering on the coin is readable, but there is moderately heavy wear into the rims. This grade is frequently found on Barber coins where the obverse is fully Good (or better) but the reverse is heavily worn.
Look at examples of certified AG-3 coins on eBay
AGW (Actual Gold Weight)
This refers to the amount of pure gold in a coin, medal or bar. Any alloys are part of the gross weight of a gold coin, but not part of the AGW.
Aka
Small golden coin from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) made in the 9th and 10th century on the front is the goddess Lakshmi with a flower vase.
Albertusdaalder
Also known as patagon, coin struck for the south Netherlands first struck in 1612.
album friction
Similar to album slide marks, though the friction may be only slight rubbing on the high points.
album slide marks
Lines, usually parallel, imparted to the surface of a coin by the plastic "slide" of an album.
Albus
In the Rhine states in Germany well known name for coins of almost pure silver from the 14th till the 18th century. The coin system in the Rein states was based on this type until the Thaler came, and took over the system.
alloy
A combination of two or more metals.
Almost Uncirculated
The grades AU50, 53, 55, and 58. A coin that on first glance appears Uncirculated but upon closer inspection has slight friction or rub.
Look at examples of almost uncirculated coins on eBay
alteration
A coin that has a date, mint mark, or other feature that has been changed, added, or removed, usually to simulate a rarer issue.
Altun
A Turkish coin first time issued in 1454 during the ruling of Muhammad II
Amani
Golden coin from Afghanistan, struck between 1919 and 1936 in weight and gold same as the British pound, there are also , 2 and 5 Amani pieces.
Ambrosino
Milanese (Italy) golden and silver coins struck in a short period of the Ambrosian republic from 1302-1310.
American Numismatic Association
A non-profit numismatic organization founded in 1888 for the advancement of numismatics.
Amulet(ten)
Coins or tokens who have believed to have a magical value, very known in china and related territories.
ANA
Short for "American Numismatic Association."
ANACS (American Numismatic Association Certification Service)
Originally, only authentication was offered, grading was added later. The grading service and acronym were sold by the ANA and now operate under this name as a third party grading service.
ANACS certificate
A uniquely numbered opinion of authenticity and/or grade from the ANA Certification Service. The ANA now only authenticates, having sold the name and grading service.
ancients
General term for coins of the world struck circa 600 B.C. to circa 450 A.D.
Andreasducat
Russian golden coins struck during the period of Peter the Great 1682-1725. Also struck during the time of Elizabeth I from Russia during 1741-1762.
Andries or Andreasgulder
Golden coin with the Holy Andreas on them, minted in the southern Netherlands from 1474-1494 and from 1567-1571 It's a 792/900 gold coin with the weight of 3,40 grams.
Ange d'or
Golden French coin with the weight of 7,42 fine gold issued bij Philips the 6th from Valois in 1341.
Angel
Very nice golden coins struck by Edward the 4th of England, on the front side Michal fighting the dragon, struck sinds 1465.
Angelet or half angel
This coin was in circulation till 1619.
Angelot
French coin similar like the angel, minted in 1427 at mint houses in Paris, Saint-L and Le Mans.
Anchor money
Popular name for English coins struck for the use on Mauritius, in Canada West Indies and Ceylon. The inscription is COLONIR: BRITAIN: MONET:
Anna
Name for the old Indian coins, in later times it went to 1/16 th of a rupee. 1 Anna = 4 pysas or 12 pie.
annealing
The heating of a die or planchet to soften the metal before preparation of the die or striking of the coin.
Annona
Roman goddess of the harvest, on coins she goes with a shell of corn and or a horn.
Antoninianus
A roman coin first from silver, later a mix of silver and other materials issued by the roman emperor Marinus Aurelius Antonius also known as Caracalla in 214 AD it was a double dinarius between 4.7 and 5.3 grams. The coin is easy to recognize by the radiate crown around the head of the emperor.
Anvil
The mint mark of the Dutch mint master Ir. J. de Jong, mint master of the Royal Dutch mint from 1980-1987.
anvil die
The lower die, usually the reverse – although on some issues with striking problems, the obverse was employed as the lower die. Because of the physics of minting, the fixed lower-die impression is slightly better struck than the upper-die impression.
Apfelgulden
Apfelgulder, golden guilder from the Rhineland from the 15th and 16th century named for the cross and apple on its front.
Aphrodite
Greek goddess of love, in Rome called Venus, often to see with her child Eros on Greek and roman coins.
Aqueduct (mintmark)
Mintmark for the city of Segovia on Spanish coins, normally resembling a curved-top "M" with a second, smaller flat-top "M" above it. The mark is taken from the old Roman aqueduct that forms a prominent landmark in the city.
Argenteus
Silver roman coin who was introduced by the Emperor Diocletian in 294 AD and struck until 310 AD. The weight is 3.4 grams
Argentino
Golden coin from Argentina with the value of 5 pesos, struck from 1881-1889 and 1896.
Ariary
The currency unit of Madagascar. It is a unitary currency, having no fractional units except for the transitional "iraimbilanja", worth 1/5th of an ariary or 1 old French colonial franc. The name derives from a local word meaning a silver dollar.
arrows
Design element usually found in the left (viewer's right) claw of the eagle seen on many United States coins. After 1807, there usually were three arrows while prior to that time the bundle consisted of numerous ones.
arrows and rays
Term referring to the quarters and half dollars of 1853. The rays were removed in 1854 because of striking difficulties presented by the busy design.
arrows at date
Term referring to the arrows to the left and right of the date, added to the dies to indicate a weight increase or decrease.
Artemis
Greek goddess of the hunt, with a bow and arrow shown on Greek and roman coins.
artificial toning
Coloring added to the surface of a coin by chemicals and/or heat. Many different methods have been employed over the years.
As
Roman coin unit that is related to the As Libra, a coin that is used a verry long time in the roman empire.
ASE
Acronym for American Silver Eagle.
Look at examples of American Silver Eagles on eBay
ask
The selling quotation of a coin either on a trading network, pricing newsletter, or other medium.
assay
To analyze and determine the purity of a metallic alloy.
Assignat
French paper money from the late 1700's; one of the earliest occasions of hyperinflation caused by overissue of notes.
At
Currency of Laos. 100 At = 1 Kip.
ATB
Acronym for America the Beautiful refering to the US quarter series started in 2010. Also referred to as National Park quarters.
Look at examples of ATB Quarters on eBay
Att
Copper coin minted in Thailand from 1874-1905.
Attributes
The elements that make up a coin's grade. The main ones are marks (hairlines for Proofs), luster, strike, and eye appeal.
Attribution
The next step beyond "identification", it is the process of fully describing and classifying the particular type and variety of coin. For example, a large American silver coin would be identified as a "Morgan Dollar 1886 P", but attributed as a "VAM-17 doubled arrows" variety.
AU
Symbol for gold.
AU-50
This is for "About Uncirculated" (the grade) and "50" (the numerical designation of that grade). Also called "Almost Uncirculated-50." This is the lowest of the four AU grades, with the others being AU53, AU55, and AU58. Between 50% and 100% of the surfaces will exhibit luster disturbances, and perhaps the only luster still in evidence will be in the protected areas. The high points of the coin will have wear that is easily visible to the naked eye.
Look at examples of AU-50 coins on eBay
AU-53
This is for "About Uncirculated" (the grade) and "53" (the numerical designation of that grade). Also called "Almost Uncirculated-53." There is obvious wear on the high points with light friction covering 50-75% of the fields. There are noticeable luster breaks, with most of the luster still intact in the protected areas.
Look at examples of AU-53 coins on eBay
AU-55
This is for "About Uncirculated" (the grade) and "55" (the numerical designation of that grade). Also called "Almost Uncirculated-55." There is slight wear on the high points with minor friction in the fields. Luster can range from almost nonexistent to virtually full, but it will be missing from the high points. The grade of "Choice AU" equates to AU55.
Look at examples of AU-55 coins on eBay
AU-58
This is for "About Uncirculated" (the grade) and "58" (the numerical designation of that grade). Also called "Almost Uncirculated-58." There is the slightest wear on the high points, even though it may be necessary to tilt the coin towards the light source to see the friction. In many cases the reverse of an AU58 coin will be fully Mint State. Less than 10% of the surface area will show luster breaks. The grade of "Borderline Unc" equates to AU58.
Look at examples of AU-58 coins on eBay
auction
An offering of coins for sale where the buyer must bid against other potential buyers, as opposed to ordering from a catalog, price list, or advertisement at a set price.
Augustalis
Golden coin from Kaiser Friedrich II as king of sicily minted in 1231 at Messina and Brindisi with a weight of 5,24 grams.
Aureus
An ancient Roman gold coin, tariffed at 25 denarii or 100 sestertii. Replaced by the solidus in 309 AD.
authentication
The process of determining the genuineness of a coin or other numismatic item.
Avers
International name for the front side of the coin or token.
Avo
Currency of Macao, a portugese colony in the east indies, and at East Timor, (Indonesia) 100 avo = 1 pataca

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