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Numismatic Glossary - H

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H
Mintmark for the cities of: La Rochelle (French coins), Darmstadt (German coins), Heaton Mint, Birmingham, England (coins of Great Britain, British colonies, Egypt, Italy).
H/H
The shorthand abbreviation for a roll of coins where both ends of the roll shows the obverse (heads) of the coin.
H/T
The shorthand abbreviation for a roll of coins where one end of the roll shows the obverse (heads) of the coin and the other end of the roll shows the reverse (tails).
hair
The area of a coin that represents hair and may be an important grading aspect. (i.e. The hair above the ear on a Morgan dollar is critical to the strike.)
hairlines
Fine cleaning lines found mainly in the fields of Proof coins, although they sometimes are found across an entire Proof coin as well as on business strikes.
Halala
The minor currency unit of Saudi Arabia, 1/100th of a riyal. Name derives from the Arabic word for "lawful".
Haler
The minor currency unit of Czechoslovakia, and the successor states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia (where it is spelled "halier". In all cases, worth 1/100th of a koruna. Name derives from the old German and Austro-Hungarian monetary unit, the heller.
Half
Slang for half dollar.
half cent
The lowest-value coin denomination ever issued by the United States, representing one-two hundredth of a dollar. Half cents were struck from 1793 until the series was discontinued in 1857.
half disme
The original spelling of half dime. The first United States regular issue was the 1792 half disme supposedly struck in John Harper's basement with the newly acquired Mint presses.
Half Dollar
The denomination first struck in 1794 that is still struck today.
Half Eagle
Literally, half the value of an Eagle. The Eagle was defined by the Mint Act of 1792 as equal to ten silver dollars.
Half rolls
At times rolls were issued with one half the number of coins in a roll that we consider to be normal today. For instance, Liberty nickels (1883-1912) were often issued with 20 coins in the roll (face value one dollar).
hammer die
The upper die, usually the obverse – although on some issues with striking problems, the reverse was employed as the upper die.
Hao
A secondary currency unit of Vietnam, worth 10 xu or 1/10th of a dong.
haze
A cloudy film, original or added, seen on both business-strike coins and Proofs. This film can range from a light, nearly clear covering with little effect on the grade to a heavy, opaque layer that might prevent the coin from being graded.
Heller
A minor currency unit of Austro-Hungary, German East Africa, and some German states. The name derives from the city of Hall, where it was first issued.
Hemidrachm
A small ancient Greek silver coin, worth half a drachm.
Hemiobol
A tiny ancient Greek silver coin, worth half an obol.
Heraldic Eagle
Also called the large eagle, this emblem of Liberty resembles the eagles of heraldry, thus its acquired name.
Hexagram
A silver coin of the late Byzantine Empire. It's name derives from it's weight, "6 grams".
high end
A term applied to any coin at the upper end of a particular grade.
High Relief
The Saint-Gaudens inspired effort of Charles Barber to reduce the Extremely High Relief down to a coin with acceptable striking qualities. After 11,250 coins, this effort was abandoned. However, these were released and quickly became one of the most popular coins of all time.
Ho (mintmark)
Mintmark for the city of Hermosillo on Mexican coins.
hoard
A group of coins held for either numismatic or monetary reasons. A numismatic hoard example would be the hoard of Little Orphan Annie dimes (1844). A monetary hoard example would be the 100,000 plus coins in the Economite, Pennsylvania hoard of the nineteen century. That hoard consisted mainly of half dollars.
hoard coin
A coin that exists, or existed, in a quantity held by an individual, organization, etc. Examples include Stone Mountain half dollars still held by the Daughters of the Confederacy, the superb group of 1857 quarters that surfaced in the 1970s, and so on.
hoarder
An individual who amasses a quantity of a numismatic item(s).
Hobo nickel
An Indian Head (Buffalo) nickel which has been engraved with a portrait of a hobo or other character, often by a hobo. These are popular with some collectors and some are so distinctive that they have been attributed to specific "hoboes."
Hog Money (sometimes spelled Hogge Money)
Coinage made for use on the Sommer Islands, now known as Bermuda, in the early 1600's. These were the first coins made for a British colony in North America. The name derives from the main design element, a feral pig.
holder toning
Any toning acquired by a coin as a result of storage in a holder. Mainly refers to toning seen on coins stored in Wayte Raymond-type cardboard holders which contained sulfur and other reactive chemicals. Sometimes vibrant, spectacular reds, greens, blues, yellows, and other colors are seen on coins stored in these holders.
Holey Dollar
Term used to describe a Spanish colonial 8 reales (or other dollar-sized coin) that had been mutilated by having a circular piece punched out of the centre, leaving a ring-shaped coin. The punched-out piece is often known as a "dump". The British colonies of New South Wales (Australia) and Prince Edward Island (Canada) issued holey dollars in the early 1800's.
Hryvnia
Sometimes spelled "gryvnia", the primary monetary unit of the Ukraine. The name derives from an old monetary unit used by the mediaeval Kievan 'Rus, and means "ingot". The Russian 10 kopek coin was colloquially known as a "grivennik", a word of similar derivation.
hub
Minting term for the steel device from which a die is produced. The hub is produced with the aid of a portrait lathe or reducing machine and bears a "positive" image of the coin's design – that is, it shows the design as it will appear on the coin itself. The image on the die is "negative" – a mirror image of the design.
Hyperinflation
A period when a country's economy collapses. Coins become obsolete and paper money is printed with ever more increasing denominations, which only circulate briefly before they in turn become obsolete.
Hyperpyron
A gold coin of the late Byzantine Empire. It's name derives from the Latin words for "super fired", referring to the high fineness of the gold.

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