Numismatic Glossary - K

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K
Mintmark for the cities of: Bordeaux (French coins).
Key Coin
The major, or most important, coin in a particular series. The "key" coin is usually the lowest-mintage coin and/or the most expensive coin in a particular set. The 1916-D dime, for instance, is usually considered the key coin of the Mercury dime series. It is the lowest mintage coin of the set and the most expensive (in most grades). The 1919-D dime is the "condition rarity key" of the Mercury dime series, as it is the most expensive coin in top condition.
Kharshapana
The name given to several series of square or rectangular-shaped coins from ancient India, particularly the Mauryan Empire silver coinage and the Sunga Empire copper coinage.
Khoums
A minor currency unit of Mauretania, equivalent to the old French colonial franc and worth 1/5th of an ouguiya. The name is the Arabic word for "fifth". It was only struck during the transitional period when Mauretania converted from French colonial francs to the ouguiya.
killer
Slang term for outstanding. (i.e. That 1880-S silver dollar has killer luster.)
Kina
The primary currency unit of Papua New Guinea; there are 100 toea to the kina. The name derives from a local name for a kind of pearlescent oyster shell, used as traditional money in the area.
King
The number one coin. The 1804 dollar was referred to as the "King of Coins" in an 1885 auction catalogue. Since then, the word "King" has come to mean the most important coin of a particular series.
Kip
The primary monetary unit of Laos; there are 100 att to the kip. The name derives from the Lao word for a silver ingot.
KN
Mintmark for the King's Norton private mint in Birmingham, England, seen on British and British Colonial coins.
knife edge
Slang for wire edge.
Knife Money
Form of primitive currency in China, issued at tthe same time as Spade Money (c. 800-200 BC), in the form of cast bronze imitation knives.
Kobo
The theoretical fractional currency unit of Nigeria. There would be 100 kobo to a naira, but inflation has rendered the kobo valueless.
Kopek
Also spelled "kopeck", the fractional currency unit of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation and several other former Soviet republics. The name, the Russian word for "spear", derives from a small silver coin issued in the 1600's which showed a horseman carrying a spear.
Koruna
The primary currency unit of Czechoslovakia, and the successor states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. There are 100 haleru (Slovak: halierov) to the koruna.
Kreuzer
Also spelled "kreutzer" and (in Hungary) "krajczar". Minor predecimal currency unit of numerous states in what is now Germany, Poland, Austria and Switzerland. It was normally either a small billon coin or larger, copper coin. It was also the fractional curency unit of Austro-Hungary from 1857 to 1892. The name derives from the cross frequently shown on mediaeval silver pennies.
Kriegsgeld
German for "war money". A category of notgeld issued during WWI, in the form of metal tokens and paper money.
Krona
The primary currency unit of Sweden; there are 100 ore to a krona. Also the preferred spelling of the Danish "krone" on the Danish dependency of the Faeroe Islands, and the primary currency unit of Iceland, where it is divided into 100 aurar.
Krone
The primary currency unit of Denmark; there are 100 ore to a krone. Also the primary currency unit of Norway, and the Danish territory of Greenland.
Kroon
The primary currency unit of Estonia; there are 100 senti to the kroon. An earlier currency of Estonia was based on 100 marks to the kroon.
Krona
The primary currency unit of Sweden there are 100 ore to a krona. Also the preferred spelling of the Danish "krone" on the Danish dependency of the Faeroe Islands.
Krugerrand
A gold bullion coin of South Africa. It is composed of .9167 fine gold. Exists in 1-ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce sizes.
Kuna
The primary currency unit of Croatia; there are 100 lipa to the kuna. The kuna is the Croatian name for the marten, an animal whose fur was a valuable commodity in the area.
Kurus
A fractional currency unit of Turkey; there are 100 kurus to a lira. The name derives from the old Ottoman Empire currency unit, the kurush.
Kwacha
The primary monetary unit of Malawi and Zambia. In Malawi it is equal to 100 tambala; while in Zambia, 100 ngwee.
Kwanza
The primary monetary unit of Angola; there are 100 lwei to the kwanza.
Kyat
The primary monetary unit of Burma/Myanmar; there are 100 pyas to a kyat. The word is pronounced like "chat" or "chut".

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