Numismatic Glossary - L

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L
Mintmark for the cities of: Bayonne (French coins).
Laari
The minor currency unit of the Maldive Islands; the are 100 laari to a rufiyaa. The name derives from the larin, the primitive once used on the islands.
lamination
A thin piece of metal that has nearly become detached from the surface of a coin. If this breaks off, an irregular hole or planchet flaw is left.
large cent
A large copper U.S. coin, one-hundredth of a dollar, issued from 1793 until 1857, when it was replaced by a much smaller cent made from a copper-nickel alloy. The value of copper in a large cent had risen to more than one cent, requiring the reduction in weight.
large date
Term referring to the size of the digits of the date on a coin. (Use of this term implies that a medium or small date exists for that coin or series.)
Large Eagle
Alternate form of Heraldic Eagle.
large letters
Term referring to the size of the lettering of the date on a coin. (Use of this term implies that medium or small letters exist for that coin or series.)
Large Motto
Common short name for the particular variety of two-cent coin of 1864 with large letters in the motto. The inscription "IN GOD WE TRUST" was first used on the two-cent coinage of 1864. Congress mandated this inscription for all coinage and it has been used on nearly every coin since that time.
large size
A term referring to the particular diameter of a coin in a series. (Use of this term implies that there is a small size or diameter with the same motif. Examples are the Large and Small size Capped Bust quarters.)
Lari
The primary currency unit of the republic of Georgia; there are 100 tetri to the lari. The name derives from the Georgian word for a hoard of wealth.
Larin
A form of primitive currency used on the Maldive Islands before European contact, in the form of silver wire bent into a fish-hook shape. The name is also given to a series of predecimal bronze coins issued on the islands.
Lats
The primary monetary unit of Latvia; there are 100 santimi to the lats.
LD
Short for large date.
LDS
Short for late die state.
Leeuwendaalder
A large silver coin (though the silver fineness was often quite low) issued by the Dutch provinces. The name means "lion dollar", so called because of the large lion on the reverse. The coin saw wide circulation in eastern Europe as a trade dollar; the currency units leu (Romania/Moldova) and lev (Bulgaria) are both named after this coin.
Legal Tender
Coins and currency issued by the government as official money that can be used to pay legal debts and obligations.
legend
A phrase that appears on a coin, for instance, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Lek
The primary monetary unit of Albania since 1947; there are 100 qindarka to the lek. The name derives from Leka, the Albanian name for Alexander the Great.
Lempira
The primary currency unit of Honduras; there are 100 centavos to the lempira. The unit is maned after a tribal chief who led the resistance against the Spanish conquest.
Leone
The primary currency unit of Sierra Leone, comprised of 100 cents.
Lepton
A small ancient Greek copper coin. Lepta issued by Judaea are known as "Widow's Mites", a reference to a biblical story. The name is also given to the fractional currency unit of Greece, prior to that country joining the euro; there were 100 lepta to the drachma.
lettered edge
A coin edge that displays an inscription or other design elements, rather than being reeded or plain. The lettering can be either incuse (recessed below the surface) or raised. Incuse lettering is applied before a coin is struck; the Mint did this with a device called the Castaing machine. Raised lettering is found on coins struck with segmented collars; the lettering is raised during the minting process, and when the coin is ejected from the dies, the collar "falls" apart, preventing the lettering from being sheared away.
lettering
The alphabet characters used in creating legends, mottoes, and other inscriptions on a coin, whether on the obverse, reverse, or edge.
Leu
The primary currency unit of Romania and Moldova. In both countries, there are 100 bani to the leu. The name derives from the leeuwendaalder.
Lev
The primary currency unit of Bulgaria; there are 100 stotinki to the lev. The name derives from the leeuwendaalder.
Liberty
The symbolic figure used in many U.S. coin designs.
Liberty Cap
The head of Miss Liberty, with a cap on a pole by her head, used on certain U.S. half cents and large cents.
Liberty Head
The design used on most U.S. gold coins from 1838 until 1908. This design was first employed by Christian Gobrecht, with later modifications by Robert Ball Hughes and James Longacre. Morgan dollars and Barber coinage sometimes are referred to as Liberty Head coins.
Liberty nickel
Short for Liberty Head or "V" nickel struck from 1883 until 1912. (The coins dated 1913 were clandestinely struck and are not regular issues.)
Liberty Seated
The motif designed by Christian Gobrecht first used on the Gobrecht dollars of 1836-1839 featuring Miss Liberty seated on a rock. This design was used on nearly all regular issue silver coinage from 1837 until 1891. (1838-1891 for quarters, 1839-1891 for half dollars, and 1840-1873 for dollars.)
light line
The band of light seen on photographs of coins, especially Proofs. This band also is seen when a coin is examined under a light.
Lilangeni
The primary currency unit of Swaziland, comprised of 100 cents. The plural is "emalangeni".
LIMAE monogram (mintmark)
Mintmark for the city of Lima on Peruvian and Spanish-Peruvian coins.
Lincoln
Slang for a Lincoln Head cent.
Lincoln cent
The Victor D. Brenner designed cent first struck in 1909 and continuing until today although the reverse was changed in 1959 to the Memorial Reverse. These were struck in bronze until 1982, except for 1943 when they were issued in steel with a zinc coating and 1945-1945 when melted shell casings were employed to produce planchets. Currently, the Lincoln cent is struck on planchets composed of a zinc core and a 5% copper coating.
Lincoln penny
Slang for Lincoln Head cent.
lint mark
A repeating depression on a coin, usually thin and curly, caused by a thread that adhered to a die during the coin's production. Lint marks are found primarily on Proofs. After dies are polished, they are wiped with a cloth, and these sometimes leave tiny threads.
Lipa
The fractional currency unit of Croatia; there are 100 lipa to the kuna.
Lira
The former primary currency unit of Italy, Vatican City, San Marino, Israel and Malta, and the primary currency unit of Turkey. The name derives from "libra", a pound or balance.
Litas
The primary currency unit of Lithuania; there are 100 centu to the litas.
Litra
The name given to larger bronze coins from the ancient Greek city-states on Sicily, the equivalent to the Roman as. There were 12 onkiae to the litra. It was the model copied by the ROmans for their early bronze coin, the as.
LL
Short for large letters.
LMC
Short for Lincoln Memorial Cent.
Long Beach
Short for the Long Beach Coin and Stamp Exhibition held in Long Beach, California. This show is held three times a year, usually in February, June, and October. These are among the most popular commercial exhibitions each year.
lot
The unique number assigned by the auction house to an item(s) to be sold in a particular sale.
Loti
The primary currency unit of Lesotho, divided into 100 cents. The plural is "maloti".
loupe
A magnifying glass used to examine coins. Loupes are found in varying strengths or "powers".
low ball
Term used for low grade certified coins. There is a segment of collectors that try to to put together sets of the lowest certified graded coins they can. This can get tricky because the coin must be extremely worn, but still identifiable. These are sometimes called low ball coins and low ball collections.
luster
In numismatics, the amount and strength of light reflected from a coin's surface or its original mint bloom. Luster is the result of light reflecting on the flow lines, whether visible or not.
lustrous
A term used to describe coins that still have original mint bloom.
Lwei
The fractional currency unit of Angola; there are 100 lwei to the kwanza.

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