Numismatic Glossary - R

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Mintmark for the cities of: Orleans (French coins 1726-1783), London, England (coins struck for France after the defeat of Napoleon, 1815), Rome (Italian coins).
Racketeer nickel
A gold-plated 1883 No "CENTS" Liberty Head five-cent coin ("V" nickel). The story goes that a deaf-mute gold-plated these unfamiliar coins and would buy something for a nickel or less. Sometimes, he was given change for a five-dollar gold piece since the V on the reverse could be interpreted as either five cents or five dollars!
Radar Note
A note with a serial number that is the same forwards and backwards.
Examples of radar notes on eBay.
The primary currency unit of South Africa; there are 100 cents to the rand. The name comes from the district of Witwatersrand, the range of hills around Johannesburg where most of the gold mining in South Africa occurs.
rainbow toning
Term for toning which is usually seen on silver dollars stored in bags. The "colors of the rainbow" are represented, stating with pale yellow, to green, to red, to blue, and sometimes fading to black.
The fractional currency unit of Switzerland; there are 100 rappen to the franc. The name was used on coins of the old, predecimal monetary system used in Switzerland and southern Germany; it derives from the Old High German word for "raven".
A relative term indicating that a coin within a series is very difficult to find. Also, a coin with only a few examples known. A rare Lincoln cent may have thousands known while a relatively common pattern may only have a few dozen known.
The number of specimens extant of any particular numismatic item. This can be the total number of extant specimens or the number of examples in a particular grade and higher.
rarity scale
A term referring to a numerical-rating system such as the Universal Rarity Scale.
Numismatic slang for a coin or other numismatic item that has not been encapsulated by a grading service.
Term for the lines that represent sun rays on coins. First used on Continental dollars and Fugio cents, they were also used on some 1853-dated quarters and half dollars as well as 1866 and some 1867 five-cent coins.
Short for red and brown or Red-Brown.
Short for Red.
A predecimal unit of currency in Spain and it's colonies; the "piece of eight" had a face value of 8 reales. Dollars denominated in reales were still being struck in Mexico in the 1890's, for use as trade coins. The name has also been used in modern times, as the primary currency unit of Brazil.
Numismatic slang for genuine coin.
A German token-like counter used on a counting board. Also used in later times for the "play money" counters sold with card and dice games. The French equivalent is "jeton".

Term used for a copper coin that still retains 95 percent or more of its original mint bloom or color. PCGS allows only slight mellowing of color for this designation (RD).
A copper coin that has from 5 to 95 percent of its original mint color remaining (RB).
First issued in 1947, this yearly price guide has been the "bible" of printed numismatic retail price guides.
reeded edge
Term for the grooved notches on the edge of some coins. These were first imparted by the Mint's edge machine, later in the minting process by the use of close collars - these sometimes called the third die or collar die.
reeding mark(s)
A mark or marks caused when the reeded edge of one coin hits the surface of another coin. The contact may leave just one mark or a series of staccato-like marks.
regular issue
Term for the coins struck for commerce. These may be both Regular and Proof strikes of a regular issue. In addition, there can be die trials of regular issues.
regular strike
Term to denote coins struck with normal coining methods on ordinarily prepared planchets. Synonymous with business strike.
Reign Name
The name used by the emperor or ruler on Chinese and similar cash coins. The emperor's personal name was too holy for common use, so he chose a two-character phrase by which his reign would be known. It is this reign-name which appears on the coinage.
The height of the devices of a particular coin design, expressed in relation to the fields.
A copy, or reproduction, of a particular coin.
repunched date
If a date was punched into the die and then punched in again in a different position it is considered to be a repunched date. A dramatic example of the repunched date is the 1894/94 Indian cent, where the two dates are clear, bold and well separated. Most repunched dates are more subtle, such as the 1887/6 Morgan dollar. Such coins as the 1909/8 $20 gold piece or the 1942/1 Mercury dime are not repunched dates, but Doubled Dies, where the changes were made to the working die from a differently-dated working hub.
A coin struck later than indicated by its date, often with different dies. Occasionally, a different reverse design is used, as in the case of restrike 1831 half cents made with the reverse type used from 1840-1857.
A term used to describe a coin that has been dipped or cleaned and then has reacquired color, whether naturally or artificially.
The back, or tails side, of a coin. Usually opposite the date side.
The primary monetary unit of Iran; there were once 100 dinars to the rial, though in recent years inflation has meant the rial has become a defacto unitary currency. Also the primary currency units of Oman (comprised of 1000 baisa) and Yemen (a unitary currency).
A machine used by mints that screens out planchets of the wrong size and shape prior to striking.
The primary monetary unit of Cambodia; there are theoretically 100 sen to the riel, though in recent years the riel has become a defacto unitary currency.
The raised area around the edges of the obverse and reverse of a coin. Pronounced rims resulted from the introduction of the close collar, first used in 1828 for Capped Bust dimes.
rim ding
Slang for rim nick.
rim nick
Term for a mark or indentation on the rim of a coin or other metallic numismatic item.

ring test
A test used to determine whether a coin was struck or is an electrotype or cast copy. The coin in question is balanced on a finger and gently tapped with a metal object- a pen, another coin, and so on. Struck coins have a high-pitched ring or tone, while electrotypes and cast copies have little or none. This test is not infallible; some struck coins do not ring because of planchet defects such as cracks or gas occlusions; also, some cast copies have been filled with glass (or other substances) and do ring.
The preferred name for the primary currency unit of Malaysia (it can also be called a "dollar"). There are 100 sen to the ringgit. It is also an alternate name for the Brunei dollar. The word is the Malay word for "jagged", and refers to the reeded or decorated edges on European-style trade dollars which circulated in that part of the world in the 1800's.
A numismatic purchase that is bought substantially below the price for which it can be resold.
The primary currency units of Saudi Arabia (where it is divided into 100 halala) and Qatar (100 dirhams).
road kill
Slang for a coin that looks like it spent some time on a road repeatedly being run over by cars and trucks.
A set number of coins "rolled up" in a coin wrapper. In old times, a roll meant the coins were rolled up in a paper wrapper, today they are likely to be slid into a plastic coin tube.
roll friction
Minor displacement of metal, mainly on the high points, seen on coins stored in rolls.
rolled edge
Term synonymous with rim (the raised edge around a coin). This has become part of the vernacular because of the Rolled Edge Indian Head eagle.
Rolled Edge Ten
Common name for the Indian Head eagle struck as a regular issue with a mintage reported by some as 20,000, but according to official Mint correspondence the figure was 31,550. However, some have considered it a pattern because all but 42 coins were reportedly melted. It is occasionally seen circulated but the average coin is Mint State 63 or higher.
roller marks
Term to describe the mostly parallel incuse lines seen on some coins after striking. These were originally thought to be lines resulting from debris "scoring" the metal strips before the blanks were cut. However, new research has pointed to the final step of strip preparation, the draw bar. To reduce the strips to proper thickness, the final step was to pass them through the draw bar. It certainly seems logical that debris in the draw bar may cause these lines, if so, then draw-bar marks or lines would be a more appropriate term.
Roman finish
An experimental Proof surface used mainly on U.S. gold coins of 1909 and 1910. This is a hybrid surface with more reflectivity than Matte surfaces but less than brilliant Proofs. The surface is slightly scaly, similar to that of Satin Proofs.
Rotated die error
An error in which the obverse and reverse designs on a coin are not in their standard orientation in relation to each other; one is rotated away from its standard position. Causes can include: 1) a die being installed into the coining press incorrectly; 2) the screws (or other mechanism) that hold the die shaft in place coming loose and allowing a die to rotate; and 3) the shaft of the die breaking and allowing free rotation of the die head. Minor rotations (< 5 degrees) are very common and are not considered to be an error.
A nickname for a bullion piece that has a circular shape vs. the rectangular shape of ingots and bars. It is most often used in the context of reference to a 1-ounce silver piece - a "silver round."
Short for repunched mintmark.
Term for slight wear, often referring just to the high points or the fields.
Also spelled "rouble". The primary currency of the Russian Empire, Soviet Union, and the post-Soviet republics of Russia, Belarus and the unrecognized state of Transnistria. In all cases, there are 100 kopeks to the ruble. The ruble is the oldest unit of decimal currency in the world. The name derives form an old Russian word meaning "to chop"; early rubles were sliced cob-style off of silver ingots.
The equivalent to the rupee on the Maldive Islands, where it is divided into 100 laari.
The traditional silver currency unit of India. Indian "native state" rupees are dumps. British India used a predecimal currency system of 16 annas to the rupee. The modern republics of India and Pakistan use a system of 100 paise to the rupee. The rupee is also the primary currency unit of Mauritius, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The Maldives and Indonesia use currency units with names derived from "rupee".
The Primary currency unit of Indonesia. Formerly divided into 100 sen, the rupiah is now a defacto unitary currency.

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