Numismatic Glossary - W

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W
Mintmark for the city of Lille (French coins).
Waffle coin
A coin that has been run through a government process used to destroy defective coins. A machine defaces the coin basically rendering it as scrap metal. The coin looks similar to a waffle when destroyed.
See some waffle coins on eBay.
Walker
Slang for a Walking Liberty half dollar.
Walking Liberty
Common name for a Walking Liberty half dollar.
Walking Liberty half dollar
Those half dollars struck from 1916 until 1947. The Walking Liberty design by A.A. Weinman undoubtedly was inspired by the popular Saint-Gaudens/Charles Barber Liberty Standing double eagle then current.
War nickel
Short for Wartime nickel.
Wartime nickel
Those five-cent coins struck during World War II comprised of 35% silver, 9% manganese, and 56% copper. Tradition has been that nickel was needed for the war effort, hence the metallic change. However, recent research has shown that the boost to morale by having an intrinsic-value small denomination coin may have played an important part in the issuance of the Wartime nickel.
Washington quarter
Short for Washington quarter dollar.
Washington quarter dollar
The John Flanagan designed quarter dollar first struck in 1932 as a circulating commemorative coin. (This was to celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of George Washington's birth.) It became a continuing series in 1934 and has been struck every year to 1998, albeit with a different reverse in 1976. In 1999, the obverse was redesigned and the State quarter series began to be struck. Each of the 50 State quarters will have a different reverse design with 5 new issues per year for 10 years.
Watermark
Area of varying thickness of paper on a piece of paper money, creating a pattern of light and dark areas visible when the note is held up to the light.
watery look
A look seen on the surfaces of most close-collar Proof coins. Highly polished planchets and dies give the surfaces an almost "wavy" look-hence the term.
weak strike
A term used to describe a coin that does not show intended detail because of improper striking pressure or improperly aligned dies.
web note
Web notes are a type of United States currency named after the "web printing production" method of printing on continuous rolls of paper. There are several types of "web printing production" methods including offset, gravure (intaglio), flexography, etc. However high-pressure web intaglio printing, front and back of the intaglio process, was a totally new idea. Between 1992 and 1996, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing experimented to see if a web press that used continuous rolls of paper was quicker and cheaper than intaglio printing, which used flat sheets. The affected notes are dollar bills from Series 1988A, Series 1993 and Series 1995. They are legal tender and are not considered error notes, although they are valuable due to their rarity.
Wen
The Chinese term for Chinese cash-style coins, issued in China up to the early 1900's.
West Point Mint
The West Point Mint was originally opened in 1937 as a bullion depository and was officially designated by Congress as a Mint on March 31, 1988. This mint manufactures American Eagle uncirculated and proof coins, manufactures all sizes of the proof and uncirculated silver, gold and platinum American Eagle coins, manufactures commemorative coins that Congress mandates, and stores platinum, gold and silver bullion. This mint uses the "W" mintmark.
wheel mark
Synonymous with "counting machine mark."
whizzing
Term to describe the process of mechanically moving the metal of a lightly circulated coin to simulate luster. Usually accomplished by using a wire brush attachment on a high-speed drill.
Widow's Mite
A small copper coin of ancient Judaea, more properly known as a lepton. The name derives from a passage in the bible where the coin is mentioned.
Wildcat Notes
A subset of Broken Bank Notes, these are "banknotes" issued with little or no monetary backing, whose primary purpose was to defraud the holders of the notes.
wire edge
The thin, knife-like projection seen on some rims created when metal flows between the collar and the dies. Also, slang for the Wire Edge Indian Head eagle of 1907.
Wire Edge eagle
The 1907 Indian Head eagle for which only 500 coins were struck. Technically, a pattern, this design featured a fine wire rim and surfaces unlike any other United States issue. The fields and the devices of the die were heavily polished leaving myriad die striations that transferred to the struck coins. With a combination of satiny and striated surfaces, these rare coins have a look of their own. Often, unknowledgeable numismatists will look at one of these specimens and declare it hairlined or harshly cleaned.
Wire Edge Ten
Common name for the 1907-dated Wire Edge Indian Head eagle.
Wire Money (British context)
Early silver kopek and half-kopek coins issued by Russia in the 1600's, so called because the blanks were sliced cob-style off of a piece of
Wire Money (Primitive money)
A term sometimes used for the silver larin, a primitive money of the Indian Ocean islands.
Wire Money (Russian context)
Early silver kopek and half-kopek coins issued by Russia in the 1600's, so called because the blanks were sliced cob-style off of a piece of silver wire.
wire rim
Alternate form of wire edge.
with arrows
Alternate form of arrows at date.
with arrows and rays
Alternate form of arrows and rays.
with motto
Alternate form of motto.
with rays
Alternate for of rays.
Won
The primary currency unit in both Koreas; The South Korean won is a unitary currency, while in the North there are 100 chon to the won. The word is the Korean name for the Chinese "yuan".
wonder coin
Slang for a coin whose condition is particularly superb.
woodgrain
Resulted from impurities in the alloy or concentrations of pure copper that did not properly blend with the 5% tin and zinc added to it. When these less than perfect ingots were rolled into strip, from which blanks would later be punched, the concentrations were flattened and stretched into the patterns seen on the finished coins. Invisible when first struck, these flaws appeared only after the coin was exposed to atmospheric agents that caused the copper concentrations to tone more quickly than the properly mixed portions of the planchet.
working die
A die prepared from a working hub and used to strike coins.
working hub
A hub created from a master die and used to create the many working dies required for coinage.
World Coins
Term applied to coins from countries other than the United States.
worn die
A die that has lost detail from extended use. Dies were often used until they wore out or were excessively cracked or broke apart. Coins struck from worn dies often appear to be weakly struck but no amount of striking pressure will produce detail that does not exist.
Wreath cent
Common name for the second large cent type of 1793. Complaints about the Chain cent led to the redesign resulting in the Flowing Hair with wreath reverse type.

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