Glossary Of Terms

Terms, Grades, and Abreviations We Use

ACG
Accugrade Grading Service
Acid Date
Date enhanced by using acid, otherwise not visible.
Adjustment Mark
File marks done at the mint on early US coins before striking, to adjust the weight of the planchet. These are considered natural and do not affect the grade.
AF
About Fine
AFBL
Almost Full Bell Lines
AFS
Almost Full Steps
AFH
Almost Full Head
AG
About Good
ANACS
American Numismatic Association Certification Service
ARR
Arrows, added to design to indicate change in coin's weight
AT
Artificial Toning, refers to coins that have been cleaned and chemically recolored. Usually obvious to the trained eye.
AU
About Uncirculated
AU-BU
AU58, a coin that looks BU but has a very slight rub or cabinet friction, often called a "slider", and appearing CH BU at a quick glance
Bag Marks
Natural scuffs, nicks or abrasions that occurred during handling at the Mint or during normal shipping/handling to the distribution system (banks, etc.)
Baggy
Numerous bag marks from banging into other coins
Bands
Raised horizontal lines at center of bundle of sticks on reverse of Mercury dime
BHC
Beaded Hair Cord
BU
Brilliant Uncirculated
BR
Bronze
BRN
Brown, normal toned color of copper or bronze coins
Breen#
Numbers given to various varieties by Walter Breen in his famous book, "Complete Encyclopedia of US and Colonial Coins"
Broad Bust
Second bust style used on Indian cents; point of bust is wider than on earlier style
C#
Craig # for early world coins
CAMEO
A coin that is frosted on the central detail
CAPPED CC
Occurs on 1879 Morgan dollars where the mintmark was reworked and appears distorted or as a recut/repunched mintmark. Always appears very sloppy.
Carbon Spot
Small dark spot usually on copper or nickel coinage, usually not removable without abrasion
CH
Choice, superior or above average for the grade (eg. VF30, EF45, AU55 & MS62-63
Chop/Chopmark
Test marks punched into coins, usually Trade dollars and similar coins. Made by trade merchants or banks, usually Oriental, to verify the metallic value of a coin.
Circulation Mark
Normal light marks, nicks & abrasions caused by handling in circulation
CL
Closed, as in CL3
CLASH DIE, CLASHED DIE
Occurs when dies are pressed together without a blank planchet/flan. This causes a transfer of some design detail from one die to the other.
Clipped Planchet
Usually a semi-circular area of missing metal at the edge of the coin caused by the original blank having been mispunched. Multiple clips are also known. Straight clips occur at the end of the metallic strip from which planchets are made.
CLND
Cleaned oir Cleaning, shows some evidence of being wiped or overly dipped, but not enough to ruin the surface
COMMEM
Commemorative
COUNTERMARK
Letters or a design stamped into a coin, usually by a merchant. Contemporary countermarks do not lower the grade and in fact usually enhance the value of the coin
Corrosion
CR
Criswell# for Confederate notes
CR4
Crosslet 4
CRUSTY/CRUSTED
Corrosion that forms on, rather than into the surface of a coin. Usually dark brown.
CUD
Lump or extra metal on a coin struck from a chipped or broken die, usually considered desirable
CUT
Sharp hit on a coin as if by a knife, chisel or file, often done on earlier coins to test the metal
CV
Catalog value
CW
"Coin World" newspaper
CWT
Civil War Token
DEVICE
Any raised detail on a coin
DIE BREAK
Raised area, usually a line caused by a crack or break in the die that struck the coin
DIE POLISH
Fine raised lines on the surface of a coin caused by excessive polishing of the die, considered desirable but often confused as scratches by the inexperienced numismatist
DIPPED
Coin that has had tarnish or dirt removed by dipping or rinsing in an appropriate solution. Does not affect the grade if properly done. Overdipping can ruin the lustre on an uncirculated coin.
DDO
Double Die Obverse
DDR
Double Die Reverse
DK
Dark
DMPL
Deep Mirror Prooflike
EF
Extremely Fine
EF+
Extremely Fine 43
EF-AU
Extremely Fine 48, looks like an AU coin, but just misses the grade
F
Fine 12
FB
Full Bands
FBL
Full Bell Lines
FH
Full Head
FIELD
The open or flat area around the design or relief of a coin or medal
FILLER
A coin that is easily identifiable as to date & type, but damaged or mishandled in one or more ways
FILLED
Usually mintmarks where die deterioration/excessive repunching/damage has created a blob on the mintmark
FLAN
Older term for planchet or blank
FR
Fair grade, very worn, only major detail readable, AG2
FRN
Federal Reserve Note
FR#
Friedberg number for US currency
FS
Full Steps
FSB
Full Split Bands
F-VF
F18, looks more like a VF but not quite there
G4
Good 4
G5
Good 5, strong for the grade
G-
Good minus, slightly weak, but better than an AG
G-VG
G6, looks more like a VG but not quite there
G/E
Gold Eagle
GEM
Highest quality normally found in uncirculated coins, grades of MS64 & MS65
GRAFFITI
Scratches or usually lettering done outside the Mint, not to be confused with Countermarks
HL or HL's
Hairline or Hairlines
HOLE
Hole in surface of coin, does not pass all the way through
HOLED
Hole that passes all the way through
HVY
Heavy
ICG
Independent Coin Grading Service
KM#
Catalog# from "World Coins" by Krause & Mishler
L
Longacre
LAMINATION
Manufacturing defect that causes the metal to peel or flake away
LD
Large Date
LF
Large Fraction
LG or Lg
Large
LL
Large Letters
LND
Large Narrow Date
LS
Large Stars
Lt
Light or lightly
LTS
Light Scratch
MACHINE DOUBLING
Doubling that occurs during the minting of coins, when the die shifts slightly causing a shadow expression to a more pronounced doubled Device. This ia very common on many issues and in most cases of only slight premium interest.
MD
Medium Date
MED
Medium
MM
Mintmark
mm
Millimeters
MOD
Moderate
M/S
Mint Set
MS
Mint State
N/ or n/
No
N
Narrow
N/C
No Cents
N/D
No Drapery
N/R
No Rays
N/S
No Stars
NGC
Numismatic Guarantee Corp.
NN
"Numismatic News" newspaper
OBV
Obverse or front of coin
O'CLOCK
Position on coin as if aligned with face of clock
OP
Open, as in OP3
OZ or Oz or oz
Ounce
PATINA
Natural color/toning of metal, usually attractive and desirable
PCGS
Professional Coin Grading Service
P/L
Prooflike
P/S
Proof Set
PF
Proof
PG or Pg or pg
Page, usually refers to the "Red Book" page on which the coin or variety is listed
PHC
Plain Hair Cord
PITTING
Tiny holes in surface caused by corrosion
PL
Plain
PLANCHET
Blank on whic coin is struck, also sometimes called a FLAN
PLANCHET CLIP
See CLIPPED PLANCHET
PLANCHET CRACK
Crack or flaw in the Planchet from improper manufacture, does not affect grade of coin
PLUGGED
Hole that has been filled/repaired/dd>
PTD BUST
Pointed Bust
POOR
Barely identifiable as to date & type, usually has some damage
PQ
Premium Quality
POROUS
Pitted surface from environmental damage (eg. buried or salt water, sometimes indicates with degree of porosity
RB
Red Brown, percent of Red may be noted
RD
Red
RECUT
Worn die or dies with shallow impressions were often reworked or recut to increase their life span. Lettering or other devices have a doubled appearance under magnification
REPUNCHED
Mintmarks/dates are added after the die is made and are often not punched deeply enough at first or after some usage become unclear and are repuched
RETONED
A coin that was once cleaned or dipped and has regained toning either naturally over time or unnaturally by chemical enhancement
RIM BRUISE
A bump that pushes some metal into the rim of a coin, but does not affect the design or field
RIM BUMP
Bump or hit on rim that indents the field or touches the design of the coin, much heavier than a bruise
RIM FILE
Usually done to remove a rim nick or abrasion where the metal was raised
R&B
Red & Brown, a copper coin that has a lot of red rather than one that is evenly toned redbrown (% will indicate percentage of red)
ROLLED RIM
Metal at edges pushed up all around, usually ruins the edge reeding
RPM
Repunched Mintmark
REV
Reverse, or back of coin
ROTATED
OBV & REV do not line up when coin is turned over. Indicates dies were placed in press improperly.
SB
Split Bands
SCR
Scratch
SCRUFFY
Numerous circulation marks, more than normal. Indicates heavy usage not damage.
SD
Small Date
SEGS
Sovereign Enterprises Grading Service
SF
Small Fraction
SL
Small Letters
SLANT5
SM or Sm
Small
SND
Small Narrow Date
SILVER PLUG
A silver plug was addes at the Mint to some Flowing Hair coinage to increase the weight, the opposite of adjustment marks
SOLDER SPOT
A residue of solder often left on coins that were used in jewelry, sometimes well disguised on rims of early coins
STEMS
Ends of wreath that go through the bow at the bottom, on early Half Cents and Large Cents
STEMLESS
Ends of wreath that do not go through bow at the bottom, on early Half Cents and Large Cents
STAR 1,2,3. Etc.
STRUCK THRU
Refers to a foreign substance that was in the die during the coining process. Usually leaves a depressed area. Often caused by a piece of rag used for cleaning or grease not properly wiped off.
SQ
Square, as in Sq. Base 2
SS
Small Stars
S/E
Silver Eagle
TF
TAIL FEATHERS
T.O.
Troy Ounce
TOOLED
Indicates enhancement by mechanical means, such as buffing out a scratch or dig
TRENDS
Pricing guide found in "Coin World"
TY'1
Type 1
TY'2
Type 2
UP5
Upright 5
UNC
Uncirculated, but not brilliant, usually copper coins that have turned brown
VERDIGRIS
Greenish patina on copper coins
VG
Very Good, as in VG8, VG9, VG10, VG11
VF
Very Fine, as in VF20, VF25, VF30, VF35
VF+
VF25, a nice strong VF coin
VF-EF
VF35 or almost EF
VLS
Very Light Scratch
W
Wide
W/ or w/
With
W/C
With Cents
W/R
With Rays
WCN
"World Coin News" publication
WHITE
Normal color of a freshly minted silver coin or 1943 Lincoln cent
WIZZED
Polished by high speed wire brush to enhance the surface appearance
YEOMAN#
Yeoman Catalog#
-
Minus, a coin that is just a little too weak to call a full grade. Although it may technically grade so.
+
Plus, stronger than normal for a particular grade
/
Split grade, obverse grades differently from reverse. A VF/EF coin has a VF obverse (front) and an EF reverse (back)

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