ALLOY: A mixture of two or more metals.

ASK: The price at which a seller is wlling to effect the sale of a coin.

BAG MARKS: Edge nicks and surface abrasions coins receive when they knock against one another in bags as theyare transported from the mint to banks and other destinations.Bag marks affect a coin's grading and  value.

BARTER: Exchange or goods and services without the use of money.

BASE METAL: Non-precious metal that serves as a base for a precious metal, such as copper, nickel or zinc, or alloys of these metals.

BID: the price offered at a sales to buy a coin.

BILLION: A low-grade precious metal alloy comtaining silver and gold with large quantity of copper.

BLANK: Also blank planchet, flanor disc. A piece of metal cut to the shape of a coin but not yet struck.

BLOOM: See patina.

BULLION: Precious metal in the from of an ingot, wafer or bar.

BULLION COIN: A coin that is purchased for its precious metal content rather than for great numismatic value.

BULLION VALUE: Also intrinsic value. The current value of the precious metal in a coin.

CABINET: A piece of furniture that keeps a coin collection, or the collection itself.

CAMEO: A proof coin that has mirrorlike fields while the devices have a frosty appearance.

CIRCULATED: A coin passed from hand to hand in commerce.

COIN: A piece of metal stuck with marks to show it was issued by an authority such as a government or bank which guarantees the coin's weight, fineness and value.A coin intended for use as legal tender.

COIN COLLECTOR: A person who collects coins for pleasure. See numismatist.

COIN DEALER: A person who trades in coins.

COIN INVESTOR: A person who buys and collects coin with the primary purpose of selling them later to make a profit.

COMMEMORATIVE COIN: A coin issued to celebrate or mark an important event in history or to preserve the memory of a place or person.

CONDITION: A coin's state of preservation.

COPY: The replica of a coin not produced with the intention to deceive. See electrotype.

CORROSION: The damaging effects of chemical reactionson on coin surfaces, generally caused by improper handling or storage.

COUNTERFEIT: An imitation or alteration of a genuine numismatic piece with intent to deceive.

CUPRO-NICKEL: An alloy of copper and nickel.

DIE: An engraved hard metal punch used to strike coins.

DUMP: Any small, thick coin.

EDGE: The surface of a coin measured to find out its thickness. All coin have three surfaces: obverse, reverse, edge.

ELECTROTYPE: Replica of a coin made by electrolysis. See copy.

ELECTRUM: A natural alloy of gold, silver and copper from which the first coins in history were stuck. Eectrum also refer to a man-made alloy of gold and silver.

EMERGENCY MONEY: A general term referring to those currency issued when the  regular monetary media are in short supply. See obsidional coinage.

ENGRAVER: A person who prepares and engraves the dies for a coin.

EXONUMIA: The study of medals, tokens and related non-coin collectibles.

FACE VALUE: Value of a coin as indicated on its surface. This is the monetary value of the coin at the time it was minted.

FANTASY COIN: A coin that resembles a real piece but is actually not issued by an official authority; an invented item, but not considered to be a forgery.

FIELD: Flat undetailed part of a coin's obverse or reverse.

FINENESS: Also fine.The percentage of the purity of a precious metal contaned in a coin (1,000 parts being 100% pure). The purest level refined commercially is 999.9. Pure gold (999.9) equals 25 karats. See karat.

FINE OUNCE: An ounce of 999.9 pure precious metal. One troy ounce equals 31.1035 grammes.

FINE WEIGHT: Actual weight of the precious metal in a coin, bar, ingot or other item as opposed to the item's total weight. See gross weight.

FLAN:  See blank.

FORGERY: An illegal copy of a genuine coin intended to deceive. See counterfeit and copy.

FROSTED PROOF: A proof coin on which its design and lettering have a frosted appearance against a mirror- like finish of the field.

GILT: Gold-plated.

GRADE: Condition or state of preservation of a coin.

GRAINING: Serrations on a coin edge.

GROSS WEIGHT: Total weight of a coin. See fine weight.

HAIRLINES: Tiny scratches on a coin caused by cleaning or improper handling.

HAMMERED COINS: Coins made by hand prior to the mid-17th century. See milled coinage.

INCUSE: Also intaglo. The opposite of relief; that is ,the design is sunken or impressed into the coin rather than raised. See relief.

INTAGLIO: See incuse.

IRIDESCENT: A form of patination or toning on a coin that resembles most or all the colours of the rainbow.

KARAT: When applied to some precious metals such as gold as gold, carat indicates the fineness of the metal. See fineness.

LEGEND: The main inscription on a coin.

LETTERED EDGE: Edge of a coin which has an inscription.

LUSTRE: Brightness or brilliance of a coin's metal.

MEDAL: A metallic collectible, often round, created for purely artistic purposes or historical commemoration or as a form of recognition or award. See exonumia.

MEDIEVAL COIN: A coin struck from about 500 AD to 1500 AD.

MILLED COINAGE: Coinage made by machines, as opposed to hammered coins. See hammered coins.

MILLING MARK: Also reeding mark. A series of two or more nick on a coin-the result of contact with another coin.

MINT: The facility where coins are produced.

MINT CONDITION: Also mint state.Describe coins that are unused; without signs of wear.

MINT MARK: A mark, usually a letter, on a coin indicating the mint at which it was produced.

MIS-STRIKE: A coin that is struck "offcentre". Mis-strike also refers to any error in the minting process.

MODERN COIN: A coin struck after about 1500 AD.

MODULE: Diameter of a coin.

MONEY: Any item accepted and used as a medium of exchange.

NCLT: Non-Circulating Legal Tender. Refers to coins with limited mintage and of very high denomination, not meant to be circulated and usually for commemoratives.

NUMISMATICS: The study of coins and related items.

NUMISMATIST: A person interested in the study of numismatics and not a mere coin collector.

NUMISMATIC VALUE: Market value of a coin that is greater than its bullion or intrinsic value.

OBSIDIONAL COINAGE:  Also siege pieces. Coins struck by a besieged town. Obsidional coinage is considered a type of emergency. See emergancy money.

OBVERSE: The side of a coin which is normally referred to as the "head" , bearing the principal device. See also reverse.

OVERSTRIKE: A coin struck on an existing struck piece rather than on a blank.

PATINA: Also bloom or tone. An attractive, desired colouration on a coin caused by a natural oxidation process on its surfaces.

PATTERN: An experimental striking of a proposed design.

PIEDFORT: Also piefort (a French word). A coin struck on a double thickness.

PREMIUM: The price of a coin over its bullion value.

PROOF COIN:  A coin struck at least twice from highly polished dies on a highly polished blank so that it has a brilliant mirrorlike surface. The term proof is not an indication of conditiong. See cameo.

PURE GOLD:  999.9 fine gold or 24-karat gold, with no alloy.

PURE SILVER: 999.9 fine silver with no alloy.

REEDED EDGE: The edge of a coin being marked by raised vertical lines. See graining.

REEDING MARK: See milling mark.

RELIEF: Part of a coin's design that is raised. See also field, incuse.

RESTRIKE: A coin produced from the original dies but at a  later date.

REVERSE: The side of a coin which is normally referred to as the "tail", usually bearing a portrail or the date.

SLEEPER: An undervalued or underpriced coin.

SPLIT GRADE: A coin whose obverse grade is different from its reverse grade.

SPREAD: Difference between the bid and ask.

STRIKE: Sharpness of a coin's design.

SYNGRAPHICS: The study of paper currencies and related items.

TAEL: Hong Kong Tael = 37.42gm    Taiwan & Thailand Tael = 37.5gm   Singapore Tael = 37.793gm

TOKEN: A piece of durable material, usually metallic and issued unofficially for advertising services or other purposes.

TONING: See patina.

TROY OUNCE: One troy ounce equals 31.1035 grammes.

UNCIRCULATED: A coin in a mint condition; no trace of wear.

UNIFACE: A coin showing a design on one side only.

UNIQUE: Only one known specimen in existence.

VIS-A-VIS: Portraits facing each other are said to be vis-a-vis.

WHIZZING: An artificial process by which metal is removed form a coin's surface to improve its
appearance. Not an accepted practice among reputable coin dealers.

WEIGHT: The precious metal in coins is weighed in troy ounce or grammes or local tael.

(Source:MNS Library)


  1. Hi Dickson,
    Yes, this list will come in very handy.
    Thanks a lot :)

  2. Hi Dickson,
    long time i'm not drop a comment.
    Went to my hometown for couple of days.

  3. Dear Koleksi Aku Punyer!!!,
    You are welcome!Hope to see you people in MNS auction!Happy Niewmismatic!!

  4. Dear whycollect,
    I got to thanks to my lovely daughter and son to help me to do some typing!I am a "one finger" typer,slow!!haha!

  5. Dear MGM Sabri,
    Hi! Welcome back! Dah kenyang kena dgn nasi dagang!Gerai ka tepi pantai tu!Haha!

    Must see you at MNS Auction 148 0n 26.June.

  6. Okay Dickson...see u there...

  7. Dear MGMSabri,
    Bring all your gang-gang along!

  8. Hi Dickson,
    Wah, one finger typing also can type so many words ar, haha.
    Same for us too.
    Sometimes two, sometimes three or four, never asdf jkl type.
    Haha, old fellow like us, like that lu, haha.
    Thank you so much for taking the trouble to type all these important info for us.
    Cheers :)

  9. Dear whycollect,
    Huh!Now I know we are equally "young"!Hehe!