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Mountain View Coins

Coin Dictionary - A

About Good (AG)  

About Good is a term used to describe a condition of a coin.  It is part of the 70 point Sheldon Scale for coin grading.  Within this scale an AG coin would be graded as AG-3.  It is typically very worn.  The date, much of the lettering and design are barely legible.  

About Uncirculated (AU)  

About Uncirculated (AU) is a term to describe a condition of a coin.  It is part of the 70 point Sheldon Scale for coin grading.  Within this scale an AG coin would be graded as AU-50, AU-53, AU55 or AU58.  An AU-50 coin will show wear on many of the highest parts of the design.  Original mint luster may still be present.  This coin may have noticeable contact marks or flaws.  

An AU-53 coin will be a slight step above the AU-50.  This coin will still show noticeable spots of wear on the high points.  The coin will have very few contact marks or blemishes and will have good eye appeal.  

An AU-55 coin will be a slight step above the AU-53 and only small patches of wear will be noticeable and only on the highest points on the coin.  The coin will have good eye appeal and will have much, if not most of its original mint luster.  This coin will also be known as Choice Uncirculated.  

An AU-58 coin will have the ever so slight bit of wear on one or more of the high points.  Wear is barely noticeable and may be hard to detect.  There will be no major contact marks and the coin will have very attractive eye appeal with nearly full mint luster.  Many AU-58 coins are passed off as uncirculated (BU) to the unsuspecting collector.  

AU - About Uncirculated is also know as Almost Uncirculated.  

Abrasion  

The marks or scratches left on a coin when a coin is slid across a surface or against another coin.  Abrasions can occur from putting coins into certain coin albums, rubbing two coins together, sliding them across a desk, etc.  While very light abrasions are harder to detect or are not as noticeable on well circulated coins, they can be very detracting on MS type coins.  This is not the same as bag marksor hairlines.  

Accumulation  

An accumulation is often referred to a collection of coins that may not be of any particular date or denomination or series.  Sometimes referred to as a collection with little numismatic value.  

Act of March 3, 1887  

See Trade Dollar Redemption Act    

Act of July 14, 1890  

See Sherman Silver Purchase Act  

Act of March 3, 1891  

See Trade Dollar Recoinage Act    

AG  

Same as "About Good" in the coin grading scale.  

Album  

A holder used by coin collectors to hold coins to complete a series.  Generally, albums provide a ability to view the front and back of a coin while a folder allows only one side.

Album Friction  

The term used to define markings on a coin caused by the friction of placing a coin in a coin album.  More elaborate folders have holes for coins on a page where you can see both the Obverse (front) andReverse (back) of the coin.  The coin is held in place by a plastic sheet that slides over the coin to hold it into place.  The act of sliding the plastic on/off can leave markings on coins  

Alloy  

The mixture of two or more metals blended into one compound.  For example, bronze is really a mixture of copper, tin and zinc.  

Almost  

Term used to describe a coin that is near a particular grade.  

Almost Uncirculated  

Same as About Uncirculated.  See Above  

Alteration/Altered Date  

The practice of altering a coin to increase its value by deception.  Coins that are commonly altered are the 1944 D Lincoln to make it look like a 1914-D, the 1937 D Buffalo Nickel by rubbing away a leg to make a  3 legged Buffalo Nickel or rubbing away the "D" on a 1922 penny.  Also popular is adding the "D" mint mark to a 1916 Mercury Dime.  

American Eagle  

A series of coins produced by the US Mint starting in 1986 that depict the original Walking Liberty Half Dollar design on the obverse and an eagle and nest on the reverse.  The coins are produced in silver, gold and platinum.  The "Silver Eagle" depicts the original Walking Liberty Half Dollar design on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse.  It has a face value of $1.00.  The "Gold Eagle" features Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ full-length figure of Liberty with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left. The reverse features a male eagle carrying an olive branch flying above a nest containing a female eagle and her eaglets.  

The gold and platinum come in various sizes.  

American Numismatic Association (ANA)  

Non-profit organization dedicated to the study of coins and coin collecting.  Known as A.N.A.  

ANACS  

One of the original grading services, it stand for American Numismatic Association Certification Service.  ANACS was created by the ANA in 1972 and is now owned by Whitman Publishing and H.E. Harris.  

Anvil Die  

Anvil die is the bottom die.  When a coin is produced, it is struck using two dies. One for the obverse (front) of the coin and another for the reverse (back). The anvil die is the one on the bottom, which is usually the reverse. The term comes from when the die was placed on an anvil with the coin blank (planchet) on top. The hammer die (top die) was placed on top of the coin and struck with a hammer. See "hammer die" and "die".  

Annealing  

Annealing is the process of heating coin blanks, referred to as Planchets, to soften the metal just prior to the striking process.  

Appraisal  

An opinion offered by a dealer about the value of a coin or collection.  

Artificial Toning  

The process of modifying the toning/appearance of a coin by heat, chemical or other means to enhance its appearance by adding attractive coloring.  Some toning is attractive while some toning is downright ugly.   

Ask Price/Sell Price  

The price a dealer/seller is asking for a coin and is willing to sell it.  Used in dealer to dealer exchanges rather than retail transactions.  

Assay  

The qualitative and/or quantitative analysis of a substance, especially of an ore (gold, silver) or drug, to determine its components.  For precious metals, to determine its purity.

 Au  

The symbol for gold from the periodic table of elements   AU   See About Uncirculated    

 

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