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General Coins for Sale - Ebay


Mountain View Coins

Coin Dictionary - F

Face Value Face

 Value is used to describe the original value/minted value of a coin. For example, a penny has a face value of one cent. A 1909 S VDB cent has a “face value” or $.01. A Morgan Dollar has a face value of $1.00 even though the silver value is much higher.


Fair, or F-1 or F-2 is a grading term for a coin that is so worn that it is barely identifiable as to type or year minted.


Fake is just that, a coin that is not genuine or real. Key date coins are commonly reproduced and sold as genuine with the intent to gain profit.


The faces is the ax or vertical device bound in a bundle of sticks that appears on the back of Mercury Head Dimes.  Faces is a Roman emblem of authority, having a bundle of rods held together by horizontal bands. Mercury Head dimes were struck from 1916 to 1945. The wear on the “Faces” is used in grading Mercury Dimes. 


Field refers to the part of a coin that is flat.  It is the part of the coin that is NOT the device or legends.  The background on a coin, not used for a design or inscription.


Filler is the term used on a coin that “fills” a whole in a coin book/album/collection until a better grade coin can be found or purchased to replace the original coin. Often coins that are semi-keys or keys that are worn/damaged/etc are called fillers as they are not suitable for high-end collections. Filler type coins are often used to complete a collection as not every collector can afford a high grade semi-key or key.

Fillet Head

The head of Liberty on U.S. coins with her hair tied with a band, usually on the forehead.


On the 70 point grading scale, Fine is referred to F-12 to F-15, with F-12 being the common grade where most coin collecting magazines will show values for. The grade of “fine” is a medium grade. Coins in this area are coins that will show some detail, but certainly not all, as highest points on the coin will be well worn. Thinking in other terms, if someone asks you how you are, and you say, “I am fine.” It is the same as saying, “I am OK.” The same applies to a coin. It is an OK type coin, unless of course it is a rare semi-key.


Fineness is the portion of precious metal in a coin. In simple terms, it is used to express the percent of precious metal in a coin compared to overall weight. For example, a Washington quarter minted before 1965 had a .900 fineness of silver. If you take the total weight of the coin and multiply it by .900 you would get the total amount of silver in that coin. Remember, coins typically have more than one metal in them. As another example and classic mistake people make, the silver dollar (Morgan and Peace Dollars) do NOT contain a full ounce of silver. In fact, it is only ounces of silver in a silver dollar. The other part is the other metals.

Finest Known

Finest Known is a term applied to a coin that is the best or finest known example of that particular denomination, type, date and/or variety. Finest Known coins of key or semi-key dates can command substantial premium in prices compared to the next to or three lower grades.

First Strike

First Strike is the term generally used to refer to coins that are the first ones minted with a new die. Coins minted with new dies will generally show more details and/or have a frosted surface. After the die has been used for sometime, the strike becomes weak from the continued use of the die. First Strike is also a term used by PCGS (PCGS has filed copyright protection on this term) to indicate the specific coin was one in a group of the first coins shipped by the US Mint. It is important to look at the last sentence again and key in on “shipped by the US Mint”. The Mint has gone on record as saying that just because a bag of coins was shipped first does not mean it was first minted. Think FILO or LIFO for you accountants. Personal Note: This is a scam perpetrated by the grading companies. Unsuspecting collectors are paying premiums for coins that are no different than other coins. During the process of minting a coin for a year, the Mint may go through several dies. A coin shipped by the mint on release day does not mean it is a first strike. For example, the US Mint began producing the new Washington Dollars weeks before the release date. These were shipped to the Federal Reserve System in no particular order.


A term used to describe a buyer or seller who is unaware of the true market value of a coin and buys or sells it at a price not in-line with its true market value.


A 3 cent silver U.S. coin sometimes referred to as a trime. Also, a 5 cent silver Canadian piece.


Another term for a planchet.

Flat Strike or Weak Strike?

Occurs when the front and reverse dies do not fully advance towards each other as a coin is being struck, causing the highest areas of relief on the coin's surface to be poorly defined, because the metal is not forced into the deepest recesses of the dies. Very common with Buffalo nickels, Standing Liberty quarters, and Walking Liberty half dollars from the 1920s.


A flip is a clear, flexible plastic holder used to display and store coins. The name comes from the fact that you can “flip” it open much like a book creating two sections. Within each flip side, there is a “pocket”. One side is used to hold the coin while the otherside pocket is used to hold a label/card which can be used to describe the coin. Some “Flips” are not deemed safe for coins as they contain PVC (See "PVC").

Flip a Coin/Flipping a Coin

The process of selling a coin quickly after purchasing it, in the desire to earn a quick profit. As an example, at a coin show, a dealer may buy a coin, See Fish above, for less than market value and then turn around and immediately sell it for its true market value realizing a nice profit.

Flow Lines

Flow Lines refer to the lines on the surface of a coin resulting from the outward flow of metal during the striking process. Typically, they are not visible unless viewing under magnification.

Fiat Money

Money not backed by a tangible asset but is legal tender by virtue of decree by the government that issues it. For example, Silver Certificate Dollars were backed up by a dollars worth of silver.

Flat Luster

Flat Luster refers to a reduced brilliance due to dark toning, impaired surfaces, or cleaning. Rather than a sharp, shiny luster, the original mint luster has been reduced.

Flat Edge

Variety of 1907 $20 “High Relief” gold coins that has a flat border. The edge on the coin is actually lettered, much like the new dollar coins.

Flowing Hair

Flowing Hair is a term used to refer to a design type on most copper and silver U.S. coins struck from 1793-1795.

Flying Eagle/Flying Eagle Cent

A term used to refer to a coin produced officially from 1857 to 1858. It was the first US small cent. Pattern coins with the same design from 1856 also reached circulated and are highly valuable. Flying Eagle is also used to describe the reverse of the Gobrecht Dollar produced from 1836 to 1839


Minute spots of oxidation sometimes found on coin surfaces, resembling flyspecks. These spots are caused by exposure to minute moisture particles such as droplets of spit from talking near or over a coin. Top grade nickel and copper coins most susceptible. Remember, environmental conditions also play into the preservation of a coin.  


A type of organized folder for storing coins

Four-dollar gold piece

A pattern coin issued in gold in 1879 and 1880, nicknamed “Stella.”. It never reached circulation.

Fractional Currency

Paper money with a face value of less than one dollar.

Fresh Material

Dealers will refer to coins that have not been on the market for a very long time, or have not been on the market ever, as fresh material.

Franklin Half Dollar

A US coin/half dollar produced from 1948 to 1963 that contained the head of Benjamin Franklin on the front and the Liberty bell on the back as the prominent design. By law, the reverse of a coin had to contain an eagle. This coin contained a small eagle to satisfy the requirement.


Friction is the term used to describe the wear on a coin. Typically, friction refers to the marks or wear caused by sliding a coin in a holder, across a surface of a table, sliding the coin into a holder, or the process of cleaning a coin. The resulting “friction” can reduce the value of a coin. For Mint State coins, the slightest friction/wear can have significant impact on the value of a coin.

Frosted Devices

A term used when referring the devices/raised parts of a coin. If the raised design elements has a white or slightly grainy finish, it is known as “frosted”. See below.

Frosted proof/Frosty Appearance

Frosted or Frosty refers to a proof coin that has a mirror like surface in the background/field with a frosted (or dull) surface on the design/device. The “Frosted” part typically looks white in appearance. Proofs prior to 1937 and again beginning in the 1970's have frosted designs. Coins with a higher degree of frostiness and mirror-like background will result in a higher value of the coin, assuming all other things being equal.

Fugio Cent

Term used to refer to copper coins struck in 1787 by private minters under contract with the U.S. government. Many of the design elements are credited to Benjamin Franklin. They were the first coins issued by authority of the United States in 1787. Fugio is Latin for "I fly", in this instance, referring to time.

Full Bands

Full Bands or FB is the term used to describe the horizontal and diagonal bands on the fasces on a Mercury Dimes. To be graded FB, the coin must be well struck and contain fully defined bands. FB Mint State coins command a premium over non FB coins.

Full Bell Lines or FBL

FBL is used to describe the horizontal lines near the bottom of the bell on the reverse of Mint State Franklin Half Dollars. Full Bell Lines means that all the lines on the Liberty Bell extend fully across the bell. Weakly struck coins will exhibit lines that are not clear or appear worn due to a weak strike. FBL Franklin Halves are scarcer than non FBL and will therefore command a premium in price.

Full Head or FH

Full Head is a term used to describe a Standing Liberty Quarter Dollars that has full details on Liberty’s head. Only well struck coins will have these features.

Full Steps or FS

Grading term used in the Jefferson Nickel series. FS nickels will exhibit complete details on the steps leading up to Monticello, indicating a rare full strike. FS coins can command a slight premium over non FS coins. The term FS is a recent term in grading Jefferson Nickels.

Full Strike

Full Strike is used to describe a coin that will exhibit all the features of the original design. It has the complete details of the original design. Dies can become worn over time and will then produce coins that do not have all the features of the original design. Much like the tire on your car, over time and use, the original design becomes worn resulting in less of a footprint.