Saturday, November 13, 2010

Numismatic (Coin Collection) Glossary B

The Numismatic Glossary will help you understand terms and acronyms commonly used in the field of coin collecting, or numismatics. The coming post will introduce more Numismatic Glossary Terms. This is a continuation of Blog post at Numismatic (Coin Collection) Glossary A

Bag mark - A surface mark, usually in the form of a nick, acquired by a coin when it came into contact with others in a mint bag. Bag marks are most common on large and heavy silver and gold coins. Can be scratches or minor abrasions caused by coins knocking against each other in bags. When coins are transported in bags, it is natural for uncirculated. Nicks and scratches resulting from contact with other coins in the same mint bag. Especially common on large, heavy coins such as Morgan Dollars.

Business strike - A coin intended for circulation in the channels of commerce (in contrast to a proof coin specifically struck for collectors).

bank note: Paper money issued by a bank and payable to bearer.

Bar Cent - A token that was struck in this country shortly after the War of Independence, it is so called because it carries a series of bars on the reverse side. On the obverse of the coin is the lettering "U.S.A." in script, without any further design or date.

Barber Dime, Quarter, Half Dollar - Coins of these denominations were designed by Charles Barber, who was the chief engraver at the Mint in the late 19th century.

bas relief: A style in which the design elements are raised within depressions in the field, so that no part of the design is undercut.

Basemetal - Any metal other than silver, gold of platinum.

Bath Metal - Metal made from an alloy of zinc and copper. This metal was in Britain in the 18th century for tokens and sometimes for medals.

Bid Sheet - (1) A page in an auction catalogue, that is usually perforated at the inner edge for easy removal, on which the customer can record his bids. This sheet is then mailed in or given to the auctioneer. (2) Weekly, monthly, and quarterly wholesale sheets used by coin dealers are sometimes referred to as bid sheets.

Bilingual - Referring to the inscription on a coin that is in two languages.

Billion - A very low grade silver, which contains more than 50% copper alloy. Billion has been used for coinage since very early times, usually for debased coins. A low-grade alloy of silver and other metals, usually copper, which is used in minor coinage.

bi-metallic: A coin with the center and outer ring(s) having different metal alloys.

Bit - The old Mexican 8 reales silver coins, which circulated extensively in America in the 1700's and 1800's, was sometimes divided into sections. A "bit" was one eight of the coin, "two bits" was one fourth. This is how our quarter dollar came to be known as Two Bits.

Black Book - An annually revised guide to values for U.S. coins, published in a softcover format.

Blank - This is another term for planchet or flan: the circular piece of metal, of the size and weight of the finished coin, prior to its striking. Blanks are now stamped out by machine whereas in early times they were customarily cut with special shears from a cob of metal.

Blemishes - Minor nicks, marks, flaws, or spots of discoloration that mar the surface of a coin.

Booby Head - A variety of the Large Cent for the year 1839, in which the portrait of Liberty is amateurishly engraved and has a very clownish appearance.

Bourse - The term used for a gathering of coin dealers at a show or convention, generally at tables or booths, where selections from their stock are offered for examination and purchase.

Bracteate - A very thin medieval European coin with the design impressed on one side showing through to the other side.

Branch Mint - Any federal coining facility except the Philadelphia Mint.

Broadstrike - A coin of a larger than normal diameter. This is actually not an oversize planchet but a striking error. The coin is struck without the protective collar and thereby is spread, by impact, beyond its normal dimensions.

Bronze - An alloy of copper, zinc, and tin.

Bullion – Un-coined gold or silver in the form of ingots or plate.

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