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 and Numismatic (Coin Collection) Glossary B.
Choice - An adjective used to describe an especially select specimen of a given grade. For example, Choice AU-55 represents an especially select About Uncirculated coin (typical About Uncirculated being AU-50).
Cleaning - Refers to removing dirt or otherwise altering the appearance of a coin through the use of abrasive materials that mar or scratch the surface in a detectable fashion.
Commemorative - A coin issued to mark a special event or to honour an outstanding person.
Counter stamp - A design, group of letters, or other mark stamped on a coin for special identification or advertising purposes. Counter stamped coins are graded the way regular (un-counter stamped) coins are, but the nature and condition of the counter stamp must also be described.
Cabinet Friction - Sometimes called "cabinet wear" or "cabinet rub" is wear to the higher portions of a coin's design, caused by being kept in an unlined wooden cabinet drawer over a long period of time. Wooden cabinets for coin storage were extensively used by collectors from about 1600 to the late 1800's.
cabinet friction: Same as abrasions.
Cameo - Devices in relief or embossed. Cartwheel - large coin, generally of silver dollar size or larger. A coin, usually a Proof strike, with a frosted or satiny central device surrounded by a mirror like field.
Canadian: Post confederation Canadian numismatics
Cartwheel - A two-penny coin issued in England in 1797 by George lll, and bearing his likeness. The coin was made of copper and weighed two ounces, it was extremely thick had raised rims on both sides like a wagon wheel, and well deserved the "cartwheel" designation it received. The pattern of light reflected by flow lines of mint state coins, resembling spokes of a wheel; Name given to the British pennies and two pence of 1797 due to their unusually broad rims.
Cash - A copper coin of China with a square hole for stringing.
Cast Coins - Coins which are made not in the usual manner of striking with dies, but by pouring molten metal into a mould.
Cent - One one-hundredth of the standard monetary unit. Also called Centesimo in Italy, Centime in France and Switzerland, Centavo in Mexico and some Central and South American countries, and Centime in Spain and Venezuela, etc.
certified coin: A coin authenticated and graded by an unbiased, 3rd-party professional service.
Cherry-pick - To recognize and buy a rarer variety which had been offered as common. To secure the purchase a rare variety of a coin worth a premium over the seller's asking price for a common variety.
Chop Mark - Merchant's test mark (usually Chinese) punched into a coin to verify its weight. A symbol added to money by someone other than the government which issued it to indicate authenticity. Commonly found on U.S. Trade Dollars which circulated in the Orient.
Circulated - Released to the general public. Showing signs of wear from being passed from hand to hand. Denotes money that has served a purpose in the channels of commerce, i.e. it is no longer mint state (uncirculated).
Civil War Token - Unofficial pieces made to approximate size of current U.S. cents and pressed into circulation during the Civil War because of a scarcity of small change.
Clad Coinage - Issues of United States dimes, quarters, halves, and dollars made since 1965. Each coin has a centre core, and a layer of copper-nickel or silver on both sides of the coin.
clad: Composed of more than one metallic layer, e.g. dimes, quarters, and halves currently minted by the U.S.
clash mark(s): Elements of designs from the opposite side of a coin which is the result of coin dies clashing into one another when no planchet is present during the striking process. Impressions of part of a device or legend of one die onto the field of the die facing it in the press. Caused by the dies striking each other at normal coining force without a planchet between them.
cleaned coin: A coin that is cleaned from dirt
cleaning: Any procedure that removes corrosion, unattractive toning, etc. such as dipping or rubbing with abrasive materials.
clip: A coin which has been dipped, polished, whizzed, wiped, etc. Generally speaking, a certain amount of very light cleaning (such as dipping) done by a professional may be acceptable.
clipping: Deliberate shearing or shaving from the edge of gold and silver coins. Was quite common from the Byzantine to the Colonial eras, so much so that many authorities employed edge devices in order to discourage this practice.
Cob Money - Crude irregular silver coins of Spain, Central and South America.
coin show: An event where numismatic items are bought, sold, traded and often exhibited.
coin: A piece of metal (usually round) with a distinctive stamp and of a fixed value and weight issued by an authority and intended to be used as a medium of exchange.
Coiner - The mint official in charge of stamping planchets into money.
collar: A device in a coining press used to restrict the outward flow of metal during striking. Allows the rounding of coins to be much more precise. Also, can be used to put an edge design on the coin.
collection: An organized unit of various numismatic holdings.
colonial: A coin issued by a colony, such as those produced in the eastern American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Colonials - Generic term for coins made in or for America before the federal Mint began regular operations.
Commemorative - A coin issued to mark a special event or to honour an outstanding person. A coin with a design honouring a person, place or event in history.
condition census: The finest known specimens of a particular coin type or variety.
contact marks: Small surface scratches or nicks which is caused by contact of coins in the same bag.
Coppers - Generic late 18th century term for copper coins.
Counterfeit - Unauthorized imitation of a coin.
counterfeit: A fake coin deceptively made with the intent of passing it off as if it were the genuine article.
Countermark - Or sometimes called counter stamp is a stamp or mark impressed on a coin to verify its use by another government, or to indicate revaluation.
Crown - A dollar-size silver coin, specifically one of Great Britain.
Cud - Lump on a coin struck from a die which a piece has broken off. A raised lump of metal on a coin caused by a piece of the die breaking off.
Cull - A coin in defective condition. Used not only of coins in circulation but those withheld from release by the Mint, because of manufacturing flaws. These are sent back for remitting. A coin that is worn to the point of being barely identifiable, and/or damaged.
cuprous-nickel (or copper-nickel): Composed of an alloy of copper and nickel, such as the U.S. Flying Eagle cents struck from 1856 thru 1858.
currency: Same as paper money.