World of Coins

Research and reference => Numismatics => Topic started by: Figleaf on August 19, 2007, 10:35:39 PM

Title: Numismatic Terms
Post by: Figleaf on August 19, 2007, 10:35:39 PM
This list of numismatic terms and explanations does not contain names and nicknames of coins and denominations. For an explanation of conditions see this thread (,29.0.html). Hint: if you don't find what you are looking for, use your browser's search function. A number of synonyms are taken up in the explanations.


AdjustingMaking an overweight blank lighter by filing or cutting off some metal. French: ajuster, German: justieren, Dutch: justeren, Russian: юстировка, настройка.
AlloyMixture of metals. French: alliage, German: Legierung, Dutch: legering, allooi , Russian: сплав.
Ask pricePrice asked for a good (e.g. precious metal). See also offer price. French: prix vendeur, German: Angebotspreis Dutch: Laatprijs, Russian: цена продавца.
BigaChariot drawn by two animals, usually horses. See also quadriga. French: bige, German: Biga, Dutch: biga, Russian: колесница.
BillonAlloy looking like silver with low silver content or not containing silver e.g. copper with nickel or zinc. French: billon, German: Billon, Dutch: biljoen, Russian: биллон.
BimetallicCoin with the centre in another metal than the outer ring. A few coin types are trimetallic. French: enchâssée, bicolore, German: bimetallisch, Dutch: tweemetalig, Russian: биметаллический.
Bracteatecoins struck with one die on an extremely thin blank so that the reverse is an incuse mirror image of the obverse. The first bracteats appeared in Germany in the 12th century, but as late as the first world war, bracteate tokens were made in France. French: bractéate, German: Brakteat, Dutch: bracteaat, Russian: брактеат.
BrockageAn error in the coin production where the coin has stuck to the die after being struck. The next blank will be struck normally on one side, but the other side will show the same design in intaglio. These coins are not mules. Dutch: Incusum, French: effet miroir, German: inkuse Prägung Russian: зеркальное отражение.
Bronze diseaseA pale blue-green powdery coating on bronze. It  will destroy bronze, if not stopped. See also verdigris, tin pest, zinc pest. French: maladie de bronze, German: Bronzepest Dutch: bronsrot, Russian: бронзовая болезнь.
BustPortrait with shoulders. See also head. French: buste, German: Büste Dutch: buste, Russian: бюст.
CaduceusMercury's staff: a winged staff with two snakes. French: caducée, German: Caduceus, Merkurstab Dutch: mercuriusstaf, Russian: кадуцей.
CameoNorth American usage only: milky white raised parts on shiny lower parts of a coin. See Proof.
CapAlso: die cap. Error caused by a broken collar. The die has shifted partly away from the flan, leaving a half-moon shaped blank area. Not to be confused with an ex-centric strike, where no collar is used and the die is simply slightly misplaced. Dutch: petje, French: coin bouchon, Russian: сдвиг штемпеля.
CaratSee content. Dutch: karaat, French: carat, German: Karat, Russian: карат.
CartoucheFrench term for a small oval with text or picture - often a bust - within a larger part of the design. Dutch: cartouche, French: cartouche, German: Kartusche, Russian: картуш.
CastA coin or medal produced by pouring molten metal into a mold. Found mostly in older East Asian coins as well as medals. The metal density of cast coins is lower than that of struck coins, producing a lower, duller sound. French: coulée, German: gegossen, Dutch: gegoten, Russian: литье.
Cast and chased medalhollow, open medal that has had retouching or detail added (chasing) after being cast. French: médaille repoussé et ciselé, German: Hohlmedaille, Dutch: Plaquette, Russian: полая литая медаль из двух спаянных между собой половинок.
Christogrammethe Greek letters Chi and Rho, standing for Chr[istos]. French: christogramme, German: Christogramm Dutch: christogram, Russian: христограмма.
Circulation coinCoin that can at least in theory be used for payments and that is generally accepted. See also pseudo coins French: pièce destinée à la circulation, German: Kursmünze, Umlaufmünze, Dutch: Omloopsmunt, circulatiemunt , Russian: циркуляционные монеты, монеты для обращения ("ходячка").
CladSee plated.
Clipped planchetCoin struck on an incomplete blank. This may occur when a blank is cut outside a sheet of metal (straight clip) or when the sheet is not moved sufficiently after a cutting operation and the next cut party overlaps the previous one (round clip). See also misstrike, German: Zainende Dutch: clip, Russian: обрезанная (усеченная) заготовка.
Clippingremoving metal from the edge of a coin. Clipping was considered high treason. It was, howeer very profitable. As jewellers needed the equipment as well as the raw metal for their profession, they could clip coin with less risk. Therefore, they are often seen as the greatest clippers. See also edge inscription. French: rogner, German: beschneiden, Dutch: snoeien, Russian: отсечение, срезывание, обрезка.
Coat of armsAlso: arms. The mark of a geographical entity or family. There are strict rules for teir composition, colours etc. The study of coats of arms is heraldry. Coins will often use the arms of the ruling family or, when there is no ruling family, the issuing territory. Some church leaders will use their family coat of arms, which may be equal to territorial arms. Arms may be crowned or supported. They may be halved, quartered or further subdivided. The first quarter is upper left, the second lower right, the third upper right and te fourth lower left. French: armoiries, German: Wappen, Dutch: wapen, Russian: герб.
Coincirculating means of payment, most often metallic. Often round. See also medal. French: pièce, German: Münze Dutch: munt, Russian: монета.
Coin alignment Coin or medal that has to be turned on its horizontal axis in order to see both sides correctly. See also medal alignment. German: Wendeprägung, Französische Prägung Dutch: Muntslag, Russian: монетная ориентация.
Coin holder Carton (often 5 by 5 centimeters) with central round holes, covered with clear plastic foil. The holder is folded in half and pasted around the coin so that the coin remains visible on both sides. French: carton à monnaie, German: Münzhalter, Münzrähmchen, Dutch: Munthouder, Russian: держатель для монеты, холдер. There are also round holders of two clear hard plastic parts that are screwed together (capsules).
CoinageThe production of coins in a mint. French: monnayage, German: Prägezahl,  Dutch: aanmunting, Russian: чеканка.
Collardie for the edge, also prevents expansion of the blank beyond a certain diameter. French: virole, Dutch: kraag, German: Kragen, Russian: воротник. A collar of several (usually three) parts (19th century) is a segmented collar. French: virole brisée Dutch: segmentkraag, Russian: сегментный воротник.
Collecting fieldAlso: collecting theme, collecting interest. Definition of the collection. Popular collecting fields are the collectors' own country with or without former colonies, Roman coins and foreign coins. These fields can be further refined, e.g. by type, mint or date or the definition may be restricted e.g circulation coins only, final or end date or no commemoratives or no gold. A good definition is crucial for enjoying the hobby. Too wide and you lose interest, too narrow and you soon miss only pieces you cannot afford. German: Sammelgebiet, Dutch: Verzamelgebied, Russian: область (тема) коллекционирования.
Commemorative coinCoin struck for a special occasion. The design of commemorative coins differs from that of equivalent circulation coins. French: pièce commemorative, [/i], German: Gedenkmünze, Dutch: herdenkingsmunt, Russian: памятная монета.
ConditionAlso: grade. See this thread (,28.0.html). German: Erhaltung(sgrad), Dutch: conditie, Russian: состояние.
ContentAlso: composition, fineness. The relative share of the prevalent metal. Gold content is often expressed in carat, 24 carat being pure silver. Silver content is expressed in parts of thousand, e.g 925 means a content of 92.5% (sterling silver). Pure gold and silver is practically impossible to obtain and too soft for coinage, so these metals are usually alloyed. Metal content of other metals is expressed in whole percentages. French: titre, German: Feingehalt Dutch: Gehalte, Russian: состав.
CornucopiaHorn with goods, usually including fruit, rolling out. Symbol of abundance, in particular of food. See this thread (,15074.0.html). French: corne d'abondance, German: Füllhorn, Dutch: hoorn des overvloeds, Russian: рог изобилия.
CorrosionAlso: oxidation. Chemical reaction of metal with oxygen (e.g. rust). French: corrosion, German: Korrosion, Rost Dutch: corrosie, Russian: коррозия.
CounterOriginally, a medal used to calculate on a calculating board. Calculating boards were standard equipment for accounting chambers. The medal represented a value, dependent on its place on the board (compare the Asian abacus). Counters slowly morphed into play money (e.g. for keeping scores at card games or for use on board games) after the introduction of Arabic numbers. French: jeton, Old French: gectoir, German: Rechenpfennig, Rechenmünze, Dutch: rekenpenning, Russian: жетон
CounterfeitAlso: fake. Imitation of a real coin, meant to be circulated as real money. See also: forgery. French: faux, German: Fälschung, Dutch: vervalsing, Russian: подделка.
CounterstampSmall mark, often used to change the value of a coin or the area in which it could circulate. French: contremarque German: Gegenstempel Dutch: klop, Russian: надчекан.
CrimpingProcess of fusing the parts of a bimetallic coin. Crimping takes place while the coin is struck. French: sertissage, German: crimpen? Dutch: krimpen, Russian: опрессовка.
Cross On coins from the Middle Ages, the side bearing a cross. The cross was used for cutting coins in halves or quarters and as a visual check on whether the coin had been cut correctly. Older coins have a short cross, later types have a long cross, dividing the legend French: croix German: Kreuz Dutch: kruis, Russian: крест.
CrownedWith crown above arms or on the portrait (bust or head). French: couronné, German: gekrönt Dutch: gekroond, Russian: увенчанный, коронованный.
Cutting 1. chopping a coin in two parts. 2. slicing a planchet from a roll of metal. See also cross. German: schneiden, zerschneiden, Dutch: Kappen, Russian: разрезка монеты на несколько частей, каждая из которых имеет хождение
Title: Re: Numismatic Terms
Post by: Figleaf on August 19, 2007, 10:42:30 PM
Damaged dieTraces of die damage in relief on the coin, usually taking the form of a dot. French: coin endommagé, German: beschädigter Stempel Dutch: beschadigd stempel, Russian: повреждение штемпеля.
DateAlso: year, issue year. In principle the year the coin was struck. May also be a fiscal or book year (France) or the year the issue was approved (Spain). A date used in several consecutive years is known as a frozen date. French: millésime, German: Jahr(eszahl) Dutch: jaartal, Russian: дата, год.
Date setAlso: collector's set, annual issue. A commercial product of a Mint of the denominations of the circulating coins of any one year, with or without commemorative coinspseudo-coins or a medal in special packaging. German: Jahrgangsserie, Kursmünzensatz (KMS), Dutch: Jaarserie, Russian: годовой набор.
DemonetizationWithdrawing coins or making them unsuitable for circulation. French: démonétisation, German: Münzentwertung, Außerkurssetzung Dutch: ontmunting , Russian: демонетизация.
DenominationNominal value as indicated on the coin. Dutch: denominatie, German: Wertzahl, Nominal French: coupure, Russian: наименование.
DenticlesAlso: toothed border. Triangular shaped edge ornaments. German: gezähnter Rand, French: denticules, Dutch: getande rand, Russian: достоинство, номинальная стоимость.
DesignAlso: face. What is struck on a blank. French: type, German: Münzbild, Dutch: beeldenaar, Russian: изображение, дизайн.
DiameterAlso: size. Measurement in millimetres across a coin. French: module, German: Durchmesser, Dutch: middellijn, diameter, Russian: диаметр.
DieMetal mould for striking a coin. See also master die, punch. French coin, German: Stempel, Dutch: stempel, Russian: штемпель.
Die crackSurplus material on a coin caused by metal flowing into a crack in the die during striking. French: coin brisé, German: Stempelbruch, Stempelsprung Dutch: stempelbreuk, Russian: трещина штемпеля.
Die rotationMisstrike caused by improperly aligned dies expressed in degrees. A 180° rotation turns a coin alignment into a medal alignment or vice versa. German: Stempelstellung, Stempeldrehung, Dutch: stempelstand, stempeldraaiing, Russian: поворот штемпеля.
Dotted circleAlso: circle of pearls. Circle of small dots, often used to separate the legend from the rest of the design. French: grénetis, German: Perlkreis, Perlenrand Dutch: parelcirkel, Russian: бисерный круг.
Double strikeAlso: phantom strike. Coin that was struck twice with same die (so this is not the same as an overstrike), giving a "shadow" effect. French: trèflage, German: Doppelschlag, Dutch: dubbelslag, versprongen slag , Russian: двойной удар.
Edge1. Vertical side of a coin when it lying on its obverse or reverse. Most edges are reeded, smooth or lettered. See also edge inscription. French: tranche, German: Rand, Dutch: rand, Russian: гурт. 2. Outer perimeter of a coin, often slightly raised in order to facilitate piling.
EffigyRepresentation of a person. Usually a head, bust, half length or full length figure. French: effigie, German: Bildnis, Dutch: beeltenis, Russian: изображение, портрет.
ElectrotypeMetal version of a design, which is normally made in plaster. German: Electrotype, Dutch: electrotype, Russian: электротип (копия монеты, полученная гальванотехникой.
Emergency issue non-official coin used as money in times of scarcity of official coins. See also obsidional coin. French: monnaie de nécessité German: Notmünze, Notgeld Dutch: noodmunt (official issues), token (private issues), Russian: деньги чрезвычайных обстоятельств (для официальных выпусков), токен (для частных выпусков)..
EngraverAlso: die cutter, die sinker. The person making the die. The engraver may sometimes sign a coin with his name, initials or sign. French: graveur, German: Graveur, Stempelschneider, Dutch: stempelsnijder, graveur, Russian: гравер, резчик.
ExergueLower part of a design, separated from the rest by a horizontal line. Often used for the date. French: exergue, German: Abschnitt, Dutch: Afsnede, Russian: раздел, секция, сегмент.
Face valueValue inscribed on the coin or tariff set by the monneyer. See also intrinsic value. French: valeur faciale, German: Nennwert, Nominalwert. Dutch: nominale waarde, Russian: номинальная стоимость.
FakeSee also forgery. A modern counterfeit of a coin. French: faux, German: Fälschung., Russian: подделка.
FascesA bunch of (usually 12) rods with an ax in the centre. A symbol of Roman lictoral power, of co-operation or of nazism. See this thread (,19595.0.html). French: faisceaux, German: Liktorenbündel, Dutch: pijlenbundel, Russian: фасции.
Fiduciary coinMetallic money whose nominal value is not based on its weight and metal content, but on the law, in other words on people's trust in the moneyer. French: monnaie fiduciaire, German: Scheidemünze Dutch: fiduciaire munt, Russian: доверительные деньги, фидуциарные деньги.
FieldThe deepest, smooth part of the design. French: champ, German: Münzfeld, Dutch: veld, Russian: поле.
Filled dieA usually small design element near the rim partly or completely missing. The phenomenon occurs when a small piece of dirt settles in a deep part of the die, is compacted in the striking process and attracts more dirt (often used machine oil), slowly filling the whole design element. French: coin bouché, coin rempli (Canadian French), German: verstopfte Stempel, Dutch: stempelvervuiling, Russian: загрязненный штемпель.
Flan See planchet.
ForgeryImitation of a real coin, meant to deceive collectors. See also: counterfeit (meant to dupe collectors), fake (informal), French: faux, German: Fälschung Dutch: namaak, Russian: подделка.
Fourréeplated coin with a base metal core and a precious metal exterior. Counterfeit. French: fourrée, German: Subaeratus, Fourree, gefüllte Münze , Dutch: fourrée, Russian: монета, покрытая драгоценным металлом.
Frozen dateA date on a coin used for a number of consecutive years, usually in order to keep issuing an out of date type while new dies are prepared, e.g. the Netherlands coins dated 1948 were struck 1948-1950, because queen Wilhelmina's abdication in 1948 came unexpectedly and dies for queen Juliana were not ready. Similarly, many South American states continued striking Spanish colonial coins the first years after independence as new designs were made. Communist regimes often used frozen dates as mintages would be considered official secrets, while German feudal states would freeze dates in order to save cost., German: feste/eingefrorene Jahreszahl Dutch: bevroren jaar, Russian: замороженная дата.
Furnace numberFurther differentiation of the mint mark or the Mint city. Used mostly on East-Asian coins. See also officina. French: différent de four German: Stempelnummer Dutch: Fornuisnummer , Russian: маркировка места чеканки.
Title: Re: Numismatic Terms
Post by: Figleaf on August 19, 2007, 10:47:38 PM
HallmarkOfficial counterstamp on gold or silver objects, including medals to guarantee its precious metal content. French: poinçon de garantie, German: Feingehaltsstempel, Dutch: (keur)merk, Russian: отличительный признак, номер пробы.
HammeredStruck by mounting one die on an anvil, the other on a short handle. The blank was placed between the die and the coin struck with a blow of a hammer on the handle. See also screwed. French: frappé au marteau, German: handgeschlagen (noun), Dutch: gehamerd, Russian: кованный (ручная чеканка).
HeadPortrait without shoulders. See also bust French: tête, effigie à col nu, German: Kopf, Dutch: Kop, Russian: голова.
Host cointhe original coin, now counterstamped. German: Wirtsmünze, Dutch: onderliggende munt, Russian: базовая валюта.
HubHalf-product in relief that is the basis of the die. See also master die. French: poinçon, German: Nabel?, Dutch: poinçoen, Russian: пуансон.
ImitationAlso: replica. 1. Privately struck coin looking like an official coin, possibly a forgery or an advertisement, sometimes a token, 2. Replication of a popular coin of another moneyer. French: imitation, German: Nachahmung, Dutch: imitatie, Russian: имитация.
Intaglioa design element struck into the metal. See also Relief. French: en creux, German: Incusum, Dutch: Incuse , Russian: вогнутая (впуклая) часть рельефа.
Intrinsic value Value of the metal of a coin. Of interest for trade coins, pseudo coins and medals without artistic or historic value. See also nominal value. French: valeur intrinsique, German: Materialwert, Metallwert, Edelmetallwert, Dutch: intrinsieke waarde, Russian: действительная (внутренняя) стоимость.
LaureatePortrait (bust, head) with the subject wearing a laurel wreath. A laurel wreath was the traditional prize in the ancient Olympic Games. Therefore, a laurel wreath is a symbol of victory. German: belorbeert, Dutch: gelauwerd, Russian: лауреат (человек с заслугами).
Legal tenderMeans of payment sanctioned by law. Paper money is also legal tender and NCLT are usually also legal tender, so not all legal tender is coin. See also fiduciary. French: cours légal, German: gesetzliches Zahlungsmittel, Dutch: wettig betaalmiddel, Russian: законное платежное средство.
LegendText making a circle around the edge of the coin on the obverse or reverse (this is not the Edge inscription). French: légende, pourtour, German: Umschrift, Legende, Dutch: rondschrift, legende, Russian: легенда (надпись).
Lettered edgeAlso: Edge inscription. Text on the edge. Used to prevent clipping. Some English and British coins have the significant edge inscription DECVS ET TVTAMEN - decoration and safeguard. See also Legend. German: Randschrift Dutch: randschrift, Russian: надпись на гурте.
LigatureLetters drawn together in order to increase legibility. Occurs in particular in Roman coins. German: Ligatur, Dutch: ligatuur, Russian: лигатура (вязь).
Lotone or more coins auctioned or sold together. German: Los, Dutch: lot, French: lot, Russian: лот.
Lyrea classical harp-like musical instrument with a rounded sound box at the bottom. French: lyre, German: Leier, Dutch: lier, Russian: лира.
Title: Re: Numismatic Terms
Post by: Figleaf on August 19, 2007, 10:49:15 PM
Master dieIncuse intermediate product for making a die. See also hub. French: matrice, German: Matrize, Dutch: Matrijs, Russian: матрица.
Medal1. civil or military award. French: décoration, German: Orden, Dutch: onderscheiding. 2. coin-like object meant for decoration or remembance, not meant to be used as money. French: médaille, German: Medaille, Dutch: penning, Russian: медаль.
Medal alignment Coin or medal that has to be turned on its vertical axis in order to see both sides correctly. See also coin alignment. German: Kehrprägung, Deutsche Prägung, Dutch: Medailleslag, Russian: медальная ориентация.
Milled edgeEdge with vertical ribs. See also wired edge. German: Riffelrand, Dutch: Geribbelde rand, Russian: рубчатый гурт..
MintBuilding where coins are produced. See also mintmark. French: atelier, German: Münzstätte, Münze. Dutch: Munthuis , Russian: монетный двор.
Mint markThe mark of a mint. French: différent d'atelier, German: Münzzeichen Dutch: muntteken, Russian: клеймо монетного двора.
Mint masterChief administrative official of a mint. May also a be a private person when coining is farmed out. Responsible for following the rules of the moneyer. French: directeur de l'hôtel de la monnaie, German: Münzmeister Dutch: Muntmeester, Russian: минцмейстер.
Mint placeTown, city or castle where a mint is established. When a mint is not established in a fixed place, it is ambulent. German: Münzstätte, Münzprägeort, Dutch: muntplaats, Russian: место чеканки.
MintageThe number of coins struck. French: tirage, German: Auflage Dutch: oplage, slagaantal, Russian: тираж.
MisstrikeProduction error. Many production errors are caused by a wrongly inserted Planchet. Dutch: misslag, German: Fehlprägung, Russian: ошибка при чеканке.
Money of account1. A unit used to express the value of other coins in, e.g. the penny in England 2. A coin that is no longer in circulation but that is used to convert other coins into for large or international transactions, e.g. the gold franc. French: monnaie de compte, German: Recheneinheit, Dutch: rekeneenheid, Russian: валюта для расчета.
MoneyerThe person on whose order the coins are being struck. German: Münzherr Dutch: Muntheer, Russian: чеканщик.
Mule1. Coin struck with non-matching dies. French: hybride, German: Zwitter Dutch: hybride, Russian: мул, гибридная монета.. 2. Coin (especially hammered coin) struck with two obverse, or two reversedies.
Nickel silverAlloy of copper, nickel and zinc (does not contain silver). See also billon. French: maillechort, argentan, German: Neusilber, Dutch: nikkelzilver, Russian: нейзильбер.
Nimbatewearing a nimbus (halo). French: auréolé, German: nimbiert, im/mit Strahlenkranz, Dutch: met stralenkrans, Russian: ореол.
NCLTNon-circulating legal tender. Also collectors coins, pseudo coins, medal-coins. Coin-like objects with a denomination that do not circulate, mostly because their issue price is above their nominal value, sometimes because of anachronistic coin metal.  French: NCLT, German: Pseudomünze, Dutch: Pseudomunten, Polish: kolekcjonerskie monety obiegowe, Russian: не циркулирующие монеты.
Nordic GoldAlloy of copper (Cu89), aluminum (Al05), zinc (Zn05) and tin (Sn01) (does not contain gold). French: or nordique, German: Nordisches Gold, Dutch: nordic gold, Russian: северное золото (желтый нордик).
NumismaticsScience of coins, tokens and medals. A sub-science of other (sub)sciences, such as history, archeology, economy, politicology, art history, metallurgy and financial sciences. The word is derived from the Greek nomos (money). French: numismatique, German: Numismatik, Dutch: numismatiek, Russian: нумизматика.
NumismatistExpert in numismatics, advanced collector or dealer. French: numismate, German: Numismatiker, Dutch: numismaat, Russian: нумизмат.
Title: Re: Numismatic Terms
Post by: Figleaf on August 19, 2007, 10:50:37 PM
Obsidional (coin) Also: siege piece. Emergency coin for use in a city under siege, often of cheap material. Obsidional coins of silver or gold are often souvenirs of the siege. French: obsidionale, German: Belagerungsmünze, Dutch: Belegeringsmunt, Russian: осадная монета.
ObverseWhen the coin lies flat, one of its horizontal faces. It is difficult to give general rules for which side is the obverse. Often, it is the side with the portrait or a national symbol. The obverse of a commemorative coin is the side that explains what is being commemorated. See also reverse and edge. French: avers, droit, German: Vorderseite, Avers, Dutch: voorzijde, Russian: аверс.
Off-centreMachine-struck coin whose planchet did not load properly in he press, so that it did not align properly with the die. German: dezentriert, Dutch: petje, Polish: mimosród, Russian: смещение от центра, эксцентриситет.
Off-metal strikeCoinage with original dies in a different metal. Example: Dutch and Dutch East Indies coppers struck in silver or gold, used as new year gifts. Off-metal strikes are not meant for circulation. German: Fremdmetallprägung, Abschlag, Dutch: afslag, Russian: изменение металла при чеканке.
Offer pricePrice at which a good (e.g. precious metals) is offered. See also Ask price. French: prix acheteur, German: VerkaufspreisDutch: biedprijs, Russian: цена покупателя.
Officina signOn Roman coins: sign of a subdivision (officina) of a city Mint. German: Offizinzeichen, Dutch: officina teken, Russian: знак города чеканки
Order in councilForm of regulation from the king, not necessarily passing through parliament. Early coin and monetary regulations are often orders in council. German: Verordnung. Dutch: Ordonnantie, Russian: указ, постановление.
OrichalcumA legendary gold-like metal from Atlantis, usually taken to be brass, an alloy of copper and zinc. French: orichalque, laiton, German: Orichalkum, Dutch: orichalcum, geelkoper, Russian: орихалк (аврихальк).
Overstrike1. A coin struck over another coin, without melting the original. Often, traces of the original coin remain visible. 2. a new date engraved over an older one. Often, traces of the original number still show. Fraudsters may change a common date into a rare one. This is not an overstrike but a forgery. French: réformation, surfrappe, German: Überprägung, Dutch: overslag, Russian: оверстрайк (перечеканка).
PatinaWeathering on the metal. Patina is a positive addition to a coin and a mark of genuineness on classical coins, so it should not be removed. Patina can be applied chemically. This is often the case on faked classical coins, in order to make them appear genuine. Artificial patina is also used to remove the shine on medals and to enhance their relief. French: patine, German: Patina, Dutch: patina, Russian: патина.
Pattern Test strike of a new coin for experimental use. Patterns are produced in very small quantities, they are most often different from regular coins and they are not meant for circulation. French: essai (same as circulation coin), essai monétaire(different from circulation coin), German: Probemünze, Dutch: Ontwerp, Russian: пробник, образец.
PiedfortFrench term for a coin struck with regular dies on double, sometimes triple thickness planchet. Piedforts are not meant for circulation. French: piéfort, German: Piedfort, Dutch: piedfort, Russian: пьедфорт или пьефор.
PlanchetAlso: blank, flan. Metal base for stamping a die on, cut or sawed from a plate. See also cut. French: flan, German: Rohling, Schrötling, Ronde, Plättchen, Dutch: rondel, muntplaatje, Polish: krazek, Russian: заготовка.
Plated Coin covered by a thin layer of a different metal or coin with a low precious metal content, treated so that the precious metal is concentrated on the outside. French: plaqué, German: plattiert, Dutch: geplateerd, Russian: плакировка.
Primitive moneyObjects used as money that are not of metal or paper or that have a distinctively different shape. Examples are tea tablets, whale, shark and dog teeth, elephant's tusks, wampum, manillas, kissie pennies, grindstones and cauri shells. Primitive money derives its value from tradition or religion. It is therefore fiduciary money, which is not a primitive concept. Primitive money should not be confused with commodities used as money, such as salt, almonds, cigarettes, cigarette paper, cattle, rum and women. These commodities are traded at their intrinsic value. German: "Primitivgeld", better: vormünzliches Zahlungsmittel Dutch: primitief geld, Russian: примитивные деньги.
Privy markMark of the mint master. French: Différent, German: Münzmeisterzeichen Dutch: muntmeesterteken, Russian: клеймо монетного мастера.
ProofSpecial, careful strike with polished die, produced slower and with more force. The result is that the high parts of the coin are matte, while the low parts are mirroring. Proof is not a grade. French: Épreuve, flan bruni, German: polierte Platte, PP, Dutch: proefslag, Russian: пруф.
Pseudo coinAlso: Non-circulating legal tender - NCLT, denomination-bearing medal or medal coin. Medal with a nominal value, very often legal tender, that cannot be used as money. Pseudo coins are generally issued at a price over their nominal value or their denomination is higher (or the same) as a circulating banknote. Pseudo coins are normally marketed, while circulation coins are never marketed (but sometimes explained to the public). German: Pseudomünze Dutch: pseudomunt, Russian: псевдомонета.
PunchPart of a die, e.g. for the date. French: poinçon à main, German: Stempel, Dutch stempel, Russian: пуансон.
PyxAlso: box. Closed box for collecting random samples of the coin production. See also trial of the pyx. German Münzbüchse, Dutch: muntbus, Russian: коробка для хранения монет для проверки качества производства.
QuadrigaA chariot drawn by four horses, see also biga. French: quadrige, German: Quadriga, Dutch: quadriga, Russian: квадрига.
QualitySee Condition.
Title: Re: Numismatic Terms
Post by: Figleaf on August 19, 2007, 10:58:34 PM
RarityThe existing number of coins. Rarity is sometimes indicated with (in increasing order of rarity) S, R, RR, RRR en RRRR. There is no agreement on the exact significance of these symbols. French: rareté, German: Seltenheit, Dutch: zeldzaamheid, Russian: редкость.
ReededAlso: milled. In North America: grooved. Edge of vertical ribs. French: tranche cannelée, German: Riffelrand, Kerbrand Dutch: geribbelde rand, Russian: рифленый, зубчатый.
Reduction latheAlso: pantograph. Machine that reads the contours of an electrotype and reproduces them on a different scale. Enabled making a series of coins of different sizes with almost the same design. French: tour à réduire, German: Reduziermaschine, Pantograph, Dutch: reduceermachine, Russian: пантограф.
Relief1. A design element "on top of" the coin. See also incuse. 2. The difference in height between the highest and the lowest part of a coin. French: relief, German: Relief, Dutch: relief, Russian: рельеф.
RestrikeCoins that were struck after the end of the official minting period. The best known restrike is probably the Maria Theresa Thaler 1780, that is still produced. French: refrappe, German: Nachprägung, Dutch: naslag, Russian: рестрайк.
ReverseOne of the horizontal planes of a coin lying flat. It is difficult to give general rules for which side is the reverse. It is often the side with the denomination. See also edge and obverse. French: revers, pile, German: Rückseite, Revers, Dutch: keerzijde, Russian: реверс.
RimRaised edge, flat on top making it easier to form a pile of coins and protecting the design Invented in China. French: cordon, cordonnet, listel, German: erhobener Rand Dutch: listel, Russian: обод.
Safety edgeEdge consisting of two reeded outer parts with a deep central groove. German: Sicherheitsrand, Dutch: Veiligheidsrand, Russian: канавка безопасности (защита от подделки).
Screw pressA machine consisting of a large, often horseshoe shaped part with a threaded hole on top. In the hole is a T-shaped part, threaded vertically and weighted horizontally, with the die placed on the lower vertical end. A screw press served to strike coins. It had a crew of three. Two adult men would pull the weighted ends rythmically to and fro, causing the die to move up and down. The third, a boy would place and remove planchets between the dies. A moment's inattention of the latter coud easily cost him fingers. See also screwed. French: balancier, German: Schraubpresse, Dutch: schroefpers, Russian: винтовой пресс.
ScrewedStruck with a screw press. This machine uses torque ( and weight to press dies on the blank with much more force than is possible with a hammer, so the coins tend to look much better and sharper struck. German: geschraubt, Dutch: geschroefd, Russian: реэьба.
ScyphateBowl or dish-shaped. French: scyphate, German: Scyphat, Dutch: scyphatus, Russian: скифата (чашеобразная монета).
SeigniorageThe difference between the nominal value and the cost to produce a coin; the moneyer's profit from a coining operation. German: Schlagschatz, Münzgewinn, Dutch: sleischat, Russian: эмиссионный доход.
Seed coinAlso: mother coin. A tool for making casting moulds. A seed coin is pressed into the wet clay or other material to make a mould. This will ensure that the mould will yield a pretty good replica of the seed coin, facilitating administrative controls. Several East Asian seed coins are known. Imitators could also use a genuine coin as seed coin, but that would result in a lesser image quality. Forgers could use a genuine seed coin to cast copies or even to cast a die, that would then be hardened. French: pièce-mère, German: Muttermünze, Dutch: moedermunt.
StrikingProducing hammered, screwed or machine made coins. French: frapper, German: prägen, schlagen, Dutch: slaan, Russian: ударный.
TangAlso: sprue. For cast coins: a visible remainder of the canal used tho fill the mould with molten metal. German: Gießzapfen, Gusszapfen, Dutch: gietgal, Russian: леток.
Tin pest Also called tin disease. White spots on a tin coin caused by storage at temperatures below 13.2°C (about 56°F) and below. Pure tin transforms from the (silvery, ductile) allotrope of β-modification white tin to brittle, α-modification grey tin. Eventually it decomposes into powder, hence the name tin pest. The decomposition will catalyze itself, which is why the reaction seems to speed up once it starts; the mere presence of tin pest leads to more tin pest. Tin objects at low temperatures will simply disintegrate. See also bronze disease, zinc pest and verdigris. French: lèpre d'étain, German: Zinnpest, Dutch: tinpest, Russian: серое олово.
TitlesRanks of nobility of the monneyer indicated in the legend, mostly abbreviated. German: Titel, Dutch: titulatuur , Russian: название, звание.
Token1. Unofficial piece used as money in times of insufficient supply of official coins. Not to be confused with obsidional coins. French: monnaie de nécessité, German: Notgeld, Dutch: noodgeld. 2. Medal with limited use as money, usually to operate a machine (e.g. underground, bridge, toll road, parking. amusement coffee machine tokens), but also to create a separate money circuit (e.g. co-op, hospital, prison token or to serve as a receipt (tax, beer, ferry token). They are introduced for mechanical or control reasons, not because of lack of official money. See this thread (,506.0.html) for a discussion of the use of the expression "trade token" for these pieces. See also: counter, medal. French: jeton, German: Wertmarke, Geldersatzmarke, Dutch: Betaalpenning, Russian: токен, жетон.
ToleranceAlso: remedy. The margin up and down allowed for the weight of a type of coin. French: tolérance, German: Toleranz Dutch: tolerantie, remedie , Russian: допуск.
TooledAttempt to restore lost detail, e.g. by re-engraving. Tooling diminishes value. German: bearbeitet, "geschnitzt", Dutch: bijgewerkt, Russian: обновление.
Trade coinA gold or silver coin traded for its metal content. Its denomination is irrelevant. Trade coins are used to speculate in gold or silver on a small scale. They are also used in times of high inflation or in times of uncertainty to protect savings. Some trade coins are listed on commodity exchanges. German: Handelsmünze Dutch: handelsmunt, Russian: торговая монета.
Trial of the pyxCheck on the contents of the pyx to ascertain that the production has followed the rules of the moneyer, especially concerning weight and precious metal content. See also pyx. German: Pyxprüfung, Dutch: Muntbusopening, Russian: пробировка (проверка качества монет).
TruncationFor portraits: the lowest part of a head. A popular place for the name or initials of the engraver. German: Halsbereich, Dutch: Halsafsnede, Russian: сокращение.
TutenagCrude zinc, sometimes alloyed with some copper or nickel, mostly used for South Asian coins. Dutch: Tutenaga.
Title: Re: Numismatic Terms
Post by: Figleaf on August 19, 2007, 11:02:43 PM
UnifaceCoin or medal struck on one side only. French: uniface, German: einseitig, Dutch: eenzijdig, Russian: одностороннее изображение.
VarietyAlso: variant. Coin struck with a slightly different die. German: Variante, Dutch: variant, Russian: вариант, разнообразие.
VerdigrisThe common name for the chemical Cu(CH3COO)2, or copper(II) acetate; a light green to blue green powdery layer on bronze coins. It commonly occurs by the action of acetic acid when copper, brass or bronze is weathered and exposed to air or seawater over a period of time. When left untreated, verdigris will destroy a coin. See also bronze disease, tin pest, zinc pest. French: vert de gris, German: Bronzepest, Dutch: bronsrot, bronspest, Russian: окисление меди.
WaffeledInvalidated by applying a waffle pattern or shape. Dutch: gewafeld, French: gaufré, German: gewaffelt, Russian: тиснение, гофрировка.
WeightA coin's total mass in grammes. For trade coins, weight and content are the most important determinants of value (,28.0.html). French: poids, German: Gewicht, Dutch: gewicht, Russian: вес.
Wired edgeEdge with diagonal ribs. French: tranche cordonnée, German: gekordelter Rand Dutch: Kabelrand, Russian: защитная кайма.
Zinc pestBlisters, pits or white spots on a zinc coin. The proces can destroy the coin and "jump" to other zinc objects. See also bronze disease, tin pest and verdigris. German: Zinkpest, Dutch: zinkpest, Russian: цинковая "чума".