Coin Investing & Collecting Glossary

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Fabricator

A company which makes semi-fabricated products from refined metals and occasionally from scrap.

Face Value

The value of a coin, paper money or other currency as imprinted, stamped or marked on that unit.

Federal Reserve Note

A note issued by a Federal Reserve Bank; a U.S. dollar.

Ferrous

Containing iron.

Field

The flat, undetailed part of the surface of a coin surrounding and between the portrait, symbol, legend, and other raised portions of the design, including the date. Visually important to most numismatists as an aid to determining grade.

Fine (F)

Coins which are slightly worn on the edges but sharp in all details.

Fineness

The designation of purity of a precious metal in relation to 1,000 parts. For example, .900 fine gold has 900 parts of pure (fine) gold and 100 parts of an alloying metal or metals, which means it is 90% pure gold.

Fine Gold

Pure gold without any alloy metal.

Fine Ounce

An ounce of pure, actually .999 pure, precious metal.

Fine Weight

The actual weight of the pure gold or silver in a coin, ingot, bar, or other item with a precious metal content, as opposed or the item’s total weight, which includes the weight of the alloying metal(s).

First Strike

Early impression from working dies, retaining their initial polishing. See Prooflike.

Flip

A clear, flexible plastic holder used to display and store coins.

Free Coinage

Law or policy which provides that all who deposit bullion at the mint are entitled to receive, in exchange, coins of equal weight, less minor charges.

Friction

A disturbance which appears either on the high points of a coin or in the fields, as a result of that coin rubbing against other objects. A coin is said to have friction when only the luster is disturbed and little, if any, actual wear of the metal is visible to the naked eye.

Frosty

An adjective used to describe a coin which possesses intense luster that is not mirrorlike. Devices of cameo-proof coins are considered frosty.

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