Letter P

Golden Glossary of Coin Terminology

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A rare metallic element of the platinum group.

Paper Profits

Unrealized profits.


Proposed coin design which may or may not have been adopted.


Chemical symbol for palladium.

Piedfort or Piefort

A coin struck with ordinary dies on an unusually thick (often double thick) planchet; it is identical in all other respects to the coins of the realm that is resembles. Not intended for circulation or commercial use. Collectors the world over have long prized the piedfort as a mix between a pattern and a circulation issue, unique because of its thick status and, in the case of precious metals coins, more valued metal content.


The blank disk of metal upon which the dies are struck to produce a coin. See Blank.


The deposition of a layer of metal on an object, forming the cathode, during electrolysis.


A precious silver-white metallic element.

Platinum Metals

Platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium, and iridium.


Price of a coin over its bullion value.

Presentation Pieces

Coins minted with unusual care from new dies on carefully selected blanks, intended as gifts for “VIPs” on visits to the mint.


A coin made from carefully selected coin blanks that have been highly polished. The coins are hand-fed into a slow-moving press. This assures a well-struck coin, more even impression, and makes the design more distinct. Each coin is struck twice or more. The finished coins have an almost mirror surface. See Matte proof.

Proof, Branch Mint

A proof coin which has been struck at a mint other than the Philadelphia. For example, branch mint proofs are known to exist of the following date Morgan dollars: 1879-O, 1883-O, 1893-CC. etc.


A coin which has been struck from a new die, or a newly polished die, which leaves a mirrorlike reflective surface upon the field, and occasionally the devices, of a coin. Prooflike coins are business strikes and therefore usually have abrasions. See First strike.

Prooflike, Cameo

A prooflike coin in which the reflective mirror finish is confined to the fields of the coin. The devices will have a frosty finish.

Proof Set

A set of one proof coin of each denomination issued by a mint in a particular year.

Pure Gold

Gold of .999 fineness, with no alloying metal.

Pure Silver

Silver of .999 fineness, with no alloying metal.