Market News

Bitcoin Captures Imagination of Future Space Tourists

Featured | January 13, 2021
What do an NFL player’s salary and paying for a hotel on Mars have in common? The unlikely answer is Bitcoin. Tech billionaire Elon Musk recently said any future economy on Mars could run on cryptocurrency. But wait…will that cryptocurrency be Bitcoin? No sir. In fact, Musk suggested it could be the cryptocurrencies Dogecoin or…

How Gold Boosts Liquidity

Gold | January 12, 2021
In the U.S.,  gold is a often a means of storing, and growing wealth. In 2020 gold served this purpose well as its value climbed more than 24%. However, many gold investors in the U.S. are unaware of the unique ways that gold boosts liquidity for consumers abroad. Gold ownership is common in Indian culture…

The #1 Leading Indicator for Gold

Featured | January 5, 2021
By David C. Zanca, Senior Portfolio Manager Winter follows fall, and summer follows spring. The seasons of nature act as a leading indicator for what comes next. After the leaves drop from the trees in September and October and the temperatures fall – winter follows. After months of snow and shorter days, warmer temperatures and…

The Future of Gold in a De-carbonized World

Gold | December 31, 2020
Recently, President-elect Joe Biden announced a plan to spend $2 trillion during his first term in an effort to accelerate the adoption of clean energy in sectors like transportation and building. The plan is a major step in the renewed initiative to lessen, or even eliminate global warming. The move is large enough to have…

3 Quotes about Inflation You Must Read

Featured | December 28, 2020
Inflation is coming. Are you ready? Listen to what these three luminaries said about inflation: Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man. – former president Ronald Reagan In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from…

Golden Glossary of Coin Terminology

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See Die Variety.

Very Fine (VF)

A coin which has circulated slightly, but is almost in Mint State condition. Some wear on high spots is permissible.

Golden Glossary of Coin Terminology

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Uncirculated (Unc) or (BU)

A coin with no trace of wear, exactly as it came from the mint. See Brilliant Uncirculated, Mint State.

Golden Glossary of Coin Terminology

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Taler or Thaler

Common name for various European dollar-sized silver coins; predecessors to the dollar.

Three-Cent Nickel

U.S. nickel and silver coin (1869-1889), issued to retire three-cent fractional notes.

Three-Dollar Gold Piece

U.S. gold coin (1854-1889).


Also patina. Coloration upon the surface of a coin caused by the chemical combination of the metal in the coin with other elements over a long period of time, due to place of storage or the sulphur from a paper envelope.

Troy Weight

System of weight primarily used in the United States for precious metals.

Two-Cent Piece

U.S. copper coin (1864-1873).


Major subdivision of a design within a particular denomination; a design change.

Type Set

A type set incorporates all coins sharing single specific characteristics. For example, an American gold type set features one example of each type of all gold coins issued by the U.S. Mint from 1795-1933.

Golden Glossary of Coin Terminology

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A coin of which only a small number exist. See Rare.


A collection of two or more coins with one or more common characteristics.

Sheldon Scale

A system of grading, originally introduced by the late Dr. William H. Sheldon, for the purpose of grading larger cents. The system was adapted to all coins in the early 1970s. The Sheldon Scale, as used today, incorporates numerical grades 1 through 70 to correspond with various descriptive grades.

Silver Certificate

Paper currency that was issued as legal tender until the 1960s by the U.S. government to represent deposited silver bullion.


A small silver coin.


A tamper-resistant, acrylic plastic container used by major independent grading services into which certified coins are inserted.


A coin which is undervalued or underpriced.


A coin which a less scrupulous individual might sell at a higher grade than it really merits. The term usually refers to a nearly Mint State coin which is, or could be offered as, a full Mint State coin.

Solid Gold

One of the most misleading designations that the U.S. government allows manufactures of precious-metals products to use. Means simply that the gold product is not “hollow.” The gold item could have as little as nine karats and still be stamped “solid gold.”

Split Grade

A coin whose obverse grade is different from its reverse grade. Example MS63/65 or Proof 63/60.


Used in commodities and foreign exchange to denote something which can be delivered readily. Also refers to the futures contract of the current month; it is still “futures” trading, but delivery is possible at any time.


The difference between the bid and ask or coin price quotation.


Pattern gold coin (1897-1880) with a face value of $4.

Sterling Silver

An object of jewelry, housewares, and so forth, that has a fine silver content of 92% (.925 fine).


The sharpness or lack of sharpness of design in a coin.

Subsidiary Coin

A coin with intrinsic value, whose face value is more than the bullion value.

Golden Glossary of Coin Terminology

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A coin which only a small number exist. See Scarce.

Rarity Scale

Estimate of the surviving population of a coin.

Unique: One known
R-8: Estimated two or three known (Excessively Rare)
R-7: (High) Estimated four to six know (Extremely Rare)
R-7: (Low) Estimated six to 12 known (Very Rare)
R-6: Estimated 13 to 30 known (Rare)
R-5: Estimated 31 to 75 known
R-4: Estimated 76 to 200 known
R-3: Estimated 201 to 500 known
R-2: Estimated 501 to 1,250 known
R-1: Estimated over 1,250 known


A coin that has not been graded, certified, and placed in a tamper-proof capsule by a grading service.

Red Book

A Guide Book of United States Coins.


Any part of coin’s design which is raised. See High Relief, Low Relief.


An area of a coin which has been worked on to fix a defect. Repairs must be mentioned in the description of the coin. See Altered Date, Mint Mark.


A copy so marked as required by law, with an “R” or a “C.” See Copy.


The back of a coin. The side usually opposite from the portrait or date.


A groove in the bottom of an inclined trough or sluice, for arresting gold contained in sands or gravels.

Rim Nick

An abrasion or cut into the rim or edge of a coin, usually occurring through contact with another coin or coins (as in a bag of coins).


Original coins, assembled at the time of manufacture, usually by a bank and then placed into a paper tube. There are, for example, 20 dollars in a roll.

Golden Glossary of Coin Terminology

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Quarter Dollar

Also quarter. U.S. silver coin (1796-1964). Twenty-five-hundredths of a dollar; 25 cents. Quarters are now made of cupronickel.

Quarter Eagle

U.S. gold coin (1796-1929) with a face value of $2.50.

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.

Golden Glossary of Coin Terminology

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The front or face of a coin.

Original Bag

Descriptive of a sack of Uncirculated coins, all of the same date, which were assembled at the time of manufacture at a mint. There are 1,000 silver dollars to a bag.


A coin whose date has been punched first with one date and then with another, with the bottom date showing under the top one.


To assign the wrong grade to a coin, either by error, lack of knowledge, maliciousness, or with criminal intent.


A struck coin which is passed through the dies and has been struck again.

Golden Glossary of Coin Terminology

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U.S. nickel coin (1866-present). One-twentieth of a dollar; five cents.


The study of coins, paper money and metallic art.


Coin expert.

Golden Glossary of Coin Terminology

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Master Die

The die which is used to produce several hubs, which in turn are used to make many working dies. The master die is never used to strike coins. See Hub.

Matte Proof

A certain type of proof coin minted in the United States, mostly from 1908 to 1916. Matte proofs have a dull, granular finish without any mirrorlike qualities.

Milling Mark

Also reeding mark. A series of two or more small nicks on a coin which result from contact with the reeded edge of another coin, usually in the mint bag. Milling marks are generally more detrimental to the grade than normal bag marks, because of their severity of depth and greater visual impact.

Minor Coin

Small-denomination coins which have little bullion value.


Facility where coins are manufactured.


Act of manufacturing coins in a mint.

Mint Mark

Indicates at which mint the coin was manufactured. Usually a small letter.

Mint Set

A coin of each denomination produced by a given mint in a particular year.

Mint State

Also Uncirculated. Describes coins showing no trace of wear. Mint State grades range from MS60 to MS70.

Mishandled Proof

A proof coin which somehow escaped into circulation or was otherwise significantly abused. Also referred to as an impaired proof.


Anything that is accepted as a medium of exchange.