Coin Investing & Collecting Glossary

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About Good

Very heavily worn coin with portions of lettering, date and legends worn smooth; date may be barely readable on the coin.

About Uncirculated

A coin with traces of light wear on many of the high points. Design details are very sharp, with most mint luster still evident.

Adjustment Marks

Scratches which appear mostly on pre-1807 silver and gold coinage. These scratches were file marks, made at the mint in order to reduce the weight of a coin so that its metal value wouldn’t exceed its face value. As such, adjustment marks do not reduce the value of a coin nearly as much as series of equally visible scratches which were not “mint caused.”

Ag

Chemical symbol for silver.

Alloy

Metal made by combining two or more metals. Any silver or gold of less than .999 purity is an alloy.

Altered Date

The illegal practice of modifying a date or mint mark on a common coin to make it appear to be a rare coin. Also known as Mint Mark.

ANA

Abbreviation for the American Numismatic Association. The ANA is the world’s largest organization of coin collectors and dealers. It is a non-profit organization chartered by an Act of Congress in 1912.

Annealing

The softening of planchets by heat followed by slow cooling. Annealing makes the planchets more easily struck.

Apparent Wear

A coin may appear to have more wear than it actually has, due to poorly made dies or the prolonged use of worn dies.

Arbitrage

The simultaneous purchase of currency, securities or goods in one market and their sale in another market to take advantage of a price difference.

Ask

The price that a seller is willing to take in order to effect the sale of a coin.

Assay

A test to determine the metallic content.

Au

Chemical symbol for gold.

AU

See About Uncirculated.

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