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Dahlonega Gold Glossary

Vocabulary of numismatic terms used on this web site

AU About uncirculated. Grade level between extremely fine and uncirculated. Typically, either has full mint sharpness without mint bloom, or has nearly full mint luster with traces of rubbing or enough bag marks to interfere with design details.
BlankAn unstruck planchet.
Branch MintAny federal coining facility except the Philadelphia Mint. See mintmark.
Business strikeA coin given only one blow from the dies, intended for normal circulation or commercial use; same as production coin.
ClashmarksImpressions of part of a device or legend of one die onto field of the die facing it in the press. From the dies striking each other at normal coining force without a planchet between them.
CirculatedReleased to the general public. Showing signs of wear from being passed from hand to hand.
DieThat which stamps a design into a planchet.
Die stateDiscrete stage in the life history of a die, from new to worn, clashed, cracked, chipped, broken, and/or rusted.
Die VarietyEach die exhibits minute differences. A die variety is the coin variety created by a specific obverse and reverse die. When the obverse and/or reverse dies are changed a new variety is created. Some coin enthusiasts collect coins by die varieties, attempting to acquie an example of every die used to mint their favorite date and/or type of coin.
GradeRating of a coin's place on a scale whose lower extreme is illegible wear, and whose upper extreme is perfect preservation.
Half EagleOfficial name for Federal gold $5 coin.
MintmarkThe letter identifying the mint of origin of a coin.
Mint1. Any coining establishment.
2. To strike coins.
Mint BloomPristine surface of a freshly minted coin.
Mint State (MS)Uncirculated. Coins showing no trace of wear. Coins graded MS 60-70.
MintageThe number of coins originally struck at a particular mint with a particular date on the coin.
ObverseFront, or "heads", side of coin.
PedigreeSequence of owners of a coin.
PlanchetDisk on which a design is stamped to make a coin.
PristineSaid of a Mint State coin with original surfaces intact, never cleaned.
ProoflikeSaid of a presentation piece or an exceptional production coin, struck from brilliantly polished dies on a blank which may or may not also have been polished before striking.
Quarter EagleLegal name for the $2.50 gold coin.
RareSaid of a coin of which only a limited number exist in collectors' hands.
ReverseBack, or "tails", side of coin.
ScarceIn short supply, but with more survivors accessible than of a coin properly labled as rare.
StrikeTo stamp a coin design onto a blank.
UncirculatedMint State, contrasted with circulated, free of any trace of wear. Unworn business strike.
VarietyAny coin recognizably different in dies from another of the same design, type, date, and mint.
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