Coin Glossary

You can find most popular coin collecting phrases in this coin glossary.

Coin Glossary

L

laureate - coin design of  a head crowned with a laurel wreath.

luster  - a frosty and shiney appearance found on some uncirculated (mint state) coins.

legal tender - coins, paper money, or other currency issued by a government and used as money. The legal tender value of a coin is the value placed on it by the government. It may be different than the intrinsic value (bullion value) or collector value.

legend - the main lettering on a coin. For instance the phrase "United States of America"

lettered edge - The edge of a coin that has lettering on the outside of it. Usually it is raised, but sometimes incused. Most coins today have a plain edge or "reeded" edge. Having something inscribed or a design on the edge of a coin was prevalant when coins were made of precious metal. Supposedly it made it easier to detect when a coin that had some of its precious metal shaved off the edge. You'll find most all of the older gold and silver US coins will have either lettered or reeded edges. Bust Today's dime and quarter are examples of a reeded edge. See reeded edge. 

Liberty Head - term used to indicate a design on the face of coins similar to the Statue of Liberty. Many different US coins have a Liberty Head design

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Coin Collecting News
06/19/2018
$2 coin celebrates 30th birthday at Royal Australian Mint
You may not have as many jingling in your purse or pocket as you did a few years ago, but the durability of the $2 coin means it could be around for decades to come, despite Australia's shift towards a cashless society. It's 30 years today since the small ... more info

06/18/2018
How a Few Nickels Grew Into a Multi-Million Dollar Coin Collection
In the late 1980s, William Morton-Smith, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based doctor, was rummaging through a garage that contained some of his deceased parents’ belongings. He opened the drawer of an old desk, and “there was a bunch of loose coins,” says ... more info

06/19/2018
How a coin led Ace Staffing Unlimited's top exec to move to Florida (Video)
Two decades ago, Tanya Meyer knew she wanted to leave Wisconsin. But she wasn't sure where to go. So she took a personal risk and based that decision on a coin flip: heads, Florida; tails, California. "It was heads." Today, she is president of Mount Dora ... more info