A Website on Indian Coins

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The glossary will help you understand terms and acronyms commonly used in the field of coin collecting.

• Abrasions- Light rubbing or scuffing from friction, not to be confused with hairlines or bag marks.

• Alloy- A combination of two or more metals.

• Annealing- The heating and cooling process by which planchets are softened to allow the metal to flow more smoothly during the strike.

• Bag mark - A surface mark, usually in the form of a nick, acquired by a coin when it came into contact with others in a mint bag. Bag marks are most common on large and heavy silver and gold coins.

• Blemishes- Minor nicks, marks, flaws, or spots of discoloration that mar the surface of a coin.

• Bronze- An alloy of copper, zinc, and tin.

• Bullion- Uncoined gold or silver in the form of ingots or plate.

• Business strike- A coin intended for circulation in the channels of commerce (in contrast to a proof coin specifically struck for collectors).

• Cleaning- Refers to removing dirt or otherwise altering the appearance of a coin through the use of abrasive materials that mar or scratch the surface in a detectable fashion.

• Commemorative- A coin issued to mark a special event or to honor an outstanding person.

• DDO/DDR - Doubled Die Obverse, an obverse die which exhibits doubled images in one or more places but in DDRa reverse die which exhibits doubled images in one or more places. .

• Denticles or dentils - The tooth like raised design around the rims of some coins. They are part of the die design.

• Designer- The artist who creates a coin's principal devices.

• Details- Small features and fine lines in a coin design. Particularly those seen in hair, leaves, wreaths and feathers.

• Die- A metal object used to impress a design into a planchet. Dies are usually engraved incuse, so that the devices and inscriptions they produce will be in relief.

• Dipping- The act of removing tarnish, surface dirt, or changing the coloration of a coin by applying chemicals, or otherwise artificially treating it with liquids.

• Disme- The early spelling of the word "dime," one tenth of a dollar.

• Double eagle - A United States twenty dollar gold coin.

• Eagle- A United States ten dollar gold coin.

• Edge- The area which borders a coin's surface. Also referred to as coin's "third side." Edges of United States coins may be Reeded, lettered or plain.

• Electrotype- A counterfeit coin made by the electroplating process.

• Engraver- A person who cuts a design into a coinage die.

• Fineness- Purity of gold or silver, normally expressed in the terms of one thousand parts.

•Grade- The condition or amount of wear that a coin has received. Generally, the less wear a given coin has received, the more valuable it is. Coins are graded on the A.N.A. numerical system from About Good-3 to Perfect Uncirculated-70.

• Hairlines- A series of minute lines or scratches, usually visible in the field of a coin, sometimes caused by cleaning or polishing.

• Half eagle - A United States five dollar gold coin.

• Hub or hob - A metal object with the intended coin design in relief on one end as it would appear on the finished coin. It is used to produce dies.

• Incuse- The design of a coin which has been impressed below the coin's surface. When the design is raised above the coin's surface, it is said to be in relief.

•"Key date"- Slang usually indicating the rarest (and therefore most expensive)date-and-mint of a particular coin series.

• Legend - The principal inscription on a coin.

• lg.- Abbreviation for the word "large,"generally referring to a date or mintmark.

• Luster- The glossy appearance of the surface of a coin. Although normally brilliant, with time luster may become dull, frosty, spotted or discolored.

• Milled edge - A raised rim around the outer surface of a coin. Not to be confused with the Reeded or serrated narrow edge of the coin.

• Mintmark- A symbol, usually a small letter, used to indicate at which mint a particular coin was struck.

• Modification- A minor alteration in the basic design of a coin.

• Motto- A word or phrase on a coin.

• Mule- A coin struck from obverse and reverse dies not originally intended to be used together.

• Numismatics- Area of study relating to coins, medals, or similar items.

• Numismatist- A student or collector of coins, medals, or similar items.

• Obverse- The front or fact side of a coin, usually the side with the date or the principal design. Opposite of the reverse side.

• Overdate- The date made by superimposing one or more different numbers on a previously dated die.

• Oxidation- The formulation of oxides or tarnish on the surface of a coin from exposure to air, dampness, industrial fumes, or other elements.

• Pattern- A prototype of a proposed coin design.

• Patina - A green or brown surface film found on ancient copper and bronze coins caused by oxidation over a long period of time.

• Planchet- Disk on which a design is impressed to make a coin, metal or token.

• Proof - Coins struck for collectors and using specially polished or otherwise prepared dies.

• Proof like - Used to describe any uncirculated coin with a mirror like reflective surface but lacking the full characteristics of a proof.

• Quarter eagle - A United States two and one half dollar gold coin.

• Reeded edge - The edge of a coin with grooved lines that run vertically around its perimeter. This type of edge is found on all current United States coins above the five cent denomination.

• Relief - Any part of a coin's design that is raised above the coin's surface. When the design has been impressed below the coin's surface, it is said to be incuse.

• Restrike -A coin struck from genuine dies at a date later than its original issue.

• Reverse- The side of a coin carrying the design of lesser importance. Opposite of the obverse side.

• Rim- The raised portion of a coin encircling the obverse and reverse which protects the designs of the coin from wear.

• Scratch- A deep line or groove in a coin caused by contact with a sharp or rough object.

• sm. - Abbreviation for the word "small," generally referring to a date or mintmark.

• Striations - Thin, light raised lines on the surface of a coin, caused by excessive polishing of the die.

• Striking - Refers to the process by which a coin is minted. Also refers to the sharpness of design details. A sharp strike or strong strike is one with all of the details struck very sharply; a weak strike has the details lightly impressed at the time of coining.

• Toning - Natural patination or discoloration of a coin's surface caused by the atmosphere over a long period of time. Toning is often very attractive, and many collectors prefer coins with this feature.

• Truncation - The sharply cut off bottom edge of a portrait.

• Type - A coin's basic distinguishing design.

• Unique - An item of which only one specimen is known to exist.

• Variety - A minor change from the basic type design of a coin.

• Weak strike - A coin with certain areas of its details (in the areas of high relief) not fully formed because of the hardness of alloy, insufficient striking pressure or improper die spacing.

• Wear - The abrasion of metal from a coin's surface caused by normal handling or circulation.

• Whizzing - The artificial treatment of a coin by wire brushing, acid dipping, or otherwise removing metal from the coin's surface to give it the artificial appearance of being in a higher grade. Whizzing is an alteration, not a grade or condition. 

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KING WILLIAM IV (TILL 1837)                                                                   QUEEN VICTORIA (1840 - 1901)

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