Numismatic Dictionary

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There are 27 names in this directory beginning with the letter A.
abrasions
Areas of a coin that were scratched by another coin or object that wears the metal of a coin.

Abyssinian Gold
A type of brass made of 90-percent copper and 10-percent zinc that has a gold-like color.

accumulation
A disorganized grouping of coins or other numismatics. See also hoard.

acetone
A neutral solvent that can be used to clean a coin.

acid date
A term used to describe Indian Head "Buffalo" nickels that had its date restored using a chemical acid. The acid used to restore the dates leaves a distinct mark on the coin that can be seen without magnification.

adjustment marks
Scratches or file marks on a silver of coin made by the Mint to reduce the weight of the coin so that the amount of metal does not exceed its value. This usually can be seen on pre-1807 coins.

Ag
Chemical symbol for silver. See also silver.

album friction
Friction marks on the high points of a coin from rubbing while being stored in an album.

album slide marks
Parallel lines scratched into a coin caused by the plastic cover of an album sliding over a coin.

alloy
A combination of two or more metals.

alteration
A coin that has a date, mintmark, or other feature that has been altered, added, or removed in an attempt to make the coins appear more valuable than it is.

altered surfaces
Cleaning, tooling, or other changes to the surface of a coin to make it look better but reduces its value.

aluminum
A low-density silvery non-precious metal that is the third most common metal in the Earth’s crust. Many countries have used aluminum as a low-cost alternative to other metals for their low denomination coins. Its chemical symbol is Al.

American Eagle
Bullion coin program produced by the United States Mint

American Numismatic Association
The ANA is the world’s largest organization of coin collectors and dealers chartered by an Act of Congress in 1912.

ancients
Term used to describe a coin that was struck prior to the 6th century.

annealing
The process of heating the blanks and letting them cool slowly to soften them for striking.

anvil die
The reverse die that is the lower, stationary die during the striking process.

archival safe
Archival safe materials are those made without acidic materials or materials that do not turn acidic over time.

arrows and rays
Design elements of 1853 quarters and half dollars. The rays were removed in 1854 because it made the coins difficult to strike.

arrows at date
Design term describing the addition of arrows to the left and right of the date. They were added and removed to indicate changes in a coin’s weight during the 19th century.

artificial toning
Term describing the coloring of a coin by using a chemical on its surface.The lowest price of a particular coin issue and grade offered for sale. See also bid.

assay
The testing of a metal for its contents and quality

attribution
In numismatics, the attribution is the identification of the owner, previous owner, or the initial discoverer of the item.

Au
Chemical symbol for gold. See also gold.

auction
A public sale of coins and currency where the items are sold to the highest bidder.

authentication
The act of determining whether an item is a genuine product of the issuing authority by a recognized expert.

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