Numismatic Dictionary

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There are 51 names in this directory beginning with the letter P.
P# or P Number
A catalog number for foreign currency. See also Pick Number.

palladium
A silvery precious metal that has the lowest melting point of the Platinum Group Metals. Its chemical symbol is Pd.

paper money
Currency that is made from a type of paper, usually a cotton- based linen.

Partial Collar Strike
A type of striking error where a planchet does not enter completely into coining position and is struck partly within the collar and partly outside. See also collar.

patina
Synonym for toning.

pattern
A test striking of a coin produced to trial a proposed design, composition, or size.

Pd
Chemical symbol for palladium. See also palladium.

pedigree
The listing of an item’s current owner plus all known previous owners.

pence
The plural form of penny primarily used in Great Britain.

penny
The official name of the coin that is one hundredth of a British pound. It is also a synonym for the U.S. one-cent coin.

peripheral toning
Coloring around the edge of a coin.

pet crime
President Theodore Roosevelt, who was unhappy with the look of United State coinage, turned to Augustus Saint- Gaudens to help redesign the coins in circulation. During a discussion with Saint-Gaudens, Roosevelt was quoted as saying, "You know, Saint-Gaudens, this is my pet crime."

pewter
A grayish soft metal made of 85-95 percent tin. For coin making, the balance of the alloy is usually copper but lead has been used in some poorer countries. When used as a coinage metal, the planchets are small to prevent bending. Pewter is not used in the United States.

Pfennig
Primary unit of German coins and currency that existed from the 9th century until modern Germany adopted the Euro.

Philadelphia
A city in Pennsylvania that is home to the main branch of the United States Mint. Although the U.S. Mint headquarters is located in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Mint is the bureau’s operational headquarters. The first mint was established in 1792 and has been in four different buildings over its history. The current, fourth mint building has been in operation since 1969. Coins struck in Philadelphia either have no mintmark or a "P" mintmark.

Pick Number
A cataloging system for currency created by German notaphilist Albert Pick for his book The Standard Catalog of World Currency. Today, the catalog is maintained by Krause Publications.

Piece of Eight
A colloquial name used to 8 reales or Spanish Milled Dollar coin from the Spanish colonies in the western hemisphere. The name was derived from the way it was cut into eights to represent fractions of the coin. See also bit or real.

piedfort
In French is written as “piefort,” is a coin struck on a planchet that is thicker than circulating coins.

Pioneer gold
Privately issued gold coins struck by a variety of minters anywhere in America where gold was discovered.

plain edge
A smooth, flat edge seen mainly on a small-denomination coinage.

planchet
A flat disk of metal destined to be made into a coin. See also blank.

planchet defect
Any defect of a coin that was caused by the planchet being imperfect prior to the coin being struck. See also planchet flaw

planchet flaw
An irregular hole in a coin blank sometimes the result of a lamination that has broken away. See also lamination.

planchet striations
Fine, incuse lines found on some Proof coins potentially caused by polishing of the blanks prior to striking.

plated
A coin with a thin layer of a metal that has been applied to its surface. Precious metals are used to plate items.

platinum
A dense, malleable, and non-conductive silvery precious metal. Its chemical symbol is Pt.

plugged
Term used to describe a coin that has had a hole filled.

polished die
A die that has been polished to make the surfaces smooth. Proof dies are polished to impart mirror-like surfaces. Used dies are polished to remove clash marks or other imperfections.

polymer banknotes
The term used to describe the plastic-like paper developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia to print banknotes.

polyvinyl chloride
A chemical used to soften the plastic. It is used in some coin holders and albums. PVC can damage the surfaces of coins.

porous
A numismatic item with a rough or granular surface resulting from oxidation. Commonly used to describe old copper coins.

Postage Currency
Small, rectangular paper that looked like postage stamps but larger without gum on the reverse to be used in commerce issued 1862-1863. See also Fractional Currency.

pound
Pound, or pound sterling, is the unit currency of the Great Britain. The pound was introduced by King Henry II to represent one troy pound of silver. Since a pound was made up of 240 pennyweights, the penny was introduced to represent one pennyweight of silver.

pre-strike
Coins struck using a later date than when issued. Some countries issue pre-strike commemorative coins marking an event such as hosting the Olympic games.

presentation striking
A coin struck for a special occasion.

press
A machine that strikes coins or medals.

Prestige Proof Sets
Sets containing silver proof coins for the year that included the commemorative coin for that year. Prestige Proof Sets were produced in the 1990s. See also proof.

pristine
Term describing coins in original, unimpaired condition. See also Mint State.

Private Issue
A numismatic item not issued by a government.

privy mark
A small device struck into the coin used to identify the dies used, the mint or assayer responsible for the coin’s purity, or for a special commemoration.

proof
The process of striking a special version of a coin with higher quality dies and specially polished planchets.

proof dies
Dies that are prepared and used exclusively to produce proof coins.

proof set
A coin set containing proof struck coins from a particular year. See also proof.

proof-only issue
A coin struck only as a proof with no business-strike counterpart.

prooflike
Businesses strike coin that has mirror-like surfaces. See also business strike.

provenance
Synonym for pedigree.

Pt
Chemical symbol for platinum. See also platinum.

Punch
A steel rod with a device, a date, lettering, and other symbols on the end that was hammered into a working die.

PVC
Polyvinyl chloride.

PVC damage
A film left on a coin after storage in flips that contain PVC. See also polyvinyl chloride.

PVC flip
Another name for a coin flip that contains PVC. See also polyvinyl chloride.

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