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Coin Lingo information on Rare Coins
 
jump ahead by clicking a letter from the alphabet
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 
 
B
B
bag mark
A generic term applied to a mark on a coin from another coin; it may, or may not, have been incurred in a bag.
beaded border
Small, round devices around the edge of a coin, often seen on early U.S. coins. These were replaced by dentils.
bid
The buying quotation of a coin either on a trading network, pricing newsletter, or other medium.
Bluesheet
Slang for the Certified Coin Dealer Newsletter.
BN
Short for Brown
Braided Hair
Style of hair on half cents and large cents from 1840 onward consisting of hair pull back into a tight bun with a braided hair cord.
Breast feathers
The central feathers seen on numerous eagle designs. Fully struck coins usually command a premium and the breast feathers are usually the highest point of the reverse. (They are the most deeply recessed area of the die, so metal sometimes does not completely fill the breast feather area, usually because of insufficient striking pressure. Incorrectly spaced or lapped dies will also cause “striking” weakness.)
Breen
Slang for the late Walter Breen. Often heard in context of Breen letter, Breen said, Breen wrote, and so on. A controversial personal life has dimmed the impact Breen had on numismatics.
Breen Book
Slang for Walter Breen’s magnum opus, Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins, published in 1988.
Brilliant
A coin with full luster, unimpeded by toning, or impeded only by extremely light toning.
Brilliant Uncirculated
A generic term applied to any coin that has not been in circulation. It often is applied to coins with little "brilliance" left, which properly should be described as simply Uncirculated.
Bronze
An alloy of copper, tin and zinc, with copper the principal metal.
Brown
The term applied to a copper coin that no longer has the red color of copper. There are many "shades" of brown color – mahogany, chocolate, etc. (abbreviated as BN when used as part of a grade).
Buffalo nickel
Slang for the Indian Head nickel struck from 1913 to 1938. The animal depicted is an American Bison.

Business strike
A regular issue coin, struck on regular planchets by dies given normal preparation. These are the coins struck for commerce that the Mint places into circulation.
Bust
The head and shoulders of the emblematic Liberty seen on many United States issues
Bust dollar
Slang for silver dollars struck from 1795-1803. (Those dated 1804 were first struck in 1834 for inclusion in Proof sets. Those Proofs dated 1801, 1802, and 1803 were also struck at dates later than indicated.)
 
 
 
 
Helpful Tips when viewing Coin Images...
The image, or "scan", of a rare coin should only be used as a reference point, rather than a final decision maker when purchasing rare coins. "No" digital image or scan will ever do true justice to the natural beauty of a coin. A digital camera or scanner, at this stage of technology, can never reproduce the way a human eye views an object. As you move a coin in the light, the surfaces change appearance depending on the angle at which the light source is hitting the coin. This effect is most obvious with very deep, proof coins. In person this "mirrored" effect is quite dramatic as you move the coin around. A two dimensional digital image loses this reflective nature of a coin, not being able to depict the mirrored qualities that your eye is able to perceive. Keep in mind that nothing can compare to examining a coin in person.
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At Albanese Rare Coins we strive to achieve the highest quality images in order to assist you with a purchasing decision; considering the balance between download times and image quality. As always, you can be confident when purchasing rare coins from us, as we "hand select" every coin for its true beauty and eye appeal.
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