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Coin Lingo information on Rare Coins
 
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C
C
Mintmark used to signify coins struck at the Charlotte, North Carolina branch Mint.
C-Mint
Term applied to the gold coins struck at the Charlotte, North Carolina branch Mint. This Mint only struck gold coins from its opening in late 1837 until its seizure by the Confederacy.
CAM
Short for Cameo. Also, PCGS grading suffix used for 1950 and later Proofs that meet cameo standards.
Cameo
The term applied to coins, usually Proofs and prooflike coins, that have frosted devices and lettering that contrast with the fields. When this is deep the coins are said to be “black and white” cameos. Occasionally frosty coins have “cameo” devices though they obviously do not contrast as dramatically with the fields as the cameo devices of Proofs do. Specifically applied by PCGS to those 1950 and later Proofs that meet cameo standards (CAM).
Capped Bust
A term describing any of the various incarnations of the head of Miss Liberty represented on early U.S. coins by a bust with a floppy cap. This design is credited to John Reich.
Capped die
The term applied to an error in which a coin gets jammed in the coining press and remains for successive strikes, eventually forming a “cap” either on the upper or lower die. These are sometimes spectacular with the “cap” often many times taller than a normal coin.
Carbon spot
A spot seen mainly on copper and gold coins, though also occasionally found on U.S. nickel coins (which are 75 percent copper) and silver coins (which are 10 percent copper). Carbon spots are brown to black spots of oxidation that range from minor to severe – some so large and far advanced that the coin is not graded because of environmental damage.
Carson City
The United States branch Mint located in Carson City, Nevada that struck coins from 1870 until 1885 and again from 1889 until 1893. These are among the most popular branch-mint issues.
Cartwheel
The pleasing effect seen on some coins when they are rotated in a good light source. The luster rotates around like the spokes of a wagon wheel. A term applied mainly to frosty Mint State coins, especially silver dollars, to describe their luster. Also, a slang term for a silver dollar.CC
Mintmark used to signify coins struck at the Carson City, Nevada branch Mint.
CCDN
Short for Certified Coin Dealer Newsletter
CCE
Short for Certified Coin Exchange
CDN
Short for Coin Dealer Newsletter
Census
A compilation of the known specimens of a particular numismatic item.
Cent
A denomination valued at one-hundredth of a dollar, struck continuously by the U.S. Mint since 1793 except for 1815. (Actually, some cents dated 1816 were struck in December of 1815.)
Certified Coin Dealer Newsletter
The official name for the Bluesheet that lists bid/ask/market prices for third-party certified coins.
Certified Coin Exchange
The bid/ask coin trading and quotation system owned by the American Teleprocessing Company.
Chain Cent
The popular name for the Flowing Hair Chain cent of 1793, the first coins struck in the newly occupied Mint building.
Circulated
A term applied to a coin that has wear, ranging from slight rubbing to heavy wear.
Circulation
A term applied to coins that have been spent in commerce and have received wear.
Circulation strike
An alternate term for Business Strike or Regular Strike. A coin meant for commerce.
Clash marks
The images of the dies seen on coins struck from clashed dies. The obverse will have images from the reverse and vice versa.
Clashed dies
Dies that have been damaged by striking each other without a planchet between them. Typically, this imparts part of the obverse image to the reverse die and vice versa.
Classic Era
The term describing the period from 1792 until 1964 when silver and gold coins of the United States were issued. (Gold coins, of course, were not minted after 1933.)
Classic Head
A depiction of Miss Liberty that recalls the “classic” look of a Roman or Greek athlete wearing a ribbon around the hair. The motif was first used on the John Reich designed large cent struck from 1808 until 1814. The next year, the half cent was changed to this design. This head was also copied by William Kneass for the quarter eagle and half eagle designs first struck in 1834.
Coin
Metal formed into a disk of standardized weight and stamped with a standard design to enable it to circulate as money authorized by a government body.
Coin collection
A systematic grouping of coins assembled for fun or profit.
Coin collector
An individual who accumulates coins in a systematic manner
Coin Dealer Newsletter
Weekly periodical, commonly called the Greysheet, listing bid and ask prices for many United States coins.
Coin show
A bourse composed of coin dealers displaying their wares for sale and trade.
Coin World
Weekly numismatic periodical established in 1960.
Coinage
The issuance of metallic money of a particular country
Collection
Short for “coin collection.”
Collector
An individual who amasses a systematic group of coins or other numismatic items.
Commem
Short for “commemorative.”
Commemorative
Coins issued to honor some person, place, or event and, in many instances, to raise funds for activities related to the theme. Sometimes called NCLT (non-circulating legal tender) commemoratives.
Common
A numismatic issue that is readily available. Since this is a relative term, no firm number can be used as a cut-off point between common and scarce.
Common date
A particular issue within a series that is readily available. No exact number can be used to determine which coins are common dates as this is relative to the mintage of the series. (i.e. A 1799 eagle is a common date within its series just as an 1881-S silver dollar is a common date within the Morgan series. Obviously, the 1799 eagle is rare compared to the 1881-S dollar.)
Complete set
A term for all possible coins within a series, all types, or all coins from a particular branch Mint. Examples would include a complete set of a series (The three-dollar series can have but one complete set, that being the Harry Bass Foundation set that includes the unique 1870-S. Yes, it is possible that the cornerstone coin could appear someday and change the unique status; a complete gold type set would include examples of all types from 1795 until 1933; a complete set of Charlotte Mint gold dollars must include the 1849-C Open Wreath example of which there are but four currently verified.)
Condition
The state of preservation of a particular numismatic issue
Contact marks
Marks on a coin that are incurred through contact with another coin or a foreign object. These are generally small, compared to other types of marks such as gouges.
Copper spot
A spot or stain commonly seen on gold coinage, indicating an area of copper concentration that has oxidized. Copper spots or stains range from tiny dots to large blotches.
Copper-nickel
The alloy (88% copper, 12% nickel) used for small cents from 1856 until mid-1864.
Copper-Nickel Cent
The cents issued from 1859 until 1864 in the copper-nickel alloy. These were called white cents by the citizens of the era because of their pale color compared to the red cents of the past.
Coppers
Slang for half cents, large cents, and pre-Federal copper issues.
Copy
Any reproduction, fraudulent or otherwise, of a coin.
Copy dies
Dies made at a later date, usually showing slight differences from the originals. Examples include the reverse of 1804 Class II and III silver dollars and 1831 half cents with the Type of 1840-57 reverse. Also used to denote counterfeit dies copied directly from a genuine coin.
Coronet Head
Alternate name for Braided Hair design by Christian Gobrecht (also called Liberty Head design).
Corrosion
Damage that results when reactive chemicals act upon metal. When toning ceases to be a "protective" coating and instead begins to damage a coin, corrosion is the cause. Usually confined to copper, nickel and silver regular issues, although patterns in aluminum, white metal, tin, etc., also are subject to this harmful process.
Cost
The price paid for a numismatic item.
Crossover
A word that is used to describe a coin that graded the same at two different grading services. Also written as two words: cross over. "I was sure that the coin wouldn't cross over, so I didn't buy it." or "That coin's definitely a crossover."
 
 
 
 
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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