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Coin Lingo information on Rare Coins
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Fat head
Slang for the Small Size Capped Bust quarter and half eagles. (Mainly heard as “fat head fives.)
Short for Full Bands.
Short for Full Bell Lines.
Short for Full Head.
finest known
The best-known condition example of a particular numismatic item.
A coin struck early in the life of a die. First strikes sometimes are characterized by striated or mirror-like fields if the die was polished. Almost always fully or well struck, with crisp detail.
Short for a five-dollar gold coin or half eagle.
Five Indian
Slang for the Indian Head half eagles struck from 1908 to 1929.
Five Lib
Slang for the Liberty Head half eagles struck from 1839 until 1908.
fixed price list
A dealer listing of items for sale at set prices.
flat edge
Term referring to the particular specimens of High Reliefs that do not have a wire edge.
flat luster
A subdued type of luster seen on coins struck from worn dies. Often these coins have a gray or otherwise dull color that makes the fields seem even more lackluster.
flow lines
The lines, sometimes visible, resulting from the metal flowing outward from the center of a planchet as it is struck. The “cartwheel” luster is the result of light reflecting from these radial lines.
Flowing Hair
The design attributed to Mint engraver Robert Scot that features Miss Liberty with long, flowing hair.
Flying Eagle
Short for Flying Eagle Cent.
Flying Eagle Cent
The small cent, struck in 88% copper and 12% nickel, that replaced the large cent. This featured James Longacre’s reduction of the Gobrecht eagle used on the reverse of the silver dollars of 1836-1839.
focal area
The area of a coin to which a viewer's eye is drawn. An example is the cheek of a Morgan dollar.
four-dollar gold piece
An experimental issue, also known as a stella, struck in 1879-1880 as a pattern
Short for Franklin half dollar.
Franklin half dollar
The John Sinnock designed half dollar struck from 1948 until 1963. This featured Ben Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse.
Slight wear on a coin's high points or in the fields.
A crystallized-metal effect seen in the recessed areas of a die, thus the raised parts of a coin struck with that die. This is imparted to dies by various techniques, such as sandblasting them or pickling them in acid, then polishing the fields, leaving the recessed areas with frost.
frosted devices
Raised elements on coins struck with treated dies that have frost in their recessed areas. Such coins have crystalline surfaces that resemble frost on a lawn.
frosty luster
The crystalline appearance of coins struck with dies that have frost in their recessed areas. Such coins show vibrant luster on their devices and/or surfaces; the amount of crystallization may vary. Also, this term is applied to coins whose entire surface his this look.
Short for Full Steps.
Full Bands
Term applied to Mercury (Winged Liberty Head) dimes when the central band is fully separated (FB). There can be no disturbance of the separation. Also applicable to Roosevelt dimes that display full separation in both the upper and lower pair of crossbands on the torch.
Full Bell Lines
Term applied to Franklin half dollars when the lower sets of bell lines are complete (FBL). Very slight disturbance of several lines is acceptable.
Full Head
Term applied to Standing Liberty quarters when the helmet of the head has full detail (FH). Both Type 1 and 2 coins are so designated but the criteria is different for both.
Full Steps
Term applied to a Jefferson five-cent example when at least 5 steps of Monticello are present.
Full strike
A numismatic item that displays the full detail intended by the designer. Weak striking pressure, worn dies or improper planchets can sometimes prevent all the details from appearing, even on uncirculated specimens.
FUN Show
The first coin show each year. This annual convention is sponsored by the Florida United Numismatists and is held in early January.
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.
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.