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Coin Lingo information on Rare Coins
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The area of a coin that represents hair and may be an important grading aspect. (i.e. The hair above the ear on a Morgan dollar is critical to the strike.)
Fine cleaning lines found mainly in the fields of Proof coins, although they sometimes are found across an entire Proof coin as well as on business strikes.
Slang for half dollar.
half cent
The lowest-value coin denomination ever issued by the United States, representing one-two hundredth of a dollar. Half cents were struck from 1793 until the series was discontinued in 1857.
half disme
The original spelling of half dime. The first United States regular issue was the 1792 half disme supposedly struck in John Harper’s basement with the newly acquired Mint presses.
Half Dollar
The denomination first struck in 1794 that is still struck today.
Half Eagle
Literally, half the value of an Eagle. The Eagle was defined by the Mint Act of 1792 as equal to ten silver dollars.
Half rolls
At times rolls were issued with one half the number of coins in a roll that we consider to be normal today. For instance, Liberty nickels (1883-1912) were often issued with 20 coins in the roll (face value one dollar).
halogen light
A powerful light source that enables a viewer to examine coins closely. This type of light reveals even the tiniest imperfections.
hammer die
The upper die, usually the obverse – although on some issues with striking problems, the reverse was employed as the upper die.
A cloudy film, original or added, seen on both business-strike coins and Proofs. This film can range from a light, nearly clear covering with little effect on the grade to a heavy, opaque layer that might prevent the coin from being graded.
Heraldic Eagle
Also called the large eagle, this emblem of Liberty resembles the eagles of heraldry, thus its acquired name.
high end
A term applied to any coin at the upper end of a particular grade
High Relief
The Saint-Gaudens inspired effort of Charles Barber to reduce the Extremely High Relief down to a coin with acceptable striking qualities. After 11,250 coins, this effort was abandoned. However, these were released and quickly became one of the most popular coins of all time.
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.