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Coin Lingo information on Rare Coins
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Mintmark used to signify coins struck at the New Orleans, Louisiana branch Mint.
Term used for the coinage of the branch Mint in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The front, or heads side, of a coin. Usually the date side.
Short for octagonal (Pan-Pac octagonal commemorative fifty-dollar coin).
off center
A coin struck on a blank that was not properly centered over the anvil, or lower, die. Coins that are 5 percent, or less, off center are graded by PCGS as a regular coin. Those struck off center more than 5 percent are graded as error coins. There will be an ā€œEā€ before the coin number to designate an error specimen and the amount struck off center will be listed, rounded to the nearest 5 percent.
orange-peel surfaces
The dimple-textured fields seen on many Proof gold coins; their surfaces resemble those of an orange, hence the descriptive term. Some Mint State gold dollars and three-dollar gold coins exhibit this effect to some degree.
A term used to describe a coin that never has been dipped or cleaned, or a coin struck from original dies in the year whose date it bears.
original toning
Term for the color acquired naturally by a coin that never has never been cleaned or dipped. Original toning ranges from the palest yellow to extremely dark blues, grays, browns, and finally black.
over -mintmark
A coin struck with a die on which one mintmark is engraved over a different mintmark. In rare instances, branch mints returned dies that already had mintmarks punched into them; on occasion, these were then sent to different branch mints and the new mint punched its mintmark over the old one. Examples include the 1938-D/S Buffalo nickel and the 1900-O/CC Morgan dollar.
over dipped
A coin that has become dull from too many baths in a dipping solution.
A coin struck from a die with a date that has one year punched over a different year. Save a few exceptions, the die overdated is an unused die from a previous year. Sometimes an effort was made to polish away evidence of the previous date. PCGS requires the overdate to be visible to be recognized.
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.