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Coin Collecting Terms and Terminologies Explained

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Coin collecting is not just a hobby, it’s a business. Like all other businesses, collecting coins comes with its own series of terms, terminologies and jargons. If you’re buying coins for the first time, you’re likely to come across several of these terms. Here’s a look at some of the most widely used terminologies associated with collecting coins and their meanings:


It refers to small scratches and marks that form on the surface of a coin whenever it comes in to contact with other coin. Even when coins are kept inside a holder and placed inside a drawer, small abrasions can result when the coin holders move against each other. A mark of normal wear and tear, abrasions do not affect the market value of coins (except in the case of rare coins).

American Eagle Coins

These are a range of platinum, gold and silver coins produced by the U.S. Government. The first ever eagle coin was produced in October 1986. On the front side, there’s an imitation of Liberty while the back side shows and American eagle and its nest. The coins are produced in both proof and uncirculated conditions.

Ask Price

The price quoted by a dealer or a trader looking for a coin. Ask price often indicates the wholesale price for a coin, especially when used in connotation with a dealer or a coin trading network.

Brilliant Uncirculated

This word is more of a descriptive term used in describing uncirculated coins that retain much of the sparkle and brilliant luster since its initial production. Brilliant uncirculated coins are not heavily toned. Rare coins in BU condition offer the highest market value and ask price for coin dealers and traders.


The word indicates all items made from precious metals, such as platinum, gold and silver. Bronze coins are often excluded from this definition. Most of the bullions are produced either as ingots or bars or as rounds and coins. Bullion value denotes the value of the metal of the coin. Platinum coins have the highest bullion value.

Cast Coin

A cast coin is made by pouring molten metal on to a cast or a mold. These are starkly different from other coins, which are produced by striking a die against coin blank. In ancient times, casting was one of the most common processes used to differentiate authentic coins from fake ones and counterfeits.


In commercial terms, circulation means moving around the market. For coins, the word circulation implies those coins that are frequently traded and exchanged. These coins can easily be bought from and sold to dealers. Circulating coins often bear scratches due to wear and tear.

Double Eagle

This word is used in lieu of twenty dollar gold pieces, similar to those made between 1850 and 1932. They derive their name from the gold content used, which was twice the amount used in $10 eagle gold pieces. Double eagle gold contains approximately one ounce of gold.

To learn more about the terms and terminologies relating to collecting coins and coin collecting supplies, please feel free to contact CS Supply Centraltoday.