Terms used in Coin Collecting

Alloy combination of two metal (e.g. electrum a  mixture of silver and gold)

Annulet small circle used in coin legends

Angel medieval gold coin

Anglo-Gallic coins of the French provinces of the early English kings

Antoninianus Roman silver coin

As Roman base coin

Base non precious metal

Billion low silver content allow (common in some Roman and French medieval issues)

Cistophorus ancient coin from the city of Pergamon (modern Turkey). Used in Roman and pre Roman times

Clipping process of taking small amounts of gold or silver from the edge of coins

Counterfeit fake coin intended to defraud

Countermark small mark applied to coin some time after orginal issue

Debasement the reduction in precious metal in coins over time

Denarius Roman silver coin

Die metal tool with design cut into it used to make hammered coins

Dupondius Roman base coin

Electrum alloy of gold and silver (used for the earliest coins of Lydia)

Flan the plain disc of metal to be used in the dies to make coins (also known as a blank or planchet)

Forgery a fake coin intended to decieve

Groat medieval silver coin

Hammered Coins are those created by stricking two dies together by hand

Hoard collection of coins hidden and then later discovered

Jeton (or token)coin-like object used in medieval times as counting tools


Legend the inscription on a coin

Long Cross Coinage was a silver coinage with a double cross reaching to the edge of the reverse introduced by Henry III to reduce clipping of coins

Milled Coins are those created by a machine press (as opposed to hammered)

Mint the place where coins are produced

Mintmark mark on coin denoting place of minting

Moneyer person who is responsible for the striking of hammered coins

Mule coin produced from two unmatched dies

Noble medieval gold coin

Numismatics the field of study of coins

Obverse the side of the coin showing the head of the monarch (the head)

Penny small silver English coin orginating from derniers originally struck by the Franks

Portcullis Money trade coins during the reign of Elizabeth I

Provenance the history of that specific coin (beloning to previous collections etc)

Reverse the other side of the coin to the head (the tails)

Siege Money coins produce in towns or cities under seige as emmergancy currency

Sestertius Roman base coin

Sovereign a large gold coin introduced by Henry VII

Short Cross Coinage a type of silver coin produced from Henry II to Henry III with a short (as opposed to long cross) on the reverse

Stater Celtic coin

Sterling a standard of fine silver (possibly derived from the word Easterling derived from towns of Northern Germany in the 13th century)

Touch Piece coin kept as charm and often kept around the neck to ward off or cure TB