Glossary

About Good

Very heavily worn coin with portions of lettering, date and legends worn smooth; date may be barely readable on the coin.

About Uncirculated (AU)

A coin with traces of light wear on many of the high points. Design details are very sharp, with most mint luster still evident.

Acid Test

Testing used to determine the fineness of gold. The process uses nitric acid and aqua regia.

Actual Gold Content

The amount of gold that remains in an object after all other metals have been removed. Abbreviated as AGW.

Actuals

Tangible commodity delivered at the end of a contract as opposed to a futures contract on that same commodity.

Adjustment Marks

Scratches which appear mostly on pre-1807 silver and gold coinage. These scratches were file marks, made at the mint in order to reduce the weight of a coin so that its metal value wouldn’t exceed its face value. As such, adjustment marks do not reduce the value of a coin nearly as much as series of equally visible scratches which were not “mint caused.”

Ag

The chemical symbol for silver

Allocated Metal

These are precious metals that are stored in secure warehouses. The warehouse provider is the custodian, while the precious metals remain the property of the owner.

Alloy

Metal made by combining two or more metals. Any silver or gold of less than .999 purity is an alloy.

Altered Date

The illegal practice of modifying a date or mint mark on a common coin to make it appear to be a rare coin. Also known as Mint Mark.

American Eagle (Gold or Silver)

Bullion products struck by the U.S. Mint. These are one of the most recognizable coins in the world and are the most popular bullion products in the U.S. and abroad. While they enjoy legal tender status, American Eagle coins have a very high intrinsic value. Guaranteed by the U.S. government.

ANA

Abbreviation for the American Numismatic Association. The ANA is the world’s largest organization of coin collectors and dealers. It is a non-profit organization chartered by an Act of Congress in 1912.

Annealing

The softening of planchets by heat followed by slow cooling. Annealing makes the planchets more easily struck.

Apparent Wear

A coin may appear to have more wear than it actually has, due to poorly made dies or the prolonged use of worn dies.

Approved Carriers

Exchange approved armored carriers used to transport precious metals.

Arbitrage

The simultaneous purchase of currency, securities or goods in one market and their sale in another market to take advantage of a price difference.

Argentum

The Latin word for silver.

Ask

The price that a seller is willing to take in order to effect the sale of a coin.

Assay

A test used to determine the fineness and weight of a precious metal item.

Au

The chemical symbol for gold.

AUD

The abbreviation for the Australian dollar.

Aurum

The Latin word for gold.

Australian Dragon

Manufactured by the Perth Mint, Year of the Dragon coins were issued in Australia in 2000 and 2012.

Australian Kangaroo

Australia’s Gold Nugget bullion coins were introduced in 1986 as .9999 fine bullion coins. The design has changed annually since 1989 but all feature various depictions of kangaroos.

Australian Koala

Manufactured by the Perth Mint, the Australian Koala bullion coin has been minted since 1987. The design has changed annually since 1989 in gold, silver and platinum.

Austrian 100 Corona

Late 20th century restrike of a popular 19th century bullion Gold coin. Each coin contains .9802 oz actual Gold weight.

Austrian Philharmonic (Gold, Silver, Platinum)

The Austrian Mint began producing the Philharmonic bullion coin in 1989 and they quickly became one of Europe’s most popular gold bullion coins. Silver Philharmonic coins were first issued in 2008 and platinum followed in 2016.

Avoirdupois (AVDP)

A system of weights based on a pound of 16 ounces or 7,000 grains, widely used in English-speaking countries. One avoirdupois ounce equals 28.35 grams or 437.50 grains. Not used for metals, but more for precious metals or gems.