Letter F


A company which makes semi-fabricated products from refined metals and occasionally from scrap.

Face Value

The value of a coin, paper money or other currency as imprinted, stamped or marked on that unit.

Federal Reserve Note

A note issued by a Federal Reserve Bank; a U.S. dollar.


Containing iron.

Fiat Money

Paper money which is recognized as legal tender but is not backed by gold or silver.


The flat, undetailed part of the surface of a coin surrounding and between the portrait, symbol, legend, and other raised portions of the design, including the date. Visually important to most numismatists as an aid to determining grade.

Fine (F)

Coins which are slightly worn on the edges but sharp in all details.

Fine Gold

Pure gold without any alloy metal.

Fine Ounce

An ounce of pure, actually .999 pure, precious metal.

Fine Silver

The purity level or fineness of a silver coin or silver bullion.

Fine Weight

The actual weight of the pure gold or silver in a coin, ingot, bar, or other item with a precious metal content, as opposed or the item’s total weight, which includes the weight of the alloying metal(s).


The designation of purity of a precious metal in relation to 1,000 parts. For example, .900 fine gold has 900 parts of pure (fine) gold and 100 parts of an alloying metal or metals, which means it is 90% pure gold.

First Strike

Early impression from working dies, retaining their initial polishing. See Prooflike.


A clear, flexible plastic holder used to display and store coins.

Fool’s Gold

Iron pyrite. Sometimes mistaken for pure gold. Iron pyrite is hard and brittle. Real gold is much softer and malleable.

Forward Transaction

An agreement to sell a currency, commodity or other asset at a specified future date and at a predetermined price. This may be the current price or exchange rate, or an agreed forward price/rate, which would be at a discount or premium to the spot rate.

Fractional/Fractional Denomination:

A fractional amount of the original unit. For example, a 1 oz. American Gold Eagle can be purchased in ½ oz., ¼ oz. and other fractional weights.

Free Coinage

Law or policy which provides that all who deposit bullion at the mint are entitled to receive, in exchange, coins of equal weight, less minor charges.

French Franc

Prior to migrating to the Euro, the French Franc was the official currency of France. One of the most common coins was the French 20-franc Gold Rooster coins, struck from 1899 to 1916. Each of these coins is 91.7 percent pure (22 karat) and contains .1867 troy oz. actual Gold weight.


A disturbance which appears either on the high points of a coin or in the fields, as a result of that coin rubbing against other objects. A coin is said to have friction when only the luster is disturbed and little, if any, actual wear of the metal is visible to the naked eye.


An adjective used to describe a coin which possesses intense luster that is not mirrorlike. Devices of cameo-proof coins are considered frosty.


A good or asset’s interchangeability with other individual goods or assets of the same type. For example, oil, wheat and lumber are fungible commodities

Futures Contract

An agreement to either take or make delivery of a commodity at a date set in the future.