Letter S


Augustus Saint-Gaudens, an American sculptor known for his creation of $20 Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle, produced 1907-1933.


A coin of which only a small number exist. See Rare.

Secondary Market

Items purchased from the general public.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

A U.S. government agency that oversees securities transactions, activities of financial professionals and mutual fund trading to prevent fraud and intentional deception.


A collection of two or more coins with one or more common characteristics.

Sheldon Scale

A system of grading, originally introduced by the late Dr. William H. Sheldon, for the purpose of grading larger cents. The system was adapted to all coins in the early 1970s. The Sheldon Scale, as used today, incorporates numerical grades 1 through 70 to correspond with various descriptive grades.

Short Sale

The sale of an asset for future delivery without having asset of the item.


A transition metal, silver is extensively used in coins, jewelry, tableware and photography. It is a chemically active metal and naturally changes color or tones when exposed to air and certain elements.

Silver American Eagle

See American Eagle

Silver Certificate

Paper currency that was issued as legal tender until the 1960s by the U.S. government to represent deposited silver bullion.

Silver rounds

Privately minted round pieces of metal that are struck in Silver, usually about the size of a U.S. Silver Dollar. Silver rounds carry no face value and are not considered legal tender.


A small silver coin.


A tamper-resistant, acrylic plastic container used by major independent grading services into which certified coins are inserted.

Slabbed Coins

Coins encased in plastic for protection against wear. Slabbed coins are usually graded by one of the two major independent grading services, PCGS or NGC.


A coin which is undervalued or underpriced.


A coin which a less scrupulous individual might sell at a higher grade than it really merits. The term usually refers to a nearly Mint State coin which is, or could be offered as, a full Mint State coin.

Solid Gold

One of the most misleading designations that the U.S. government allows manufactures of precious-metals products to use. Means simply that the gold product is not “hollow.” The gold item could have as little as nine karats and still be stamped “solid gold.”

South African Krugerrand

South African Gold Krugerrand coins are the world’s first coins struck solely as bullion items. Introduced in 1967 and Krugerrands dominated the bullion market through the early 1980s. They are struck in 22 karat gold.


See British Sovereign.


Describes a one-time open market cash transaction price of a commodity, where it is purchased “on the spot” at current market rates.

Split Grade

A coin whose obverse grade is different from its reverse grade. Example MS63/65 or Proof 63/60.


Used in commodities and foreign exchange to denote something which can be delivered readily. Also refers to the futures contract of the current month; it is still “futures” trading, but delivery is possible at any time.

Spot Gold Price

The closing spot price varies with markets located in numerous cities and countries throughout the world. It is recommended that one follow the spot Gold close from one particular.

Spot Market

A market that requires that delivery and payment must be made within two working days of the transaction date.

Spot Month

The futures contract closest to maturity of the nearby delivery month.


The difference between the bid and ask or coin price quotation.


Bars or coins that are struck so that one side of the item will fit tightly into the next item that is stacked above or below it. Also, a term for a person who “hoards” Silver, mostly in bar or round form.


Pattern gold coin (1897-1880) with a face value of $4.

Sterling Silver

Silver of a fineness of 92.5 percent purity.


The strength of the imprint in the process of stamping a coin blank with a design.

Symbolic Face Value

Nominal value given to legal tender coins, which are valued or sold for their metal content. The symbolic face value of a coin will be less than its actual market price.