COIN COLLECTING

Articles Published by Ken Dunn - Dunway Enterprises

Coin collecting is the collecting or trading of coins or other forms of legally minted currency.

Frequently collected coins include those that were in circulation for only a brief time, minted with errors or especially beautiful or historically interesting pieces. Coin collecting can be differentiated from numismatics in that the latter is the study of currency, though both are obviously closely related.

Coin collecting Collecting or trading of coins collected coins Numismatics

Acronyms Used in Coin Collecting

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Just like with any hobby, the coin collecting world has a vocabulary all its own. The many terms, organizations and grading standards used in coin collecting can be confusing at first. If you’re interested in getting involved, you’ll have to know what all the initials mean to carry on a coherent conversation! Below you’ll find a few coin-collecting terms and initials you should know.

The Grading Agencies

Grading coins is a big part of the collecting business, because the grade dictates the selling price. Having a standard grading system is crucial to being able to value coins and give them a fair market value. Several agencies are generally recognized by coin collectors the world over. Here are a few:

ANACS - American Numismatic Association Certification Service
An offshoot of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), the ANACS offers unbiased grading services for coin collectors. They offer a “per coin” price, and even provide an express two-day service for an extra charge.

ICGS - Independent Coin Grading Service
This coin evaluation service offers a collectors club for its customers, with lots of resources on coins.

NGC - Numismatic Guarantee Corporation
Since 1987, NGC has been offering coin grading services with the aim of consistency and impartiality. They will grade a coin based on both its rarity and its overall condition.

NTC - Numistrust Corporation
Independent coin grading service that is available to both dealers and private collectors and hobbyists.

PCGS - Professional Coin Grading Service
One of the first independent coin grading services, their website also offers a wealth of useful information for serious investment collectors and hobbyists alike.

PCI - Photo-Certified Coin Institute
PCI offers grading services for both United States and foreign coins, as well as a special service for damaged a corroded coins.

SEGS - Sovereign Entities Grading Service
Specializing in rare coin grading, this firm offers a pre-screening service as well as a resubmission service for grading verification.

The Collectors and Dealers

Some of the big players in the coin collecting world are:

  • ANA - American Numismatic Association

  • EAC - Early American Coppers, Inc.

  • FRNS - Fellow of Royal Numismatic Society

  • PNG - Professional Numismatists Guild

  • RNS - Royal Numismatic Society

The Coin Conditions

Here are some terms that are used in describing various coin conditions and mintages:

AGW - Actual Gold Weight
ASW - Actual Silver Weight
BM - Branch Mint (any U.S. mint besides Philadelphia)
BV - Bullion Value
DC or DCAM - Deep Cameo (a proof of high grade)
DMPL - Deep Mirror Proof-Like (having shiny fields much like a proof coin)
FDC - Fleur-De-Coin (without any scratches or wear; perfectly flawless)
N/D or ND - No Date (on coin or note)
NC - Not Collectable (almost completely unique coin)

US Mint Marks

All coins minted in the US, with the exceptions of some historic errors, will contain a Mint Mark that designates which US Mint produced that particular coin.

There are four US Mint Marks:

P – Philadelphia Mint, which went into production in 1792
D – Denver Mint, commissioned into service in 1906
S – San Francisco Mint, which often produces proof sets
W – West Point Mint, from which US gold coins are minted

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