Coin Related Glossary


American Eagle , Liberty, Maple Leaf or another Bullion Coin:
platinum, silver and gold coins released by the Government Mint

American Eagle Proof Coin:
proof-quality bullion (platinum, silver, gold) coins released by the United States Mint beginning in October 1986.  Their production process, on specially adapted coining presses and specially polished dies, brings forth even the most minute of details with remarkable clarity.

assay:
to analyze and determine the purity of metal.

bi-metallic:
a coin comprised of two different metals, bonded together.

bullion:
platinum, gold or silver in the form of bars or other storage shapes, including coins and ingots.

bullion coin:
precious metal coin traded at current bullion prices.

business strike:
a coin produced for general circulation (as opposed to a proof or uncirculated coin specially made for collectors).

Canadian Silver Maple Leaf:

The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is a silver bullion coin issued annually by the government of Canada. The coin has been minted by the Royal Canadian Mint (RMC) since 1988.
The face value of the 1 oz coin is 5 Canadian dollars, the highest among international silver bullion coins. During the month of February 2008, the market value of the coin was approximately 20 Canadian dollars. The purity of the coin is 99.99% silver, also the highest among other bullion issues which have a 99.90% standard.
The coin generally always features a maple leaf and generally consists of 1 troy ounce (31.1 g) of silver. Annual variations for the coin in past have included proof releases (1989 only), privy marks, a coloured maple leaf (with a design different from the regular maple leaf), holographic enhancements and several differing designs, such as a 2009 issue commemorating the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The one universal element in all silver maple leaf coins is the phrase “Fine Silver 1 oz Argent Pur” along the bottom of the obverse of the coin.
Several notable issues have been released over the life of the series. A single-issue 10 oz version was produced in 1998 to mark the 10th anniversary of the coin series. In 1999, all Silver Maple Leaf coins that were issued came with a privy mark to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the RCM Maple Leaf Program. The following year, the coins featured a Privy Mark with Fireworks and the number 2000. Another Silver Maple Leaf was issued to commemorate the Millennium. The coins were double dated 1999 and 2000.
Silver Maple Leafs differ from their Canadian Gold and Platinum Maple Leaf counterparts in that collector demand generates prices well above and beyond bullion value. In particular, the 1996 and 1997 versions fetched very high prices due to limited mintages (for example, in 1997 just under 101,000 Maple Leafs were minted, in comparison with more than 1.2 million minted in 1999).
Some of the privy marked Maple Leafs were available only in Europe. For the first time in 2009, the Silver Maple Leaf coins were not packaged in Mylar by the Royal Canadian Mint. Due to the high demand, the Silver Maple Leaf was packaged in tubes of 25.

clad coinage:
coins that have a core and outer layer made of different non-precious metals.  Since 1965, all circulating U.S. dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars have been clad.

commemorative:
a special coin or medal issued to honor an outstanding person, place or event.

face value:
the sum for which a coin can be spent or exchanged (a dime’s face value is 10¢) as opposed to its collector or precious metal value.

intrinsic value (bullion value):
current market value of the precious metal in a coin.

key date:
a scarce date required to complete a collection, usually more difficult to find and afford.

legal tender:
coins, dollar bills or other currency issued by a government as official money.

mint:
a place where coins of a country are manufactured under government authority.  Today, United States Mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver produce all U.S. circulating coins.

mint mark:
a small letter on a coin identifying which of the United States Mint’s facilities struck the coin.

mint set:
a complete set of coins of each denomination produced by a particular mint.

mintage:
the quantity of coins produced.

numismatics:
the study and collecting of things that are used as money, including coins, tokens, paper bills and medals.

proof:
a specially produced coin made from highly polished planchets and dies and often struck more than once to accent the design.  Proof coins receive the highest quality strike possible and can be distinguished by their sharpness of detail and brilliant, mirror-like surface.

proof set:
a complete set of proof coins of each denomination made in a year.

uncirculated:
The term “uncirculated” may have three different meanings when applied to a coin. First, it can refer to the particular manufacturing process by which a coin is made. Second, it can be used as a grade when referring to a coin’s degree of preservation and quality of the strike. Third, “uncirculated” can point to the fact that a coin has not been used in everyday commerce.