A name given to a Roman Emperor or leader. Originally a family name; the last family member to have the title was Nero.
Calais was an English territory from 1247-1558 and English coins were minted there for Edward III, Richard II, Henry IV and Henry VI. Some gold coins carried the provenance mark 'C' and silver coins had the words VILLA CALESIE (Town of Calais).
A type of penny used by William I, where his head is framed by a shrine-like structure.
A measure of the fineness or purity of gold, 24 carat being pure gold. Example: 22 carat gold would be 22 parts (11/12th) gold and 2 parts (1/12th) copper.
The Latin form of the name Charles. On coins this may be spelled Carolvs.
Name usually associated with the huge 1797 two pence made by Boulton and Watt for George III, as it was 'as big as a cart wheel'. Cartwheel twopence, cartwheel penny.
Although used colloquially as 'money', cash is also a Chinese copper coin.
One hundredth of a dollar, used in the USA and many other countries.
A coin that has been in circulation and has marks and scuffs.
A coin than is made of one metal but coated in another. For example, modern 'copper' coins are usually copper covered steel. In the UK, collectors tend to say copper-coated or plated.
The (illegal) process of snipping a part of the edge of a coin so as to obtain some precious metal. It was a serious problem on hammered coins. Milling, beading, engraving to the edge and other technical innovations helped to reduce this.
Certificate of Authenticity. Some sort of written proof that the coin is genuine.
A flat piece of metal with an image or pattern on it that the government has designated as money or currency.
A collar is a piece of metal that restrains the expanding metal of a blank/planchet during the striking process.
A period from 1649 to 1660 when the King of England was exiled and there was a brief period as a republic. The time of the English Civil war, The Protectorate and Oliver Cromwell. Coins were issued without the portrait of a monarch.
The grade of the coin, how worn it is. Condition is a large factor in assessing the value of a coin. There are several formal grading guidelines.
Copper is a soft metallic element with the symbol Cu. It is widely used in coins, often in an alloy. Adding copper to gold makes the coin harder wearing.
An exact copy of a coin or object, especially made to deceive or defraud.
The Crown is a very old coin, large in diameter, with origins dating back to Henry VIII. The English Crown first appeared in 1526. It had a value of five shillings (a quarter of a pound, after decimalisation this was 25 pence), but in 1990 was redenominated to £5. Although still legal tender, these days it is effectively a commemorative coin minted in Cupronickel, Silver or Gold. See Crowns section.
A term used from about 1526 for 22 carat gold.
(or Cupronickel). Alloy of Copper and Nickel widely used in modern coins. Cupronickel (usually 75% copper, 25% nickel) became the popular choice to replace silver from 1947. Cupronickel is shiny like silver and highly resistant to corrosion in seawater.
Basically money, a medium for exchange of goods or services. The system of money used in a country, like the pound in the UK, or dollar in USA.
(and Cut Farthing). A coin physically cut into halves or quarters. Many hammered pennies where marked with a cross (or voided cross) so as the coin could be cut more accurately.
Numismatics is the study of coin collecting and it also has its own language with many words and terms. Our Glossary of Numismatic Terms give the explanation to some of these coin collecting words. To contribute terms please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.