Coin collecting is the collecting or trading of coins or other forms of minted legal tender. Coins of interest to collectors often include those that circulated for only a brief time, coins with mint errors and especially beautiful or historically significant pieces. Coin collecting can be differentiated from numismatics in that the latter is the systematic study of currency. Though closely related, the two disciplines are not necessarily the same.
Coins are made from one or more coinage metals. Many coinage metals are from Group 11 of the Periodic table, however there are some exceptions. Precious metals are used in bullion coins and some collectable coins. Coins not intended for circulation or for intrinsic value, have also been made experimentally using an even larger variety of metals, in technical and artistic experiments.
A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, it is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily and above all has the mark of the authority that produces it. Coins are usually metal or a metallic material and sometimes made of synthetic materials, usually in the shape of a disc, and most often issued by a government.
Cupronickel or copper-nickel (sometimes incorrectly referred to as "cupernickel") is an alloy of copper that contains nickel and strengthening elements, such as iron and manganese. Cupronickel is highly resistant to corrosion in seawater, because its electrode potential is adjusted to be neutral with regard to seawater.
Piggy bank (sometimes penny bank or money box) is the traditional name of a coin accumulation and storage receptacle; it is most often, but not exclusively, used by children. The piggy bank is known to collectors as a "still bank" as opposed to the "mechanical banks" popular in the early 20th century. These items are also often used by corporations for promotional purposes. Their shape is most often that of a little pig.
Nordic gold is the alloy from which the middle three denominations of euro coins, 50 cent, 20 cent, and 10 cent coins are made. It has also been in use for a number of years in other countries, most notably in the Swedish 10-krona coin . Its composition is 89% copper, 5% aluminium, 5% zinc, and 1% tin. It contains no gold — this is unlikely to cause many misleading trade descriptions since its colour and weight are quite unlike real gold.
A picayune was a Spanish coin, worth half a real. Its name derives from the French picaillon, which is itself from the Provençal picaioun, meaning "small coin. " By extension, can mean "trivial" or "of little value. " Aside from being used in Spanish territories, the picayune and other Spanish currency was used throughout colonial America. Spanish dollars were made legal tender in the United States by an act on February 9, 1793 until it was demonetized on February 21, 1857.
Mint-made errors are errors in a coin made by the mint during the minting process. They are almost always accidental and in modern minting are usually very rare, making them valuable to numismatists. Minting errors are far more common in older coinage, understandably. Authentic error coins must not be confused with coins that have incurred damage after being minted.
The history of coins extends from ancient times to the present, and is related to economic history, the history of minting technologies, the history shown by the images on coins, and the history of coin collecting. Coins are still widely used for monetary and other purposes. All western histories of coins begin with their invention at some time slightly before or after 700 B.C. in Aegina Island, or according others in Ephesus Lydia 650 B.C. .
Regular issue coinage is a term that distinguishes coins created for commerce from commemorative coins. Regular issue coins are normally produced in relatively large numbers, and are primarily meant to be used as pocket change, not collected. Business Strike is the technical term for regular issue coinage. Even though special collector coins, such as proof coinage, are produced in smaller numbers, the regular issue coins are sometimes more valuable in high grade than their proof counterparts.
Proof coinage means special early samples of a coin issue, historically made for checking the dies and for archival purposes, but nowadays often struck in greater numbers specially for coin collectors. Many countries now issue them.
Coin flipping or coin tossing is the practice of throwing a coin in the air to resolve a dispute between two parties or otherwise choose between two alternatives. It is a form of sortition that by nature typically has only two possible outcomes.
An assay is a procedure in molecular biology for testing and/or measuring the activity of a drug or biochemical in an organism or organic sample. A quantitative assay may also measure the amount of a substance in a sample. Bioassays and immunoassays are among the many varieties of specialized biochemical assays. Other assays measure processes such as enzyme activity, antigen capture, stem cell activity, and competitive protein binding.
The Pfennig (abbreviation Pf) is an old German coin or note, which existed from the 9th century until the introduction of the euro in 2002. While a valuable coin during the Middle Ages, it lost its value through the years and was the minor coin of the Mark in the German Reich, the former Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany), and after the German reunification in Germany until introduction of the euro.
The Maine penny, also referred to as the Goddard coin, is a Norwegian silver penny dating to the reign of Olaf Kyrre (1067–1093 AD). The Maine State Museum describes it as "the only pre-Columbian Norse artifact generally regarded as genuine found within the United States".
The batzen was a coin produced by Bern, Switzerland from the 15th century until the mid-19th century. The batzen is named for the bear (Batz, Bätz or Petz meaning bear) depicted on the batzen of Bern. Other Swiss cantons and southern German states soon followed Bern's example, producing their own batzen. The batzen was originally a silver coin, but by the 17th century it was struck in billon. In Bern's monetary system, the batzen was worth four kreuzer.
In coin collecting, brockage refers to a type of error coin in which one side of the coin has both the normal image and a mirror image of the opposite side impressed upon it. Brockage errors are caused when an already minted coin sticks to the coin die and impresses onto another coin.
Assay offices are institutions set up to assay (test the purity of) precious metal items, to protect consumers. Upon successful completion of the assay, (i.e. the metallurgical content is found to be equal or better than that claimed by the maker and it otherwise conforms to the prevailing law) the assay offices typically stamp a hallmark, punze (G. ) or poinçon (F. ) on the precious metal item to certify its metallurgical content.
Doubled die is a term in numismatics used to refer to doubling in the design elements of a coin. Doubled dies can appear as an outline of the design or in extreme cases, having legends and dates appear twice in an overlapping fashion. Doubled die error coins can fetch significant prices when they are noticeable to the naked eye or occur in a popular coin series. One example of this is the 1955 doubled die Lincoln Wheat cent.