Coin Terminology and Glossary

The Coin Collecting Dictionary includes 546 titles used widely in the coin collectors community, and has received over 769269 search inquires.

Selected title: Proof
Explanation: Distinct with an almost mirror-like surface, proof coins are made from carefully selected coin blanks that have been highly polished and a high-quality die. This achieves perfect strikes with even impressions and distinct designs. Not all proofs are the same. The most common understanding of proof is that the flat background parts of the coin have a highly polished mirror finish, and the raised parts of the design have a matt finish, giving a higher level of contrast between the two. This is achieved by sand-blasting the die, the hardened steel punch with which the blank coins are struck, to give a matt finish, followed by giving the raised parts of the die a highly polished surface, usually by polishing them with diamond powder. The coin blanks themselves are usually produced to a higher quality of finish before striking. Proof coins are usually double struck at lower striking speeds, to give a higher and sharper definition. They are usually produced on a special machine, and may be hand, rather than mechanically fed into and extracted from the coining press. They are usually individually inspected, and packaged. A proof coin should provide an excellent specimen, and its quality should approach perfection. Some proof coins are made with an all matt finish, as for example the 1902 Edward VII Coronation proof coins, while others are produced as 'reverse proofs', i.e. with the raised parts polished and the background matt.

Most popular coin titles

Specimen Proof (SP-70 or PF-70) 44002  13.38%
Silver Clad 28967  8.81%
Coin Silver 21025  6.39%
Slabbed Coins 19567  5.95%
BN 19134  5.82%
Encapsulated Coin 18466  5.62%
RB 17777  5.41%
Deep Cameo (DC or DCAM) 14546  4.42%
PF (PF60, PF70) 14446  4.39%
Reeded Edge 13895  4.23%
Ultra Cameo (UCAM) 13634  4.15%
PQ 12678  3.86%
MS (MS60-MS70) 12400  3.77%
PR (PR60, PR70) 12260  3.73%
Rarity 11541  3.51%
Incuse 11474  3.49%
High Relief 11473  3.49%
Coin drop 10865  3.30%
Obverse or Face side 10725  3.26%
Reverse Cameo 9928  3.02%