Coin terms

There are lots of terms that coin collectors use, that can sometimes be a bit tricky to understand. To learn what they all mean, take a look at the list below.

Brilliant uncirculated: These are coins made from non-precious metals, produced with a completely shiny surface.

Coin: A flat metal disc of standardised weight and stamped with a standard design. Issued by a government as money.

Commemorative: A special coin or medal issued to honour an outstanding person, place, or event.

Denomination: The monetary value of a coin.

Die: A steel rod engraved with the device, lettering and date used to stamp the design of a coin.

Legal tender: Coins, paper money, or other currency issued by a government and used as money. The legal tender value of a coin is the value placed on it by the government, and may be different to the collector value.

Milled edge: Coin production process that produces the edge of the coin.

Mint: Place where coins are produced (manufactured).

Mintage: The number of coins of a particular date and design struck at a given Mint during a particular year.

Numismatics: The study of money be it coins, paper money, tokens or inscribed bars.

Obverse: The obverse side of a New Zealand coin has the Queen’s effigy and the year date.

Proof quality: This is the highest quality coin available, produced with a frosted finish and mirrored background. Proof coins are very detailed and are struck from precious metals - 24 carat gold and fine silver.

Relief: The part of the design that is raised from the surface of the coin.

Reverse: The opposite side of the coin to obverse.

Strike: The stamping of a design onto a coin.

Uncirculated: A new condition coin that has not been in everyday use.