The Terms Used to Define the Varoius Parts Of a Coin

The front or face of a coin is called the Obverse.

The principal object represented on a coin in called the Type.

The space between the type and the circumference is called the Field.

The lower portion of the area of a coin beneath the type, and separated from the rest of the field by a horizontal line, is called the Exergue.

Small objects represented either in the field or exergue as adjuncts to the main type are called Symbols.

Portions of a coin which are sunk below the level of the surface are said to be Incuse.

The hair of Liberty Head, when tied with a band, is called Fillet Head.

When the hair of Liberty Head is unconfined, it is termed the Flowing Hair.

The inscription on a coin is generally called the Legend.

When coins have inscriptions around the edge, they are called Letter Edge.

The Milled Edge refers to coins with edge like the U. S. silver coins of the present day.

Mint Marks are the small letters on coins denoting the place of mintage. The mint marks are found on the Reverse side of the coin. Coins made at the Philadelphia mint have no mint mark. For a complete list of the mints and the mint-marked coins, see “The U. S. Mint and Its Branches” in another part of this book.


“In God We Trust”

Since the 1907 issue of $10.00 and $20.00 gold pieces appeared many are of the belief that all U. S. coinswithout the motto command a premium. This is not true. The motto was not placed on coinstill 1864: the two-cent piece being the first coin bearing the motto. So, of course, all U. S.coins prior to 1864 are without the motto.

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