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Gold Terminology (Glossary)


Investing in gold gets less complicated once you understand some of the gold terms and terminology used by those in the precious metals industry. This page is dedicated to providing you with definitions of the more commonly used terms. I will be adding to it regularly so stop back again to see what other additions have been made.

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ANA (American Numismatic Association): the largest numismatic organization for coin collectors and those interested in learning more about money and its history

ANACS (American Numismatic Association Certification Service): the ANA service that authenticates and certifies coins

AU (About Uncirculated): a coin that shows only a small amount of wear on the high area(s) of the coin's design

avoirdupois weight system: the common weight system used in the U.S. based on a pound of 16 ounces and an ounce of 16 drams or 437.5 grains

bullion coin: a coin whose value is based on the intrinsic value of the precious metal it contains

commemorative coin: a coin produced to recognize/celebrate a person or event

die: the metal mold that is used to produce (strike) a coin

Double Eagle: a U.S. $20 dollar gold coin

hallmark: the mark or imprint on a precious metal bar (or ingot) signifying the purity and maker of the piece

Mint State: used to describe a coin that has never been circulated and has no wear marks. Mint states run from 60 through 70.

obverse: the front of a coin, also referred to as the "heads" side

NGC: Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, a leading coin grading service

PCGS: Professional Coin Grading Service, one of the premier companies which grades and certifies coins

planchet: the blank (or coin disk) on which the die imprints a coin's design

troy weight system: the system used to weigh gold and silver based on 12 ounces to a pound and 20 pennyweights or 480 grains to an ounce






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