Coin Collecting A to Z
Coin Collecting Terms - Letter
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- Abbreviation for Fine.
Fab Five - The last five issues in the $20 Saint Gaudens series (1929, 1930-S, 1931, 1931-D & 1932) which are all extremely scarce and valuable.
Face - The front of a currency note, generally the side with signatures; same as the obverse of a coin.
Face Value - Exchange value defined by some inscription on a coin. For example, the "face value" of a Standing Liberty Quarter is twenty-five cents. Could also refer to the nominal value based on a weight standard.
Fair - The grade FR-2.
Fake - A counterfeit or altered coin.
Fantasy - An object having the physical characteristics of a coin, issued by an agency other than a governing authority yet purporting to be issued by a real or imaginary governing authority as a coin.
Fantasy piece - A term applied to coins struck at the whim of Mint officials. Examples include the various 1865 Motto and 1866 No Motto coins.
Farthing - Coin passing as a 1/4 penny (1/48 shilling). Farthings stopped circulating in the American colonies after the American Revolution.
Fasces - Term referring to the motif on the reverse of Mercury dimes. The design consists of a bundle of rods banded or wrapped around an ax head with a protruding blade. The designation “full bands” refers to fasces on which there is complete separation in the central bands across the rods.
Fat head - Term used for the small size Capped Bust Quarters and Half Eagles.
FB - Acronym for Full Bands. Refers to fully separated and distinct cross bands on the reverse devices of a Mercury dime.
FBL - Acronym for Full Bell Lines. Refers to the lower horizontal lines on the Liberty Bell of the Franklin half-dollars.
Federal Reserve Banknote - A form of U.S. paper money authorized by the Federal Reserve Acts of Dec. 23, 1913, and April 23, 1918, and by the Act of March 9, 1933. The obligation to pay was by the individual issuing bank, not the federal government or other Federal Reserve Banks. The 1933 notes were an emergency issue to alleviate a shortage of paper money. Not to be confused with Federal Reserve notes.
Feuchtwanger - Early-mid 1800's private coiner, Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger, introduced and tried to convince Congress to adopt an alloy he discovered called "German silver" which was essentially a white alloy of copper, nickel, zinc, tin and antimony to replace our nation's silver coinage.
FH / Full Head - A grading designation given to Standing Liberty Quarters as an indication of strength of strike. If Miss Liberty's full hairline, ear hole and the leaves on her laurel-like headband are visible, the coin is declared a Full Head, and worth a substantial premium over specimens of average strike.
Fiat currency - Coins or paper money that do not have precious metal value or are not backed by gold or silver.
FIDO - Old numismatic term for a mint error. Specifically, it is an acronym for Freaks, Imperfections, Defects & Oddities.
Field - The area of a coin in between the devices and/or lettering. The flat, open areas.
Fillet Head - The head of Liberty on U.S. coins with her hair tied with a band, generally on the forehead.
Fine - Term for the grades F-12 and F-15.
Fineness - The purity of a precious metal coin, usually expressed as a percentage one thousand parts. For example, the Standing Liberty Quarter is .900 Fine = 90% silver.
Finest known - The best-known condition example of a particular numismatic item.
First shot - Term for the opportunity to buy a numismatic item before it is offered to others.
First strike - A coin struck early in the life of a die. First strikes can be characterized by striated or mirror-like fields if the die was polished. First strikes are almost always fully or well struck, with crisp detail.
Fish scale - A 3 cent silver U.S. coin sometimes referred to as a trime.
Five Indian - Term for the Indian Head half eagles struck from 1908 to 1929.
Five Lib - Term for the Liberty Head half eagles struck from 1839 until 1908.
Fixed-price list - A price list or catalog of coins, exonumia, paper money or other numismatic items offered at set prices.
Flan - A blank piece of metal in the size and shape of a coin. Also called planchet.
Flash - Usually Refers to a coin's luster and eye-appeal.
Flat edge - Term referring to the particular specimens of High Reliefs that do not have a wire edge.
Flat luster - A subdued type of gray or dull luster often seen on coins struck from worn dies.
Flip - Refers to the clear, soft plastic holder most raw coins are stored in.
Flip rub - Discoloration, often only slight, on the highest points of a coin caused by contact with a flip.
Flow lines - Microscopic lines, sometimes visible, resulting from the metal flowing outward from the center of a planchet as it is struck. Cartwheel luster is the result of light reflecting from flow lines.
Flowing Hair - The design of Miss Liberty with long, flowing hair that is attributed to Mint engraver Robert Scot. The first coins made by the US Mint had this design.
Flying Eagle Cent - The small cent, struck in 88% copper and 12% nickel, that replaced the large cent.
Flyspecks - Minute oxidation spots on a coin, often caused by small droplets of spittle from talking over the coin.
Focal area - The area of a coin to which a viewer’s eye is drawn. Liberty’s cheek is the focal point of the Morgan Dollar.
Follis - A Roman and Byzantine coin denomination; plural is folli.
Foreign - A numismatic item not from the United States.
Forgery - Fraudulent imitation of a US coin or currency aimed at collector or dealers.
Four-dollar gold piece - An experimental issue, also known as a Stella, struck in 1879-1880 as a pattern coin.
FR - Acronym for Fair.
Fractional Coin - 1) Small Spanish silver coins reckoned in halves, quarters, eighths and sixteenths of a dollar which were legal tender in the United States until 1857. 2) Federal coins of denominations between 1/2c and 50c. 3) Refers to the tiny California private gold coins minted in the 1870's. 4) Also refers to Modern Bullion coins of less that 1oz.
Fractional currency - Usually refers to the United States paper money issued from 1862 to 1876 in denominations from 3 to 50 cents.
Franklin half-dollar - The half-dollar struck from 1948 until 1963 designed by John Sinnock. The coin featured Ben Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse.
Fresh - Refers to an item or items which hasn't been on the market for a very long time, if ever. Fresh coins tend to be worth more because they haven't been picked over yet.
Friction - A disturbance which appears either on the high-points of a coin or in the fields, as a result of that coin rubbing against other objects. A coin is said to have friction when only the luster is disturbed, and no actual wear of the metal is visible to the naked eye.
Frost - Effect caused by striking a coin with sandblasted dies, often used in reference to Proof coins.
Frosted devices - Raised elements on coins struck with treated dies to impart a crystallized appearance.
FS - Acronym for Full Steps. Refers to the steps of Monticello on the reverse of the Jefferson nickel (1938-Present). Six steps should be visible if the coin is fully struck.
Fugio cents - 1787 one-cent coins that are considered by some to be the first regular issue U. S. coin. Since they were authorized by the Continental Congress, this would seem to be a logical assumption. However, Congress did not pass the Mint Act until 1792, so an argument for the half dismes (half-dimes) of 1792 as the first regular issue is also valid.
Full Bands - Abbreviated as FB, this term is applied to Mercury (Winged Liberty Head) dimes when the central band is fully separated.
Full Bell Lines - Abbreviated as FBL, this term is applied to Franklin half-dollars when the lower sets of bell lines are complete.
Full Head - Abbreviated as FH, this term is applied to Standing Liberty quarters when the helmet of the head has full detail.
Full Steps - Term applied to a Jefferson five-cent piece when 5½ or 6 steps of Monticello are present.
Full strike - A numismatic item that has full detail. The metal flows into all areas of the die.
FUN Show - Florida United Numismatists. Each January, this organization sponsors one of the industry's largest coin Shows in Orlando, Florida.
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