Coin Collecting A to Z

Coin Collecting Terms - Letter D

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D - Mintmark used to identify coins struck at the Dahlonega, Georgia branch Mint from 1838 through 1861 or the Denver, Colorado Mint from 1906 forward.

Dahlonega - The branch Mint located in Dahlonega, Georgia that struck gold coins from 1838 until 1861 when it was seized by the Confederacy.

Damage - Physical change to a numismatic item, such as a nick, scratch, ding, cleaning, hole or pitting.

Date - The year(s) shown on banknotes, coins, or other numismatic items that denotes the time of introduction or issue.

Date Back - A Date Back note is a Second Charter, Second Issue national bank note. Refers to the dates 1902-1908 found on the back.

Date Set - A single example of each coin minted in a particular coin series, without regard to mintmark.

DCAM - Abbreviation used for Deep Cameo.

Dealer - A person or company that regularly buys and sells numismatic collectibles.

Debase - To become less valuable.

Debased - Refers to an underweight coin or coins whose precious metal content is inferior to legal standards, or just less than face value of the coin.

Deep Cameo - Term applied to coins, usually Proofs and prooflike coins that have deeply frosted devices and lettering that contrast with the mirror fields.

Deep mirror proof like - Any coin that has deeply reflective mirror-like fields. This is a general term, However, it is especially applicable for Morgan dollars.

Delamination - Metal missing or retained but peeling from the surface of a coin due to incomplete bonding or impurities in the planchet.

Demand note - Demand notes, authorized in 1861, were the first paper money issued by the United States federal government for circulation. These notes were nicknamed the "greenback" because of the green ink used on the reverse of the note.

Demonetized - Declared not to be legal tender or removed from circulation (i.e. Trade dollars).

Denarius - The standard Roman silver coin weighing about 3 grams, roughly the same size as a U.S. dime but thicker.

Denomination - The value assigned by a government to a specific coin or paper note.

Denticles - The tooth-like ornamental projections which make up the inner rim on some coins. They were discontinued on most U.S. coins in the early twentieth century.

Dentils - Another term for denticles.

Design - The motif of a coin or other numismatic item. Seated Liberty coins and Mercury dimes are examples of designs.

Design type - A specific motif such as Draped Bust placed upon coinage, which may be used for several denominations and subtypes.

Designer - The artist who creates a coin's design.

Device - The major design element, such as the bust of a person.

Device punch - A steel rod with a raised device on the end used to punch the element into a working die. This technique was used before hubbed dies were used as a standard.

Die - A usually cylindrical piece of steel bearing at one end the incuse design of one side of a coin.

Die alignment - Term to indicate the relative position of the obverse and reverse dies.

Die breaks - Raised irregular areas on a coin, the result of metal from the planchet being forced through a portion of the die which has broken and fallen out during the minting process.

Die chip - A small fragment broken off from a coinage die; metal flowing into the resulting hole during striking results in a small raised lump on the surface of the coin.

Die clash - Upper and lower dies coming together in a coin press without a planchet between them; design details may be partially impressed in the opposite dies and subsequently as mirror images on coins struck from the clashed dies.

Die cracks - Raised lines, which appear on a coin as a result of that coin having been struck by a cracked die.

Die Defect - An imperfection on a coin caused by a damaged die.

Die erosion - Wear on a die caused by use in the minting process.

Die line - Raised lines, which appear on a coin as a result of polish lines on the die.

Die Polishing - An area of raised lines or highly reflective area of a coin, most often in the fields, that resulted from striking from dies that had been recently polished by the coiner.

Die rust - Pitting or roughness appearing on a coin as a result of that coin having been struck by a rusted die.

Die scratch - Raised line on the surface of a coin, caused by a scratch in the coinage die.

Die state - A readily identified point in the life of a coinage die. Dies go through a lifecycle – clashing, being polished, cracking, breaking, etc. These are called die states. Some die varieties have gone through barely distinguishable die states, while others display multiple distinctive ones.

Die striations - Raised lines on coins that were struck with polished dies.

Die trial - The test striking of a particular die in a different metal such as copper of aluminum.

Die Variety - Any minor difference in the basic design of a coin.

Die wear - The loss of detail on a coin due to wear on the die used to strike it.

Dime - The denomination, ten cents, issued since 1796 by the United States.

Ding - Slang for a small to medium sized mark on a coin.

Dipped - A coin which has been cleaned in a soap solution such as Jewel Luster. The practice of dipping coins is not advisable, except by experts, and then only on rare occasions.

Dipping - Refers to the use of a coin cleaning liquid to remove tarnish, natural toning or dirt from a coin.

Dipping solution - Any of the commercial coin cleaners or “dips” on the market, most are usually acid-based.

Disme - In the Mint Act of 1792, this was the official name given to the federal coin denomination of ten-cents. It was later to be known as a dime.

DMPL - Abbreviation for Deep Mirror Prooflike. Mostly used when describing Morgan Silver Dollars.

Doctored - Typically considered a derogatory term. A doctored coin has been enhanced by chemical or other means.

Dollar - A denomination consisting of one hundred cents authorized by the Mint Act of 1792.

Double denomination - A rare error in which a previously struck coin is restruck by the die pair of another denomination.

Double Die - A die which was impressed twice from the hub with a major or minor off-centering of the second impression. When this doubled die is used and area or the entire devices of one side of the coin appears doubled.

Double eagle - A U.S. gold coin with a face value of $20, first minted in 1849 and last minted in 1933.

Double Struck - Said of any coin which has received two impressions from the working dies in accidentally imperfect alignment.

Doubled die - A die with doubled device details, letters and/or numerals resulting from any of several possible differences between the multiple hub impressions during its manufacture; a coin struck from such a die.

Double struck - A condition that results when a coin is not ejected from a die and is struck a second time.

Doubloon - A Spanish-American gold coin originally valued at $16.00; also a popular slang name given to Spanish gold 8 escudo pieces of the Conquistador era, often associated with pirate treasure.

Drachm - (Pronounced dram) An ancient Greek silver coin, plural drachms. Drachma (Pronounced drahk - muh") is the modern Greek denomination, plural drachmas.

Drachma - The standard Greek monetary unit. A small silver coin approximately equal to the Roman denarius.

Draped Bust - The design of Miss Liberty with a drape across her bust. This is attributed to Mint engraver Robert Scot, who presumably copied the design after a portrait by Gilbert Stuart.

Drift mark - An area on a coin, often rather long, that appears streaky or discolored. This is the result of impurities or foreign matter in the dies.

Ducat - A popular gold coin used by several European countries. Originally, an Italian coin of the twelfth century.

Dull - Term for a numismatic item that lacks luster. Dulling may be the result of natural or artificial conditions such as dipping a coin.

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