Coin Collecting A to Z

Coin Collecting Terms - Letter H

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Hair - The area of a coin that represents hair and may be an important aspect of the grade.

Hairlines - Thin, shallow scratches on the surface of a coin, usually caused by improper cleaning, or mishandling.

Half - Synonym for half-dollar.

Half cent - The lowest-value coin denomination ever issued by the US Mint, representing 1/200th of a dollar. Half cents were struck from 1793 until 1857.

Half dime - A U.S. coin with a face value of 5 cents issued with dates between 1794 and 1873; originally called a half disme

Half disme - The original spelling of half dime. The first United States regular issue was the 1792 half disme.

Half Dollar - The 50 cent denomination first struck in 1794 that is still issued today.

Half eagle - U.S. 5 dollar gold coin minted from 1795 through 1929.

Hallmark - Maker's identification mark, comparable to a signature found on pewter, silver and gold utensils and jewelry. Occasionally found as counter-marks on coins.

Hammer die - The upper die that is non-stationary. While usually the obverse, on some issues with striking problems, the reverse was employed as the hammer die.

Hammer Price - The amount an item sells for at auction, before any buyer's premium is added.

Hard Times Tokens - Tokens issued during the years 1832 to 1844 to fill the need for small denomination coins, created because of hoarding during economic collapse. Between 10 and 20 million Hard Times Tokens were struck with various political and commercial designs.

Haze - A cloudy film seen on business-strike coins and Proofs. It may occur naturally or be added.

Helvetia - Gold bullion coins issued by Switzerland; also, the allegorical figure representing Switzerland. From the name given to the area by the Romans.

Heraldic Eagle - Also called the large eagle, this emblem of Liberty got its name because of its resemblance to the eagles of heraldry.

High end - A term applied to any coin at the upper end of a particular grade.

High points - The areas of highest relief in a coin design. Usually the first to show evidence of wear or abrasion. May be incomplete due to a "soft" strike.

High Relief - A coin with deep concave fields, due to its design. High relief coins required extra pressure to be fully struck, and were difficult to stack. Some examples are the 1921 Peace dollar and the 1907 Roman Numerals double eagle.

Hits - Refers to the ticks and other distracting marks caused by contact with other coins in a mint bag.

Hoard - Usually a deposit of coins, secreted at some time in the past, discovered accidentally.

Hoard coin - A coin that exists, or existed, in a quantity held by an individual, organization, etc. Examples include Stone Mountain half dollars still held by the Daughters of the Confederacy.

Hoarder - An individual who amasses a great quantity of a numismatic item.

Hobo nickel - An Indian Head (Buffalo) nickel which has been engraved with the portrait of a hobo or other character, often by a hobo. These are popular with some collectors and some are so distinctive that they have been attributed to particular “hoboes.”

Holder - Any device designed for storage and sometimes display of numismatic items.

Holder toning - Any toning acquired by a coin as a result of storage in a holder.

Holed - Having a hole drilled or punched through it, often so that it may be used for jewelry.

Hologram - A three-dimensional image on a flat surface, gaining experimental use as a security device on credit cards and printed currency, also seen on some certified coin holders.

Hub - Minting term for the steel device that is used to produce a die.

Hubbing - The process of producing dies from a hub. Dies have an incuse or depressed image, while hubs have a positive or raised image.

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