Coin Collecting A to Z

Coin Collecting Terms - Letter P

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P - Mintmark used to denote the Philadelphia mint that was established in 1792.

Panama-Pacific Exhibition - A 1915 exhibition held in San Francisco, California to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal.

Pandas - Bullion coins issued by the government of the People's Republic of China beginning in 1983.

Pan-Pac - Short for the Panama-Pacific Exposition Gold & Silver Commemorative coins which were all produced at the San Francisco Mint in 1915.

Pan-Pac slug - Synonym for the round or octagonal 1915-dated Panama-Pacific fifty-dollar commemorative coins.

Paper money - Paper notes with standardized characteristics issued as money.

Paquet - A name best known to numismatists from the reverse he designed that appears on a rare variety of the 1861 and 1861-S Double Eagles. Anthony C. Paquet, Assistant Engraver at the Mint (about 1858-1860) used a slimmer and taller letter style than his contemporaries.

Paranumismatica - British term for exonumia.

Patina - A thin layer of naturally oxidized metal on the surface of a coin acquired with age.

Pattern - Refers to a proposed coin design which was never adopted. Patterns often come in other than the proposed metals.

PCGS - Acronym for Professional Coin Grading Service, a leading third-party coin grading service located in Newport Beach, California.

PCGS Population Report - Monthly publication by PCGS listing the number of coins graded and their grade.

Peace Dollar - Common name given to US silver dollars minted 1921-1935 due to the inscription on the reverse of the coin.

Pedigree - Although "provenance" is the more correct terminology, pedigree is used to describe previous ownership of a certain coin.

Penny - Synonym for a one-cent U.S. coin.

Peripheral toning - Coloring - which may be light, medium, or dark - around the edge of a coin.

Philadelphia - The primary U.S. Mint located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was first established in 1792.

Pick-up-point - An area where a feature, such as die doubling, is most evident.

Piefort - A piece struck on a planchet twice or more the normal thickness. The French spelling used in Europe is piedfort.

Pioneer gold - Privately issued gold coins struck prior to 1861. The term is generally associated with the private issues from California and the other post-1848 ore finds in Nevada, Oregon, and Colorado.

Pitted - Refers to the depressed surfaces of a damaged coin caused by various forms of abuse such as being buried in the ground for many years.

PL - Abbreviation for prooflike.

Plain edge - A smooth, flat edge seen mainly on a small-denomination coinage.

Planchet - The blank piece of metal on which a coin design is stamped. Also called a blank or a flan.

Planchet striations - Fine, incuse lines found on some Proof coins believed to be caused by polishing of the blanks prior to striking.

Plated - A coin with a thin layer of metal applied. For example, gold-plated copper strikings of certain U.S. pattern coins.

Platinum - A precious metal sometimes used for coinage. The only United States issues struck in platinum are the pattern half dollars of 1814 and modern platinum Eagles.

Plug - To fill in a hole on a coin with metal. Occasionally, one will come across a coin which had a hole drilled in it to wear it on a chain. Some will try to repair the coin by "plugging" the hole.

Plugged - Term used to describe a coin that has had a hole filled, often so expertly that it can be discerned only under magnification.

P-Mint - Synonym for the U.S. Mint located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

PNC - Abbreviation of philatelic-numismatic combination (or cover). A combination of a coin, medal, token or other numismatic item inserted into an envelope that is postmarked on a special occasion, such as the release of a new postage stamp. The numismatic item is generally visible through a window in the envelope.

PNG - Professional Numismatists Guild, an organization of Numismatic dealers founded in 1955.

PNG certificate - A document completed by a PNG dealer that provided a guarantee of authenticity prior to third-party grading services.

PO - Abbreviation for Poor.

POA - Acronym for Price On Application.

Polished die - A die that has been basined to remove clash marks or other die injury. Dies used to strike Proof coins were polished to impart mirrorlike surfaces.

Pollock - Pollock or P numbers refer to a recent and comprehensive revision of Judd's major work on pattern and experimental coinage. Numbers are assigned in the book United States Patterns and related issues by Andrew W. Pollock III.

Poly Bag / Polyethylene - A soft plastic used to make flips and small bags to hold raw coins. The bags are used to protect coins sent for certification in firmer PVC holders.

PVC / Polyvinyl chloride - A somewhat active chemical found in some types of plastic coin flips. Polyvinyl Chloride will cause some coins to tone or turn green over time. Permanent damage can be done with the long time use of PVC flips.

Poor - Synonym for the grade PO-1.

Pop / Population - Refers to the number of coins certified in a given grade by one or more of the major grading services.

Pop Report - Synonym for a report issued by NGC or PCGS, which summarizes the coins certified to date.

POR - Acronym for Price On Request.

Porous - Having a granular surface as the result of oxidation.

Postal note - Forerunner of the postal money order, issued by the U.S. Post Office.

PQ - Acronym for premium quality. Term given to coins which may be on the high-end of a certain grade.

PR - Abbreviation for Proof. Term given to coins produced on specially polished planchets. These coins have mirrorlike fields and frosted devices.

Precious Metal - Gold, Silver & Platinum. As opposed to a base metal such as copper or nickel.

Premium quality - A term which describes the very finest coins that fall into any given grade, or that have some claims to a higher grade.

Presentation striking - A coin, often a Proof or an exceptionally sharp business strike, specially struck and given to a dignitary or other person.

Press - Any coining machine.

Prestige Proof set - A special U.S. Proof set, commemorating regular Proof coins plus commemorative coins of that year. Offered from the US Mint first in 1983.

Price guide - Refering to a coin price guide or a periodical listing prices for numismatic items. The guide might differentiate between buy and sell (Bid/Ask), as well as wholesale or retail prices.

Price list - Synonym for fixed price list.

Pristine - Term describing coins in original, unimpaired condition. Pristine coins are typically graded MS/PR-67 and higher.

Private Mint / Issue - Any "coin" that is issued by a private mint - without the ratification by any government. Some have serial numbers or certain limited editions. Nearly all are made for collectors but have no real numismatic value.

Private Treaty Sale - A sale of an individual coin or a collection arranged between two parties by representative agents. The terms, including price and parties involved, are not disclosed. Sales of this type are used in the trade of classic rarities and to protect the identity of a collector.

Privy mark - Small device used on coinage often commemorative in nature, similar to Mint mark in placement, but not indicative of Mint of origin.

Problem coin - Any coin that has been cleaned, damaged or has other undesirable traits.

Proof - The term Proof denotes a method of manufacture, not a grade. Proof coins are made with special care, exclusively for collectors or investors and not struck for general circulation.

Proof dies - Dies which are prepared and used exclusively to produce proof coins. Often, the fields of proof dies are highly polished to impart a mirrorlike finish, and the recessed areas are left unfinished to create frosted devices.

Proof set - A specially packaged group of coins containing at least one of most or all of the denominations of proof coins struck by a nation in a particular year.

Prooflike - An exceptional production coin, struck from brilliantly polished dies on a blank which may or may not also have been polished before striking.

Proof-only issue - A coin struck only as a Proof, with no business-strike counterpart.

Provenance - Synonym for pedigree.

Punch - A steel rod with a device, a date, lettering, and other symbols on the end which was hammered into a working die.

Put-together roll - An “original roll” that has had the best coins removed and substituted with lesser quality coins.

PVC - An acronym for polyvinylchloride, a chemical which is found in many flips. If a coin is kept in such a holder for a long period of time, PVC will produce a residue which will turns a coin's surfaces green.

PVC damage - A film, often green, left on a coin after storage in flips that contain PVC. During the early stage, this film may be clear and sticky.

PVC flip - Synonym for a coin flip that contains PVC.

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