Coin Collecting A to Z

Coin Collecting Terms - Letter W

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Walker - Short for the Walking Liberty Half-Dollars minted in the United States from 1916-1947.

Wampum - Short for Wanpanpiag. Native American money, strings of handmade shell beads which derive their value from the time required to make them. Wampum was actually considered legal tender in the Massachusetts Bay colony after 1627.

Want List - Term used in reference to a list of coins that a particular collector, investor or dealer wishes to acquire.

War nickel - Synonym for Wartime nickel.

War Nickels - Refers to Jefferson nickels minted between 1942-1945. During this time. The US Mint changed the metal content of our five-cent pieces to a silver and manganese alloy.

Wartime Silver - Coinage metal for 5¢ pieces, October 1942 to December 1945, consisting of 35% silver, 56% copper, 9% manganese.

Washington quarter dollar - Quarter dollar first struck in 1932, as a circulating commemorative coin to celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Washington. It was designed by Laura Gardner Frazier and was a continuing series from 1934 through 1998, with a special Bicentennial reverse in 1976.

Watermark - Design formed by differing thickness of paper during production; often used as security device in paper money.

Watery look - Term for the wavy finish seen on the surfaces of most close-collar Proof coins.

Weak strike - Refers to a coin that does not show its intended detail because of low striking pressure or improperly aligned dies.

Wear - Visible erosion of metal, usually beginning from the highest points of a coins. Eventually, lettering, details, or entire devices are obliterated. Wear should not be confused with a weak strike. It is possible for a worn coin to have more detail than a weakly struck mint state coin.

Wheel Mark - A small circular scratch on the surface of a coin caused by a coin counting machine.

Whizzed - An artificial process whereby the surface of a coin is buffed to give it the appearance of having natural cartwheel luster.

Whizzing - The severe polishing of a coin in an attempt to improve its appearance and salability to the uninformed. A form of alteration regarded as misleading by the numismatic community, and which actually lowers the value of the coin.

Widow's mite - An ancient Jewish lepton denomination coin of the time of Christ.

Wire edge - An effect whereby a thin, wire-like section of the rim of a coin is raised above the rest of the rim along the outside. This effect is typically caused by very high striking pressure, and tends to occur mostly on proof and high relief strikings.

Wire Edge eagle - The 1907 Indian Head eagle gold coins, of which only 500 were struck. Technically a pattern, this design featured a fine wire rim and surfaces that were both satiny and striated. An unknowledgeable numismatist will look at one of these specimens and consider it hairlined or harshly cleaned.

Wire Edge Ten - Synonym for the 1907-dated Wire Edge Indian Head eagle.

Wire rim - Synonym for wire edge.

With arrows - Alternate term for arrows at date.

With arrows and rays - Synonym for arrows and rays.

With motto - Alternate term for motto.

With rays - Alternate term for rays.

Wooden nickels - Originally, substitute for coins first used in the 1931-35 depression, having originated in Tenino, Wash. Issued in round or rectangular form and in many denominations. Currently used for advertising and souvenir purposes.

Working Die - A die actually used to strike the coins. The dies are produced from the working hubs.

Working hub - A hub created from a master die that is used to create the working dies.

World Coins - Coins from countries other than the United States.

Worn die - A die that has lost detail due to extended use. Dies were often used until they wore out, or were excessively cracked or broken. Coins struck from worn dies often appear to be weakly struck, however, they are not caused by low striking pressure.

Wreath cent - Synonym for the second large cent type of 1793.

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