A Wheat Penny from a Roll of Pennies

Beginner’s Guide to Coin Collecting Jargon

Learning all the different abbreviations and lingo in the coin community can seem overwhelming at first. This list is meant to be a compilation of common and uncommon terms used to describe or refer to different US coinage.

It may be helpful to use “Ctrl” + “F” on your keyboard if there is a specific term you want to find.


CRH – Coin Roll Hunting

Numismatist – A person who studies coins.

Obverse – The “front” of a coin, usually a face or person.

Reverse – The back of a coin.

Mints Mark – Tells you where a coin was minted.

IHP – Indian Head Penny

Merc – Mercury Dime

SLQ – Standing Liberty Quarter

SBA – Susan B. Anthony

Ike – Eisenhower Dollar

AG – Silver (May also be “About Good” for grading.)

AU – Gold

PVC – Refers to PVC Plastic which is damaging to coins.

NGC – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, a coin grading company

PCGS – Professional Coin Grading Service, a coin grading company

ICG – Independent Coin Graders, a coin grading company

ANACS – American Numismatic Association Certification Service, a coin grading company

ANA – American Numismatic Association, a non-profit

PO – Poor (Grade: 1)

FR – Fair (Grade: 2)

AG – About Good (Grade: 3)

G – Good (Grade: 4 and 6)

VG – Very Good (Grade: 8 and 10)

F – Fine (Grade: 12 and 15)

VF – Very Fine (Grade: 20, 25, 30, and 35)

EF/XF – Extremely Fine (Grade: 40 and 45)

AU – About Uncirculated (Grade: 50-59)

MS- Mint State (Grade: 60-70)

Unc – Uncirculated (Sometimes “Uncir”)

BU – Brilliant Uncirculated

SP – Specimen

PR – Proof

Ultra Cameo – Refers to a proof coin with an exceptionally high-quality mirrored surface.

PL – Proof Like (A non-proof coin with a mirrored surface.)

DPL – Deep Proof-like (A non-proof coin with an exceptional mirrored surface.)

P – Philadelphia

D – Denver

S – San Fransisco

W – West Point

CC – Carson City

O – New Orleans

RD – Red

RB – Red Brown

BN – Brown


This list is still being added to. If there is anything you seen that was missed, please reach out to my Contact Page or add a comment below. I will include it as soon as I can!

Thank you!

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