Beginner’s Guide to Coin Collecting Jargon

A Wheat Penny from a Roll of Pennies

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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