A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z





BAG
- See Mint Bag. Also slang as a reference to the face value of the coins normally shipped in a Mint Bag, eg. in the bullion trade a "bag" of junk silver coins refers to silver coins with a total face value of $1000.
BAGMARKS
- The markings which coins receive through contact with one another. All regular issue coins were thrown into bags soon after minting, and frequently transported from one place to another. They jostled one another, and were capable of giving and receiving a considerable number of marks. Although bagmarks must be considered in assessing the grade of a coin their presence does not mean that a coin has been circulated. All business strike coins have bagmarks. Usually bag marks are more obvious on the larger and heavier silver and gold coins.
BANK NOTE
- A form of paper currency issued by a bank, being a promise to pay a specific amount on demand. In Canada the only bank notes in circulation are those of the Bank of Canada.
BARTER
- Direct exchange of goods without the intermediary of money. Primitive commerce was carried on this way, and at various times of economic chaos people have resorted to it until a stable currency could be re-established.
BASE METAL
-A crude or low form of metal, usually leaded.
BASINING OF THE DIES
- The process of polishing the field of the die prior to its introduction into the coining process by holding the die face against a slowly revolving dish-shaped zinc lap. Die basining was performed to obtain a radius or series of radii across the die face so that the coins would strike up properly. Basining of the dies will produce a mirror-like field if the basining is carried out in a series of steps from coarse grade polishing grit down to a very fine grit.
BEADED
- A continuous border pattern of beads.
BEAD SEPARATION
- Usually a reference to the quality of the strike on a coin that has a border pattern of beads. Coins poorly struck at the rims will have beads that are mushy and "run together", ie. are indistinct from each other. Well struck coins will display each individual bead. See also Rim and Bead Separation.
BETTER DATE
- Same as Key Date or even Semi-Key Date.
BILINGUAL
- Referring to the inscription on a coin that is in two languages.
BILLION
- Base silver, usually a low grade mixture of silver and copper.
BIT
- A popular term for the Spanish-American on-real piece which formerly circulated in the United States. More often used in the plural, as two bits (25 cents) or four bit (50 cents).
BLACK AND WHITES
- Deep mirrored proofs or prooflikes that show a stark contrast between the deep mirror (black) of the fields and the frosted (white) cameo devices. See Cameo Contrast).
BLACKOUT NICKELS
- The Tombac 5 cents of 1942-3 were called this because they tarnished so badly once in circulation.
BLANK
- Same as planchet, flan.
BLANKING PRESS
- Mint machine used to stamp or cut coin blanks.
BLAZER
- A coin that has outstanding lustre that seems to be ablaze with fire.
BLEMISHES
- Minor nicks, marks, flaws, or spots of discolouration that mark the surface of a coin.
BLOOM, MINT BLOOM
- See Lustre.
BOARD
- Usually a hard plexiglass type of holder with slots (holes) for displaying a collection of coins that are usually of high value and quality.
BOGUS
- A numismatic item which did not exist at the time it is represented to have been in use. There was, about the turn of the century, a belief that Canadian cents were issued dated 1885, and fakers soon began to produce 1885 cents by altering the dates of other years. There being no cents struck with the date 1885, such pieces are bogus.
BOLD STRIKE
- Well struck, ie showing all or nearly all the design details.
BOOK
- Auction term. a coin sold to the "book" is a coin sold to a mail bidder or possibly back to its owner via a reserve bid. Such bids are recorded in the "book" prior to the start of the auction.
BORDER
- The outer boundary of the design, usually marked by a circle of beads of denticle. some designs have plain borders, as is the case with the reverse of the Canadian small cent of 1920-1936 and five-cent piece of 1922-1936.
BORDERLINE
- See Slider.
BOURSE
- See Coin Show
BRACTEATE
- A very thin medieval European coin with the design impressed on one side showing through to the other side.
BRASS
- An alloy of copper and zinc, in varying proportions, and generally yellow in colour. tombac is a brass which contains 88% copper and 12% zinc.
BREAK IN THE LUSTRE
- Usually first occurs at the high point of a coin's relief. Another way saying the coin has a hint of a rub. See Rub.
BRILLIANT
- Bright looking, shiny. A coin that is basically untoned.
BRINELL HARDNESS NUMBER
- Indicates the relative hardness of an item, that is, its ability to withstand physical impact damage. The lower the BHN, the greater the likely visible damage. Approximate BHN's are Gold (18), Silver (25), Copper (50), and Nickel (80). This partly explains why gold and silver coins are much more susceptible to bagmarks than nickel coins.
BRITISH MUSEUM
- London, England. Houses a major collection of some of Canada's finest quality coins.
BROCKAGE
- Formerly any misstruck coin, now specifically refers to a coin having one side approximately normal and the opposite side having the same design only as an incuse "mirror image." Either obverse or reverse brockages can occur.
BROKEN BANK NOTE
- Paper money of a defunct bank or a band which failed (broken), but often applied to any obsolete bank note.
BRONZE
- An alloy of copper and tin, in varying proportions, generally with enough copper to retain the red colour.
BROWN UNC
- an uncirculated example of a copper coin with little, if any, red mint lustre remaining.
BU
- Brilliant Uncirculated. Literally not circulated with full mint lustre. Refers to coins which are still in mint state condition, although factors such as strike and amount of surface imperfection may vary.
BULLION
- Uncoined precious metal in the form of bars, plates, ingots, etc...
BULLION COINS
- Coins with a numismatic value only slightly higher than their bullion value.
BULLION VALUE
- The intrinsic value of a metallic numismatic object, ie., the market value of the metal coined in it.
BURNISHING
- A process of making smooth by rubbing with a tool.
BU, RUB
- A contradiction in terms; a coin cannot be uncirculated and evidence rubbing or wear. Used by a few dealers and collectors to indicate that wear is slight, in an attempt to keep the coin in the BU or better realm. Ignores the fact that wear, however slight or imparted, removes it from uncirculated.
BUSINESS STRIKE
- A coin struck for actual use as a circulating medium of exchange, ie. money. Differs from a proof which is specifically struck for presentation and collector purposes only.
BUST
- The head and shoulders, in relief of the Monarch which appears on the obverse side of Canadian coins. Also Portrait.
BUSY FIELDS
- Many markings in the field portion of a coin as opposed to a few. Usually characterized by many slight marks that individually are not offensive but collectively are annoying, distracting and leave a "busy" look.
BUYER CAVEAT
- Any warning to a potential buyer. Three well known ones in the numismatic field are: Caveat Emptor - let the buyer beware: "there are very few legitimate bargains in numismatics"; and, "you generally get what you pay for."
BUYER'S FEE
- A fee charged the winning bidder at an auction. Usually 10% of the item sale price.




A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


 

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