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





MAGNIFYING GLASS
- Coins are usually graded with the naked eye or with a five power magnification. The use of stronger powers, etc., 10 and 20 power, is usually in search for problems underneath a dark tone, hairlines on proofs, in counterfeit detection, and the like. Also Loupe.
MAIL BID SALE
- Auction by mail bids only.
MAJOR VARIETY
- See variety.
MALLEABILITY
- Capacity to be shaped, as in softer more pliable metal.
MAPLE LEAF
- A bullion coin with an official face value of $50., minted by the Canadian Government and containing exactly one ounce of gold (.9999 fine). A competitor to the South African Krugerrand in the coin bullion marketplace.
MARGINAL
- Same as Slider.
MARK, MINTMASTER'S OR ASSAYERS
- Single or multiple initials, monogram, or symbol identifying the mintmaster or chief assayer responsible for the coin on which the mark appears. See also Mint Mark.
MARK CYCLE
- Like any commodity market, the coin industry goes through distinct cycles, specifically up cycles and down cycles at more or less regular intervals. The Up cycles are characterized by the distinct phases of Accumulation, Long Steady Growth, and Speculation. The Down cycles are similarly known by distribution, Panic Selling, and Discouraged Selling.
MARKET VALUE
- The price at which a collector can expect to buy a coin.
MARKUP
- The premium that a dealer adds to his cost of a coin before resale. This markup covers such expenses as relate to the operation of his business and include inventory carrying costs, losses due to theft, and the losses sustained from the purchase of improperly graded coins.
MASTER DIE
- The die which is used to produce several hubs, which in turn is used to make working dies. The master die is never used to strike coins.
MASTER TOOLS
- Matrices, punches, and other tolls involved in the production of dies.
MATRIX
- A steel, coin scale intermediate, used for producing punches. Its design is in the opposite sense to that on the coins.
MATTE FINISH
- A dullish, sandblasted appearance usually imparted deliberately to portions or the entire surface of proof or specimen pieces.
MATTE PROOF
- A Proof coin for which the planchet is treated in a manner other than polishing. A dull and frosted finish is achieved. See Matte Finish.
MATURE HEAD
- See Young Head.
MAUNDY MONEY
- A series of four small British silver coin, being a Penny, Twopence, Threepence and Fourpence (Groat), first struck in the reign of Charles II (1660-1684). Dating began in 1668 and continued in almost every year for each monarch thereafter; it is struck and distributed for Royal Bounty on Maundy Thursday, to an equal number of poor men and women in an amount matching the age of the monarch.
MAVERICK
- An unidentified specimen.
MEDAL
- A piece of metal or other material, usually round and resembling a coin, issued to commemorate and honour important events, persons, or institutions; to be give as awards for outstanding merit or achievement; or for satirical purposes. A war medal is awarded for acts of bravery in time of war. Not money.
MEDALET
- A small medal, usually smaller in diameter than a fifty-cent piece.
MEDALLION
- A very large medal, such as the Governor-General's Medal and many award of exhibitions and fairs.
MEDIEVAL COIN
- A coin struck from about 5---1500 A.D.
MELT VALUE
- Referring to the basic intrinsic bullion value of a coin if melted and sold.
METAL SOFTNESS
- An indication of the ability of different metals to withstand damage when in contact with hard objects. See Brinell Hardness Number.
MILLED COIN
- By contrast with a hammered coin, a piece produced by pressure indirectly rather than directly applied, and the edge of which has been rolled or up-set.
MILLED EDGE
- Prior to the use of collar dies the edge design was milled onto the edge of the planchet before the minting process. After the introduction of collar dies milling of edges was introduced to thicken the circumferential border of a planchet so that the border ridge or design will be adequately raised when striking takes place (upsetting).
MILLING
- An incorrect term commonly used as a synonym for graining.
MILLING MACHINE
- A mint machine for applying the reedings to a coin.
MINIMUM BID
- A stated minimum value which must be met before bidding can begin on the auction lot for which the minimum applies.
MINOR COIN
- Any coin less than crown weight, size, or value, in any metal but gold.
MINOR VARIETY
- See Variety.
MINT
- The place of manufacture of coins.
MINTAGE
- The whole of a year's coin production for a country expressed individually for each denomination.
MINT BAG
- A bag of new coins produced by the mint usually supplied unopened.
MINT ERROR
- A misstruck or defective coin produced by a mint.
MINT LUSTRE
- See Lustre.
MINT MARK
- A symbol or letter of the alphabet employed to distinguish coins struck at a particular mint. The Royal Canadian Mint uses no mint marks on Canadian coins. During the years 1908-1919, when Imperial sovereigns were struck at Ottawa, the letter C was used as a mint mark. The letter C was also used for Newfoundland coins struck at Ottawa. Canadian coins struck at the Heaton mint of Birmingham bore the letter H as a mint mark.
MINT PACKAGED SET
- A set of coins packaged at the mint.
MINT SET
- one coin of each denomination produced by a given mint in a given year by a given country without regard to condition.
MINT STATE
- A term denoting the condition of a coin which is free from any trace of wear. A mint state or uncirculated coin may exhibit surface bagmarks, abrasions, be poorly struck, or exhibit varying degrees of toning. See also Coin Grade.
MIRROR PROOF
- An example of the most superior coinage that can be produced. Both the planchets and dies are highly polished and the dies are carefully buffed frequently during production runs. Results in a coin with the most reflective mirror-like surfaces possible. See also Proof, Mirror Depth.
MIRROR DEPTH
- An unofficial term to describe the reflective fields of Proofs and Prooflikes, Mirror depth can be measured by holding printed matter in front of a coin and increasing the distance between the two. If the printing is reflected in the field but is not clear at a distance of under 1" the coin is Semi-Prooflike; if clearly reflected (ie. readable) at a distance of 1-4" the coin is Prooflike and has a Deep Mirror; similarly at 4-8" it is Very Deep and Ultra Deep beyond 8".
MISHANDLE
- The improper handling of coins which results in damage in the form of marks, abrasions, rubs, hairlines, etc. with the net result of lowering the grade and value of the coin.
MISSTRIKE
- An error in striking.
MODELLING
- The act or art of making a model, especially in making a pattern out of some plastic or other material, to be copied in stone or metal.
MODERN COIN
- A coin struck after about 1500A..D.
MODIFICATION
- A minor alteration in the design of a coin.
MONARCH
- Canadian coins are divided into major series or types by the British monarch of the period. To date, there are five such series: Queen Victoria (coinage from 1858-1901); King Edward VII (1902-1910); King George V (1911-1936); King George VI (1937-1952); and Queen Elizabeth II (1953-date).
MONETARY UNIT
- The coin or unit of currency on which all other coins of a country are based. The Canadian monetary unit is the dollar.
MONEY
- "What you buy things with." It is a medium of exchange, in terms of which the value of all goods and services is expressed.
MONEYER
- An authorized mint master or coiner.
MONOCHROMATIC
- Reference to toning on coins that is of a single colour.
MONOGRAM
- A signature usually consisting of one or two initials superimposed on one another, or in some similar manner, to represent a personal mark.
MOTTO
- A word or phrase used on a coin. See Inscription.
MULE
- A hybrid; a coin struck from two unrelated dies. A well-known example is a ten-cent piece with the Newfoundland obverse of Queen Victoria combined with a Canadian reverse dated 1871. Oddly enough, it was found in circulation.
MULTICOLOURED
- Reference to toning on coins that display several colours over the surfaces.
MUSEUM QUALITY
- Reference to a numismatic item that is of exceptional mint state quality as one would expect to find in a museum's collection.
MUSHY STRIKE
- Same as Weak Strike.
MUTILATED COIN
- A coin with holes, cuts, excessive scratches or gouges, etc... that are not intended to be there.
MYLAR
- Pure Mylar is chemically inert and harmless to coin. It is a clear plastic substitute to PVC as used for coin holders but tends to be quite brittle and harder to work with. See PVC.




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