A mixture of more than one metal. Brass is an alloy composing of copper and zinc.

An ancient Sumerian symbol for liberty.  

Base Metal:
Metals which are common in the Earth's crust. As an example, nickel is the 5th most common element, making it a base metal. Since they are much less scarce than precious metals they are cheaper and usually priced on commodity markets by the pound.

A revolutionary technology (protocol), that decentralizes commerce, communication, government, and the transmission of money.

A large denomination of precious metals.

A system of voluntary exchange based around sound money and property rights.

An object made out of metal that is considered legal tender. It is usually produced by a government or a mint producing for the government.

Crown Gold:
A 22 karat gold alloy. It is .91667 fine gold. The American Gold Eagle is composed of crown gold.

A tool made of metal that has the design of the coin, bar, or round engraved in it. The die is what is used to stamp the coin, bar, or round to create the design.

Face Value:
The value of a coin that is printed on the coin. An American Silver Eagle has a face value of one dollar. As we all know, the value of one ounce of silver is currently far more than one dollar.

Federal Reserve (Fed):
An organization that isn't quite private, and isn't quite public, but controls the US Dollar money supply with little oversight.

Fiat money:
Legislated currency, or money that is authorized by decree. Today it is paper, backed by nothing.

The amount of precious metal in an object as a ratio. Sterling silver, which is 92.5% silver has a fineness of 0.925 (also stated as 0.925 fine).

The most basic unit of weight in the metric system. There are 437.5 grains in an AVDP ounce and 480 grains in a troy ounce.

A unit of weight that contains 15.432 grains. There are 28.35 grams in an AVDP ounce and 31.1 grams in a troy ounce.

The design of a coin or round which is formed by stamping or punching in.

An increase in the money supply, usually caused by the Federal Reserve System or other central banks. A result of inflation is an increase in prices and a decrease in your purchasing power.

Junk Silver:
US, UK, Canadian, and Australian silver coins produced before 1965. They usually have between 50 to 92.5% silver content. They are called junk silver because they have been circulated and are usually not in pristine condition, however their value certainly does not make them junk.

A unit of purity for gold and silver. It is measured out of 24. A 12-Karat (kt) gold coin is 50% gold and 50% other metals.

Legal Tender:
Currency that has been recognized in a region through legislation. The US Dollar is considered legal tender in the United States of America.

Mint State (MS):
A grade given to a coin that has not been used in circulation. They range between 60 and 70, where 70 is the highest grade and is perfect with not signs of wear and usually considered a proof.

The study, or collection of coins, paper currency, and medals. Visit the entire Numismatic Glossary of Terms here.

The front, or face of a coin, round or bar.

Ounce (AVDP):
A unit of mass. The avoirdupois ounce is the most commonly used ounce today and its abbreviation is "oz." There are 16 ounces in a pound.

Ounce (Troy):
A unit of mass. Today, the troy ounce is used only to express the mass of precious metals. It's abbreviation is "ozt."

A blank metal disc or bar that has been punched from a sheet of metal. It is ready to be struck as a coin.

A sociopath.

Precious Metal:
A metal based on its scarcity in the Earth's crust. Due to their scarcity they are often valued at a higher price. Examples are: gold, silver, and metals in the platinum group.

Prepared by the Mint for collectors, on specially polished planchets under extra die pressure. Often with cameo devices, always attractive.

The back of a coin, round, or bar. The front is the obverse.

A base or precious metal that is not considered legal tender. Usually circular in shape, this object is not considered currency.

Spot Price:
The market price of a metal at a specific point in time.

An individual who understands the importance of wealth preservation through accumulating precious metals. The most common stackers are silver stackers.

Sterling Silver:
An alloy of silver containing 92.5% silver. The other 7.5% is usually copper.


A coin that was intended for use, has never been used for currency. It has been considered circulated when it has been worn, such as leaving it in your pocket. It is also referred to as Mint State (MS).

A philosophy of mutual interaction and trade between individuals without the use of aggression. Sometimes referred to as capitalism.

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