Glossary of Coin Terms

The following is a brief glossary of commonly used industry terms.

  • .999 Fine – Pure precious metal (24 karat in case of gold)
  • 2-Dimensional – Artwork is engraved without contouring
  • 3-Dimensional – Artwork is sculpted in contoured multi-level relief
  • Coin – A piece of metal authorized by government to be used as money
  • Die – Engraved steel block used to stamp the medallion
  • Finished Art – Design used as guide for die engraving
  • Hallmarking – Weight, purity or other information pressed into medallions
  • Heat Treat – Process of hardening steel die after engraving
  • High Relief – figures that project out from a solid material
  • Medallion – Medal commemorating a person, place or event
  • Numbering – Optional serial numbering
  • Obverse – Front side of the medallion
  • Pattern – Master mold from which design is engraved
  • Reverse – Back side of the medallion
  • Rough Art – Initial concept sketches
  • Scale – referes to the handles on either side of a lock-back knife.
  • Sculpture – Clay or wax relief sculpture from which a master pattern is made
  • Select Plating – Highlighting defined areas of the medallion with 24K gold plating
  • Troy Ounce – Unit of measure in which precious metals are sold (31.1 grams)