Bellevue 425-454-1283 · Lynnwood 425-672-2646 · Issaquah 425-392-0450 · Tacoma 253-328-4014

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Beginning a new hobby can be quite challenging and intimidating. There are new lingo and terms introduced on a regular basis that can make this new journey confusing at best. Concerning coin collecting, here are a few relevant terms that aspiring numismatists should make part of their everyday vocabulary.


Alloy- A mixture or combination of two metals to created one.


Die- A piece of metal, which contains the design of the coin. This mold is used when striking or creating a new coin.


Encapsulated Coin- A sonically sealed, plastic container housing a certified coin. Encapsulated coins also bear notes such as strike date, variety, and grade.


Intrinsic Value- The value of the metal in which the coin has been struck from rather than the face value.


Incuse- Refers to a coin whose design is inverted rather than raised.


Mint Luster- The finish of a coin such as dull, frosty, shiny, satin, etc.


Obverse- Refers to the “face” side of a coin.


Relief- The raised portion of a coin’s design.


Restrike- A coin or series of coins whose designs bear that of the original but have been struck years later.


Reverse- Refers to the “tails” side of a coin.


Toning- A chemical reaction to air or other chemicals, which causes a coloration of a coin over time.


Uncirculated- A coin that bears no wear, nor signs of circulation.


Though there are many other imperative terms to keep at the forefront of your mind when it comes to your new hobby, there are just a few to get you started. For more information regarding coins, please visit one of our certified coin experts at any four of our Great Seattle Area locations!


Did you enjoy this read? Try A Few Tips To Starting Your New Currency Collection

Since 1979, Bellevue Rare Coins has been a trusted, family-owned business serving the Greater Seattle Area with locations in Bellevue, Lynnwood, Issaquah, and West Seattle. Specializing in gold, silver, diamond, and jewelry purchasing, in addition to dealing in rare coins. We now offer a vast selection of fine, vintage and custom-designed jewelry. Visit anyone of our four friendly locations for the best deals selling or buying.


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  • Bellevue


    321 Bellevue Way NE
    Bellevue, WA 98004
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 425-454-1283
  • Lynnwood


    18411 Alderwood Mall Parkway Suite F
    Lynnwood, WA 98037
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 425-672-2646
  • Issaquah


    1175 NW Gilman Blvd Suite B16
    Issaquah, WA 98027
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 425-392-0450
  • Tacoma


    2302 Pacific Ave
    Tacoma, WA 98402
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 253-328-4014