Glossary of Terms
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

Impaired Proof

A grading term for a Proof coin that is graded less than Proof-60.

Incandescent Light

Direct light from a lamp, unlike indirect light such as that from a fluorescent bulb.

Incomplete Strike

The term for a coin that is missing design details due to a problem that occurred during the striking process. This can be due to insufficient striking pressure or improperly spaced dies.

Incuse Design

The design of a coin that has been impressed below the coin's surface. This design was used on Indian Head quarter eagles and half eagles to deter counterfeiting and improve the coin's durability during circulation.

Independent Coin Grading Company (ICG)

ICG is a third party grading service located in Tampa, FL.

Indian Cent

Another term for Indian Head cent.

Indian Chief Note

A common name for the $5 Series of 1899 Silver Certificates with Indian Chief Running Antelope on the face.

Indian Head Cent

A small cent designed by James Longacre and issued from 1859 until 1909.

Indian Head Eagle

A $10 gold coin designed by Saint-Gaudens that was issued by the United States from 1907 until 1933.

Indian Peace Medals

Medals, usually of silver but copper strikings were made also, including restrikes for collectors, intended to be presented to the chiefs of Native American tribes on behalf of the current president of the United States. This was to show friendship of the government (which, of course, was inconsistent) and also to encourage peace on the part of the tribes. The first such medals were engraved and were awarded on behalf of George Washington in 1892. The tradition continued into the late 19th century.

Indian Penny

A slang term for Indian Head cent.

Ingot

A slug or bar of metal issued by a mine, refinery, mint, or other establishment working with metals. Gold and silver ingots of the 19th century were customarily stamped with information including the weight, purity, issue, a serial number, and sometimes the value and/or the date.

Inscription

The straight-line lettering on a coin, unlike legends which follow the curvature.

InstantCash

Consignors to our iAuctions with consignments valued at greater than $50,000 will automatically qualify for our new InstantCash Program, where up to 60 percent of the value of their sales will be sent the day after the auction — cash to use immediately with no interest charges and the potential to be paid the final 40 percent just seven days following the sale!

Intrinsic Value

The value of the precious metal in a numismatic item based upon the market value, which may fluctuate on a daily basis. United States coins contained their intrinsic value in metal until 1933 for gold coins and 1964 for silver coins. The modern United States issues are termed fiat currency.

Iridescence

A lustrous rainbow-like play of colorful toning on the surface of a coin.

​​