Glossary of Terms

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Racketeer Nickel

A gold-plated 1883 No “CENTS” Liberty Head 5-cent coin (“V” nickel). Since the coin lacked the word "CENTS" it created the opportunity for people to misrepresent its value to be $5 instead of 5 cents. The most famous story is of Josh Tatum, a deaf mute, who would pay for items with these coins and in return receive change for a $5.00 coin. He was soon arrested and at his trial it was discovered he never asked for change since he could not speak, so no crime had been committed. The Mint later that year put the words "CENTS" at the bottom of the reverse.

Rainbow Note

A common term for the Series of 1869 Legal Tender Note with the denominations $1, $2, $5, or $10. These notes have a colorful face and a green overprint, hence the name.

Rainbow Toning

Toning on a coin containing a full spectrum of color, including yellow, orange, red, green, indigo and sometimes even black. This is usually seen on silver dollars that were stored in bags.


A relative term indicating a coin within a particular series that is difficult to find or one of which only a few are known to exist. It may also apply to any coin with numismatic value as opposed to bullion value.


A condition referring to the number of specimens that exist within a particular grade and those graded higher.

Rarity Scale

The numerical rating system used to quantify the rarity of a numismatic item.


A first generation PCGS holder.


A coin or other numismatic item that has not been encapsulated by a third party grading service.


A design element on a coin comprised of lines that represent sun rays.


An abbreviation for red and brown, descriptive of the color of a copper coin.


An abbreviation for red.


A genuine numismatic item. Also a term for the basic division of the Spanish-American silver coinage system, which was legal tender in the United States until the implementation of the Act of February 21, 1857. One real is worth 12.5 cents U.S.


The term applied to a copper coin that retains 95% or more of its original color, typically abbreviated as RD when used as part of a description or in the grade.


The common name for "A Guide Book of United State Coins," which is an annual price guide and reference book first issued in 1947.


The descriptive term applied to a copper coin that retains between 5% and 95% of its original mint color, typically abbreviated as RB when used as part of a description or in the grade.

Reeded Edge

The edge of a coin with grooved lines that run vertically around its perimeter.

Reeding Mark(s)

A mark or series of marks on the surface of a coin caused when the reeded edge of another coin strikes the surface. Also known as a milling mark.

Regular Issue

Refers to a coin that was struck for commerce. These can be regular strikes, as well as die trials of a regular issue. Also known as circulation strike or commercial strike.

Regular Strike

Another term for circulation strike, which is a coin struck using conventional methods.


To take a certified coin in a scratched or unsightly slab, or one with a typographical error on the label, and put it in a new holder at the same grade.

Relapped Die

A die that has had its surface reground at the Mint, to remove traces of wear, clash marks, etc. This process often imparts a prooflike character to the dies.


Any part of a coin's design that is raised above the coin's surface.


A piece of currency or sheet of currency printed for a bank, but never distributed. The remainder can have full or partial information filled in, such as serial number, date, and bank officer names, but usually is blank in those spaces. Most remainder notes are in high grades.


A reproduction or copy of a numismatic item.

Repunched Date

A date that is punched into a die and then punched again in slightly different alignment.

Repunched Mintmark

A mint letter on a coin that shows slightly doubling of the features, or represents a correctly aligned letter punched over one entered at an angle.


The lowest auction price at which a seller is willing to sell an item.


A coin struck from genuine dies at a date later than the original issue. Examples include the 1915 Austrian 4 Ducats, 1947 Mexican 50 Pesos, and 1908 Hungarian 100 Korona.


A term for a coin that has been cleaned or dipped, and has over time regained color, either by natural or artificial means.


The side of a coin carrying the design of lesser importance. Opposite of the obverse side. Although there are many exceptions, for many types of coins the obverse bears the date and a portrait, and the reverse has an eagle, building, or wreath.


A screening machine used by mints to sort out planchets of the wrong shape or size prior to striking.


The raised portion of a coin encircling the obverse and reverse which protects the designs of the coin from wear.

Rim Ding

Another term for rim nick.

Rim Nick

An indentation or mark on the rim of a numismatic item.

Ring Test

A test used to determine if a coin was struck or is an electrotype or cast copy. The process entails balancing the coin on a finger and gently tapping it with a metal object and listening to the resulting sound. Struck coins have a high-pitched ring or tone, while electrotypes and cast copies have little or none. This test is not always accurate.


A slang term for a numismatic item that was purchased well below the price at which it can be resold.


A specific number of coins, all of the same denomination, stored in a coin wrapper. Originally rolls were stored in paper wrappers; today the wrappers are likely to be made of plastic.

Roll Friction

The minor displacement of metal, most often seen on the high points of coins that were stored in rolls.

Rolled Edge

The raised edge around the circumference of a coin.

Rolled Edge Ten

A common name for the regular issue 1907 Indian Head eagle.

Roller Marks

Parallel incuse lines visible on a coin after it is struck, believed to be caused when the strips of metal are pulled through draw bars insuring the strips are the proper thickness.

Roman Finish

An experimental Proof surface used in 1909 and 1910 mainly on U.S. gold coins. The surface appears scaly, similar to Satin Proof finishes, and is more reflective than matte surfaces but less so than brilliant Proofs.

Rotated Die

When one of the dies became loose in the coining press, it rotated from its normal orientation. Coins struck from such dies show alignment different from the norm, the norm usually being alignment 180 degrees apart (coin-wise alignment) or in the same direction (medal-wise alignment).


A shortened term for the Pan-Pac round commemorative $50 coin. This may also refer to a one-ounce silver medal or bullion piece.


When the high points of a coin have the smallest trace of wear.