April 22nd, 2009

Coming to Terms

As more of a coin accumulator, I find some of the offshoots of numismatics to be the most interesting. Error coins, shipwreck treasure, love tokens and art medals. They’re not necessarily “coins,” but they’re in the same category.

And, as an English major—I spent four years “learning” to read a variety of genres—I find some of the numismatic terminology equally interesting and entertaining.

With that, I give you three terms I came across on usrarecoin.com. (There are several numismatic glossaries available; I just randomly chose this one.) They’re fun to say and evoke, for me, something outside of numismatics.

exergue (pronounced EX-surge) – Area on a coin generally below the main design area, often the site of the date.

maverick – An unidentifiable specimen, generally referring to a token.

so-called dollar – A silver dollar-sized medal commemorating a special event.

What other interesting, unusual or archaic numismatic terms are out there?