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Coin production


The relative position of the obverse and reverse designs on a coin.


A mixture of more than one metal.


A blank piece of metal, cut from strips of a metal alloy, which will eventually be struck and become a coin.


A ring that holds the blank in place between the obverse and reverse dies within the press, and imprints the required edge of the coin – plain, milled, serrated, interrupted or scalloped.


The face value of a coin.


A tool that strikes the design onto a blank, using extremely high pressure, turning it into a coin.


The likeness of a monarch or head of state situated on the obverse side of a coin.


The front or ‘heads’ side of the coin, which displays the likeness of a monarch or head of state, as well as the year and country in which the coin was made.

Ounce (Troy)

Imperial measurement of weight which is the equivalent of 31.103 grams


The back or ‘tails’ side of the coin, which displays the coin’s design and denomination.

Coin Finishes


A carefully struck coin using special dies with either a mirror-like or matte finish. These coins are especially struck and the term is not used to describe a well-preserved circulating coin. Proof is a method of manufacture, not a condition or grade.

Uncirculated (UNC)

Uncirculated coins are manufactured in much the same way as circulated coins except for the following:

  • More attention and time is given to the preparation of the die surface finish,

  • The coins are struck with greater pressure than the circulating coins to improve the sharpness of the design.

  • More care and attention is applied at each step in the coining process to minimise damage, consequently a much lower production rate of about 30,000 coins per press per day is achieved.

  • Uncirculated coins are packaged individually into plastic sleeves, presentation folders or occasionally presentation cases.

FRUNC (Frosted Uncirculated)

Very similar to uncirculated coins but with the following differences:

  • The background or 'field' of the die is finely sand-blasted and the impression is polished to a bright finish. This creates a contrast that enhances the detail of the actual design.

  • The frosted and polished areas are in reverse to that on a proof coin, so that the image has a polished appearance, and the field is frosted.


A treatment applied to a coin after striking to give the appearance of older, discoloured metal.


Fully struck with maximum detail to provide an overall pleasing appearance. Variations in frosting texture during production are allowable ranging from small to a slight shine.

Colour printed/Pad printed

Coloured ink applied to a coin after striking to enhance elements of the design.


Using a closely guarded production technique which allows for the creation of metallic coloured highlights on the surface of a newly struck coin.

Unique identifiers


The term mintmark refers to a mark on the original die indicating the location where that coin was struck.


Pre-struck coins that are subsequently modified by the Mint using a metal punch on a mobile press prior to issue. A counterstamp can be identified as a symbol surrounded by a small circle.

Privy Mark

Struck using a die that has been modified to include a letter or symbol commemorating a special release or event. In order to clearly identify these coins, the privy mark will consist of a letter or symbol with a square surround.