U.S. Coin Price Guide

Coin Collecting


D: the mintmark of the U.S. Mints at Denver, Colorado and Dahlonega, Georgia.

D-Mint: abbreviation for coins struck at the Denver or Dahlonega Mints.

Dahlonega: the official U.S. Mint at Dahlonega, Georgia that struck gold coins from 1838 to 1861.

damage: any defects or problems that affect a coin after it is struck.

date: the year in which a coin is struck.

dealer: a person who buys and sells coins, hopefully at a profit.

Deep Cameo: a coin that shows heavy contrast between the frosted devices and the mirrored fields.

Deep Mirror Prooflike: a coin struck for circulation that has extremely reflective surfaces.  You can see yourself in these impressive little beauties.

denomination: the face value of a coin, as stated on the coin.  Examples: denominations include Half Dollars, $2.50 gold, Three Cents, etc.

denticles: the tooth-like outer borders on some coins.

Denver: the official U.S. Mint at Denver, Colorado that struck coins from 1906 until today.

design: the art and lettering that appear on coins.

design type: the name given to the design on a particular U.S. coin.

designation: specific attributes of a coin or series

designer: the person who creates the design of a coin.  He/she may also be the engraver.

device: any of the design elements on a coin.

die: the steel cylinder with a design on it used to strike one side of a coin.

die break: a fracture in a die that can range from a small crack to sinking of a major portion of the die.

die crack: fine lines of raised metal that are transferred to a coin when the die cracks under pressure.

die rust: dies are made of steel and occasionally rust, causing pits in the die and raised bumps of metal on the coins struck from those dies.

die state: the status of a die relative to wear, breaks, and condition.

die variety: every die is unique, especially early U.S. dies engraved by hand.  A die variety is a unique combination of obverse and reverse dies.  Some die varieties can be extremely rare.

Dime: U.S. coin with a face value of Ten Cents.

ding: a small mark on the surface or edge of a coin.

dip: to clean a coin in a chemical bath to remove toning.

dipping: the term used to refer to cleaning a coin in a chemical bath. If you clean a coin with a dipping solution it will damage the surface of the coin. Even though this method is one of the least damaging it still strips a layer or two off the surface of the coin. This removes the fragile flow lines which give the original cartwheel effect of an Uncirculated Mint coin. Dipping also leaves the surface dull and ugly.

disme: early spelling of “Dime,” pronunciation believed to be “Deem” (from the French).

DMPL: abbreviation for Deep Mirror Prooflike (used by PCGS).

doctored: a coin that has been cleaned, altered, repaired, or otherwise “improved” to make it more valuable.

dollar: an official U.S. denomination equal to 100 Cents or 1/10 of an Eagle.

Double Eagle: official name for a $20 gold piece.

doubled die: a die or coin on which the details appear doubled.

double-struck: a coin that has been struck twice from the dies. 

DPL: abbreviation for Deep Proof Like (used by NGC).

Draped Bust: design type used on many U.S. coins from 1795-1807.

dull: drab, usually referring to the lack of luster.

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