U.S. Coin Price Guide

Coin Collecting


eagle: the bird that appears on the backs of most U.S. silver and gold coins.  Also, the official term for a U.S. $10 gold piece.

edge: known as the third side of a coin, this is the surface that encircles a coin.

edge device: any marking, lettering or ornamentation on the edge of a coin.

EF: abbreviation for Extra Fine or Extremely Fine.

electrotype: a well-made, deceptive copy of a coin created by joining two halves together over a lead center.  Only one electrotype can be made at a time.  Electrotypes will fail the ring test and close examination will reveal a seam along the edge.

electrum: a natural alloy of gold and silver, used to make some of the first coins.

elements: the various designs, lettering, and markings on a coin.

encapsulated: placed in a sealed plastic holder by any of the independent, third-party grading services.

engraver: the person who actually cuts the design of a coin into the die.

environmental damage: damage to a coin caused by the elements (pollution, moisture, and excess oxidation).

error: a coin that results from a mistake in the coining process.

estimate: a guess as to what a coin will sell for at auction, usually based on price guides and comparable sales.

exergue: a section of a coin, separated by a dividing line.

expert: anyone who knows as much as possible about a numismatic subject.  Expertise can be gained through study or examination of many coins.

Extra Fine: a well-preserved coin with a grade range from 40 to 49 on a grading scale of 1 to 70.

Extremely Fine: same as Extra Fine.

eye appeal: the visual aspects of a coin.  Coins with nice eye appeal are worth a premium.

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