Anatomy of a Coin

  1. Obverse: front side (“heads”) of a coin.
  2. Reverse: back side (“tails”) of a coin.
  3. Edge: outer border of a coin. Edges can be plain, reeded, lettered, or decorated.
  4. Rim: raised part of the edge on both sides of a coin that helps protect the coin’s design from wear.
  5. Inscription: principal words or lettering on a coin.
  6. Mint Mark: a small letter or symbol on a coin used to identify where a coin was made.
  7. Relief: part of a coin’s design that is raised above the surface.
  8. Field: flat portion of a coin’s surface not used for design or inscription.

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