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V13 2010 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 19, May 9, 2010, Article 12

DICK JOHNSON: GLOSSARY TERMS OFTEN MISLEADING

Dick Johnson submitted these new thoughts on numismatic glossaries. -Editor

Howard Daniel was exceptionally kind to send me this week his private file of glossary terms he has gathered over the years for his own wide-ranging numismatic pursuits. I can detect from his chosen word lists the extent of his curiosity as he lists words of philately, oriental items, banknotes, in addition to strictly numismatic items. I detect he is even interested in polymer as a modern trend replacing security paper for currency.

He captured the terms as he encountered them, recording them -- often in the words of the original writer -- other times rewriting it in his own words. Both are useful for his own private purposes. Learning technology and terms of the field dramatically widens your numismatic knowledge. Never overlook an opportunity to learn a new word. It heightens your understanding by being able to think in new ideas, new concepts, and be more precise in thinking of old concepts.

In my first glance at his list I detected a far too common flaw. The fuzzy thinking of the original writer. The world "Lamination," for example, gives the exact opposite definition for the term. Here is what Howard found and recorded:

Coinage defect consisting of a portion of the metal separating from the rest due to impurities or internal stresses; common with clad or plated coinage.

Howard, the careful scholar he is, also recorded the source of where he found that definition: Coin World, March 29, 1999, page 82, "Back to Basics, Useful information for collectors, Numismatic Terms, A working glossary for coin collectors."

Lamination is the application of a layer of medal. What was published was the definition for the word DELAMINATION -- the error most encountered for coins of this anomaly.

Once you learn the words your mind has expanded. You can and should use that new knowledge to question everything you read.

Perhaps, that includes what I have written as well.

Wayne Homren, Editor

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