Dick Johnson submitted these definitions of two numismatic terms. Thanks!
Heritage Auctions Chief Cataloger Mark Van Winkle was kind enough to send me the auction house's Style Sheet (of 35 pages) after its mention on The E-Sylum a few weeks back. I'm a style rules junkie in the numismatic field (should "mint mark" be spelled one word or two? -- most everybody prefers one!).
But I learned a new word or two among those hundreds of recommendations. One word was "pinscratch." I don't remember ever having encountered it before. Heritage recommends it as one word. I like that. It is an excelled term for obviously the lightest scratches on a numismatic item.. A reader does not need a college degree to understand exactly what it means.
My first thought was "how does it differ from hairline"? Then it dawned on me. Hairline is a thin raised line from a crack in the die. Pinscratch is a tiny trench in the surface of a numismatic item. A complete opposite. No relation at all, other than their wispy nature.
Another term new to me was "faceplates" when describing Kellogg and Humbert gold pieces (page 22). I can guess what it means. I prefer a more precise definition from one of our more knowledgeable readers. What's a faceplate on a gold piece?
I have style sheets from the American Numismatic Society, Coin World, and now Heritage. If your organization has such a document, would you mind sharing it with me? I get my jollies from reading such numismatic esoterica.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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