Homepage / Bullion Investment Basics: Coin Anatomy
Like any other coin, a Bullion Coin's Anatomy is very easy to recognize, as you will see below, bullion coins are no different from any other coin.
All coins have a Legend, a Date of Issue, a Field, and a Relief, however, besides the 'Date of Issue' few people know how to identify the other attributes of a coin.
The biggest difference between Bullion coins other coins is that they are made for Investing in precious metals, not so much for collecting, and certainly not for circulating.
The bullion coin that is used on this page to help you learn a Bullion Coin's Anatomy is the 1oz. American Eagle Platinum Bullion Coin.
The edge of a coin is often referred to as the third side of a coin.
At least once in your life you've flipped a coin and called "Heads" or "Tails."
In terms of a coin's anatomy, "Heads" is known as the "Obverse" side of the coin and "Tails" is known as the "Reverse" side.
But, there is also a third side that will almost never come up when you flip a coin and that is the coin's "Edge."
The Free Bullion Investment Guide has over 100 coin pages, all of which are narrated using obverse, reverse and edge coin terminology.
Field - The flat area of a coin’s surface that doesn’t have any design or inscription.
Rim - The raised edge that runs completely around both sides of a coin.
Edge - The edge is the very outer border of a coin. Edges can be lettered, plain or reeded. See below for more information on coin edges.
Portrait - Found on the Obverse side of the coin. Common portraits include presidents, monarchy, and Liberty.
Legend - Usually found at the top of a bullion coin, often referred to the coin’s inscription.
Relief - The part of a coin’s design that is raised above the surface.
Motto - Coin lettering or inscriptions like "In God We Trust" and " "E Pluribus Unum."
Weight & Purity - States the coins' weight and the purity of the precious metal in the coin.
Face Value - The value of the coin, the face value of every bullion coin is guaranteed and backed by the country in which it represents.
Date or Year of Issue - Indicates the year a coin was minted or first issued.
Designers Initials - The initials of the person who designed the coin.
Mint Mark - A mint mark is a Mark or an Inscription on a coin indicating the mint that produced the coin.
United States bullion coins are not minted with a Mint Mark.
It is the one way to recognize a Numismatic (Proof or Un-Circulated) American Eagle from the Bullion version of the coin.
and uncirculated numismatic (collectors) versions of the American Eagle bullion
coins have a "W" on their reverse side, representing the West Point
The practice of including a Mint Mark is shared with some bullion coins and not with others.
For instance, Mexico includes their ("O" over an "M") mint mark on all of their minted Libertads.
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