Glossary of Terms & Abbreviations

A list of the meanings of some of the more specialist mining and numismatic terms used throughout this site can be found below.

Alloy – Homogeneous combination of two or more metallic elements. Common coin/token alloys include brass (copper and zinc) , bronze (copper and tin) and cupro-nickel (copper and nickel).

Beading – Raised dot border along the rim of a coin/token.

Bi-facial – A coin/token bearing designs on both sides.

Blank – Prepared disk of metal on which the coin/token design will be stamped. Also called a “planchet” or “flan”. In practice, “Blank” is also referred to the un-struck or flat side of a uniface coin/token.

Bracteate – A thin uniface coin/metal stamped using both lower and upper male and female die impressions respectively.

Check – Usually a metallic disc, often with a pierced hole for suspension and bearing an unique stamped identification number. These were typically used as a means of personal identification in association with work place pay collection, time recording plus the recording of issues of specialist tools to worker’s from a work’s central tool store.

Die – Metal piece engraved with the design used for stamping the coin/token.

Exergue – A segment of the coin/token design separated by a line (usually indicating the ground in the design) in which a legend is placed/inscribed.

Field – Background area of a coin/token not used for a design or inscription.

Legend – Principal inscription on a coin/token.

Milled Edge – Edge of a coin/token with grooved lines around the perimeter.

M.o.M. – Ministry of Munitions

H.M.E.F. – His Majesty’s Explosives Factory

N.A.F. – National Aircraft Factory

N.O.D. – National Ordnance Depot

N.O.F. – National Ordnance Factory

N.P.F. – National Projectile Factory

N.F.F. – National Filling Factory

N.S. – National Shipyard

N.S.F. – National Shell Factory

N.S.F. – National Shell Factory

Obverse – Front or “heads” side of coin/token.

Pass – Usually a metallic disc, often with a pierced hole for suspension and bearing an unique stamped identification number. These were issued to employees as a means of personal identification when gaining entry to a controlled place of work and/or for use in association with a work’s employee travel schemes (i.e. special pre-paid or partially subsidized workers’ train and bus services etc.).

Reverse – Back or “tails” side of the coin/token. Opposite side to the “Obverse”.

Rim – Raised portion of the design along the edge that protects the coin/token from wear. It also makes the coins/tokens stackable and easy to roll by machine.

R.G.P.F. – Royal Gun Powder Factory

R.L. – Royal Laboratory

R.O.F. – Royal Ordnance Factory

R.S.A.F. – Royal Small Arms Factory

Tally – A regional alternative term for a check or pass.

Token – Privately issued piece that has redeemable value for goods or services, but is not an official government coin.

Uniface – A coin/token bearing a design on only one side, i.e. one where the reverse is normally blank.

Unissued – A coin/token that has not been issued/circulated.