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).

Amatol – A high explosive prepared from a mixture of ammonium nitrate and TNT.

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

Bi-facial – A coin/token bearing designs on both sides.
Blank – A prepared disk of metal or plastic on which a coin/token design will be stamped. Also called a “planchet” or “flan”. In practice, “Blank” is also referred to as 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.
C.F. – Cartridge Factory
Check – Usually a metallic disc, often with a pierced hole for suspension and bearing a unique stamped identification number. These were typically used as a means of personal identification in association with workplace pay collection, time recording plus the recording of issues of specialist tools to workers 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
Obverse – Front or “heads” side of coin/token.
Pass – Usually a metallic disc, often with a pierced hole for suspension and bearing a 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.).
Q.F.C.F. – Quick firing cartridge factory. Reverse – Back or “tails” side of the coin/token. The 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.
Ticket – An object (made of card, paper, metal or plastic) that gives the holder a certain right, especially to enter a place, travel by public transport, or participate in an event. Alternatively, a form of token acting as a receipt for an object or sum of money left in safekeeping prior to later collection.
Token – A privately issued coin that has redeemable value for goods or services but which is not official legal tender.
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.