AAA Historical Americana - World Exonumia.

Exonumia: What do YOU collect?

Tokens and Medals, Badges and Ribbons, Plaques, including World's Fair items and Political Americana, fraternal and collectibles, etc.


THIS IS A LIST of ABBREVIATIONS and standard practices used in lot descriptions in
Mail Bid Sale #10 and Mail Bid Sale #11

Most abbreviations are explained, or are obvious in the context of the section on that type of material in the catalog. However, when individual lots are presented by cross-reference, sometimes the abbreviation is not obvious. When in doubt, please e-mail me.

Condition: We use standard numismatic (coin) grade descriptions, and attempt to conservatively grade each item. Please note that we spend more time and space grading valuable items than cheap ones. Unless there is a significant difference from our descriptions (highly unlikely), we do not consider minor or slight grade problems to be a valid reason for the return of any item. When in doubt, please ask for a picture to be sent to you.

Proof: Actually a process of manufacture rather than a grade, resulting in mirror surfaces and sharp details. The highest quality available.

UNC or BU: Uncirculated or Brilliant Uncirculated. Essentially no wear, and as it left the mint. Minor contact marks from slight handling may be present.

AU: About Uncirculated. Almost mint, but some minor wear or friction on high points. Often used when there is just minimal wear.

XF: Extremely Fine. Just a modest amount of wear, with all devices clear and plain.

VF: Very Fine. More wear, some high points may not be sharp or distinct, all devices still plain and fully readable.

F. or Fine: Wear on all devices, still fully legible with all text readable and clear. High points worn down and fine details lost, but still a collectible specimen.

VG: Very Good. Much more wear, some details well worn and less clear.

G or Good. Well worn, with rims starting to get worn into devices, some lettering may not be clear, details well worn.

AG or Poor: Very worn, devices well worn and partially to fully unreadable. Unless rare, a non-collectible specimen. Please note that countermarked coins are generally graded by the c/m, not by the host coin, which may be in poor or even slick/fully-worn condition. Low grade host coins do NOT greatly detract from the value of countermarks.


Obv. = Obverse, the 'head' of the item with main devices and date.

Rev. = Reverse, the flip side.

Various metals are used in the manufacture of tokens and medals:

Gold and Silver are always spelled out. These precious metals are the finest metals used, and always command a premium. Gold is worth about $300 per ounce, and silver about $5 per ounce. Bids below scrap value are seldom successful.

CU: Copper

BZ: Bronze. Also Npl-BZ, or Nickel-plated BZ, which appears to be silver.

N or N-S: Nickel or Nickel-Silver. If magnetic, it is mentioned.

GS: German Silver. Appears to be silver

AL: Aluminum. Another bright metal, first used ca. 1890.

W-M or WM: White metal. When near mint condition, appears bright and white, but when Fine or less, is usually dark. Often pitted in lower grades.


K.T.: Knights Templar, a branch of the Masons

TC: Triennial Conclave. The every-3rd-year meeting of the Knights Templar, held in various cities around the country.


Various scales are used to determine rarity, generally with R-1 being quite common, and R-10 unique. Please note some rarity scales have different ranges, such as 1 to 6. Please check the reference book for each category for the scale size and meaning. If you don't have the book, we have most books in stock. Or, send an e-mail and ask for the meaning of the scale.


In general, if the city and/or state is presented in the title, it appears on the token/medal. If the city and/or state is shown in ellipses (), the item has been identified to that city/state. Descriptions in double quotes "" are the exact lettering on the item, with each line break shown by a slash /. Comments and information quoted from other sources are in single quote ' '.

Unless otherwise specified, the host coin of a countermark is the same country as the mark.

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Rich Hartzog
AAA Historical Americana -- World Exonumia
Buying, Selling, Auctions Since 1972
POB 4143CPA - Rockford IL 61110-0643




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