Anatomy of a Coin

Hover over the words below too see a description

Legend

The main words on a coin.
Also known as the inscription

Field

The flat area of a coin's
surface that is not raised
and doesn't have any
design or inscription.
Clean fields on a rare
coin can raise the grade.

Rim

The raised edge on both
sides that runs completely
around a coin. The design
helps protect a coin's
design from wear, and
makes coins easier to stack.

Device

The main design element
on the coin such as a bust
of a person. Also known
as the portrait. On South
African rare coins these
portraits are normally of presidents.

Denomination

The monetary value
of the coin.

Edge

Often called the “third
side” by some. The edge
can be plain (smooth),
reeded, ornamented,
or have letters
embossed into it. The
edge is not the same
as the rim - the coin
rolls on its edge.

Motto

An inscription that
has special meaning
in the country.

Did you know

The 1898 Single “9” is the most important African coin. Sold by South Cape Coins.

Understanding "No Grade"

Don't get caught out!

A guide to the states of condition that can cause a coin to be rejected for NGC certification.

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