Anatomy of a Coin

Some of the main elements of a coin

Anatomy of a coin: Canada, Elizabeth II, 25 cents 1988Obverse: The front of a coin or the ‘heads’ of ‘heads or tails’.
Reverse: The back of a coin or the ‘tails’ of ‘heads or tails’.
Edge: The outer border of a coin, also called the ‘third side’ (not to be confused with the rim). Edges come in various styles but most commonly they can be plain, reeded, lettered, or decorated.
Rim: The raised edge on both sides that helps to protect the coin’s design from wear.
Legend: The principal inscription or lettering on a coin.
Mint mark: A small letter or symbol on a coin to indicate the issuing mint.
Relief: The part of a coin’s design that is raised above the surface.
Field: The flat portion of a coin’s surface not used for design or inscription.

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