Anatomy of a Coin

Anatomy of Coin-Obverse

Font side of coin or “heads” of “heads or tails”

  1. Edge
    Outer border of coin, also called the “third side.” Edges can be plain, lettered, or decorated.
  2. Relief
    Part of coin’s design that is raised above the surface.
  3. Field
    Flat portion of coin’s surface not used for design or inscription.
  4. Date
    Numeral(s) specifying issuing year of coin.

Back side of a coin or “tails” of “heads or tails.”

  1. Rim
    Raised edge on both sides that helps to protect coin from wear.
  2. Device
    Most commonly a portrait, map, eagle, or any other element relevant to origin of currency.
  3. Legend
    Words on a coin.