Welcome to the Lincoln Cent Forum Glossary.
Use the alphabetical links above to navigate to the desired term.
This glossary of terms was written and compiled by Will Brooks with the help of our forum members. A huge thanks to everyone who contributed knowledge, ideas, words, and photos to make this growing educational resource possible. Special thanks to Richard Cooper, aka “Coop” who donated many of the photos.
Pareidolia: The phenomenon where people see patterns or objects in otherwise random data. People often “see” extra design elements that aren’t really there in a coin’s damaged areas, plating blisters, stains, etc.
Partial Collar Strike: This occurs when a coin is struck which its edge only partially contained in the collar. The part of the edge which is contained in the collar is constricted from expansion as normal, but the portion not contained in the collar expands abnormally as a broad struck coin would. This creates a bi-level edge which resembles the wheel of a railroad car, and thus these are colloquially called “railroad rims.” This is somewhat of a misnomer, however, since the edge is really the part showing the effect, more so than the rim. Photo examples pending.
Pattern Coin: A prototypical coin produced with a design that has not yet been approved for mass-production and release.
PDS System: The PDS System is a highly structured cataloging system for mint varieties and errors. It was originally compiled by Alan Herbert in 1971. PDS stands for the three main divisions of the minting process: “planchet,” “die” and “striking.” Two more divisions cover collectible modifications after the strike, as well as non-collectible post-strike modifications such as altered, counterfeit and damaged coins. Thank you to forum member 2Old for writing this entry.
Penny: A British coin with a face value of 1/100th of a pound. Also, the colloquial term commonly used for the U.S. cent.
Phantom D: In 1997, a new master hub with a D mint mark was made and used in 1997, 1998, and 1999. A master die was made from this hub bearing the D mint mark for producing working hubs and dies for the Denver mint. Then, the mint ground the D off of the master hub and created another master die without the D for producing Philadelphia working hubs and dies. However, the removal of the D from the master hub was not perfect and on uncirculated coins minted during these years, especially 1999, remnants of this D mint mark can be seen on the cents. It can be very faint and difficult to see, but is commonly found on cents in 1999 mint sets. Please see Brad Podraza’s tutorial Here for further information and illustration.
Pick-up Point: Any of the specific attributes or markers on a particular variety coin used to identify the variety itself. For example, a pick-up point may be a split serif, or an elongated dot, or some other particular marker.
Pivoted Hub Doubling: Also called a class 5 doubled die, pivoted hub doubling is the result of a 2nd hubbing of a die which was rotated clockwise or counterclockwise from a pivot-point near the rim, thereby creating stronger doubling near the opposite part of the rim. This differs from a class 1 doubled die, which has its point of rotation at the center and therefore equally strong doubling around the entire rim. The 1995 1DO-001 is an excellent example of class 5 doubling. With the pivot point at K-5, there is little to no doubling visible at the date, but it is strongest near the opposite part of the rim on LIB and IN GOD. Please see Jason Cuvelier’s excellent tutorial on the subject Here.
Planchet: A modern spelling of the word planchette, which is French for “little plank.” This is the word for an unstruck metal disc, after it has had its proto-rim created in the upset mill, and before being struck into a coin. Prior to its entry into the upset mill, it is called a blank.
Plating: On Lincoln cents, the plating refers to the thin copper coating covering the zinc core on cents made from mid 1982 to the present, or to the thin zinc coating covering the steel core on 1943 cents. Other than this, cents were made from a solid copper-alloy. (See Alloy for compositional breakdowns) Additionally, sometimes people plate or re-plate Lincoln cents outside of the mint to give them a gold or silver or uncirculated appearance. This is considered post-strike damage.
Plating Bubbles (Blisters): See Blistered Plating.
Polishing: See Abraded Die.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): A plastic which, among many other uses, is sometimes used for coin storage products, such as flips. Coins kept in vessels containing PVC will accumulate a greenish residue, ruining the coin. Take care to use materials made from mylar for long-term safe storage of your coins.
Poor: A coin grading standard of 1. See our grading guide Here.
Poor Man’s Doubled Die: See Die Deterioration Doubling.
Population Report: The number of specimens holdered by each individual third party grading service of a given coin issue or variety.
Post-mint Damage: This term is no longer preferred. Please see Post-strike Damage.
Post-strike Damage: This term is now preferred over Post Mint Damage. This is any damage that happens to a coin after the moment it is struck, including contact marks the coin may suffer before leaving the mint from falling into hoppers, or being bagged, etc. Of course, anything that happens to the coin during its life-span in circulation also falls into this category, such as purposeful or accidental hits, corrosion, unnatural toning, etc.
Pre-strike Damage: Damage to a blank or planchet that happens before it is struck by the dies.
Presidency in Washington D.C.: The fourth of four reverse design variations on 2009 Lincoln cents made to commemorate its 100th anniversary. This is also known as LP-4. This reverse was designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Joseph F. Menna.
Professional Life in Illinois: The third of four reverse design variations on 2009 Lincoln cents made to commemorate its 100th anniversary. This is also known as LP-3. This reverse was designed by Joel Iskowitz, and sculpted by Don Everhart.
Progressive Indirect Design Transfer: A form of die deterioration that manifests itself in the form of a “ghostly” image of a design element on the opposite side of a coin. The force of a die strike travels through the planchet and into the opposite die. After hundreds of thousands of strikes, the outline of the designs begin to transfer to the opposing die and show on the coins that are struck. In the case of Lincoln cents, it is common to see a ghostly outline of Lincoln’s bust on the reverse of wheat cents that are struck in later die states. It is especially visible on uncirculated coinage. This should not be confused with a die clash or a “greasy ghost.” First photo courtesy of forum member TJ1952.
Proof Coin: Unlike a business strike coin, which is used for everyday transactions and purchases, a proof coin is a specially made coin solely for collecting purposes. A proof coin is made from specially prepared dies and striking processes which result in a coin with stronger, crisper devices, sharper rim, and in the case of modern proofs, mirror-like surfaces, and frosted-looking devices. Also, since proof dies are extremely limited in the number of coins they may strike, proof coins will not exhibit the signs of die deterioration. Proof coins come in specially-made packaging from the mint.
Proof Set: A group of proof coins, usually all of the different denominations from the same year, packaged and sold by the mint for collectors.
Proof-like: This refers to a business strike coin that has unusually nice features similar to what a proof coin would have.
Proto-rim: The raised perimeter on both faces of a coin that is produced by the upset mill on a planchet before being struck. The striking process alters the shape of the rim, flattening it out.
Punch: See Mint Mark Punch. There were no date punches used in the Lincoln cent series.
Push-Type Machine Doubling: See Machine Doubling.