A beginner's Guide to Abbreviations
Many of the abbreviations associated with ancient coin collecting originated in the major reference works that are used to catalog different types of coins. When you are cataloging thousands of coins, it can be a pain writing cuirassed over and over again. Abbreviations may be divided into two major categories: Those related to the coins and those referring to reference works.
Abbreviations concerning coins:
- AU = Gold (It may also mean "about unciruculated" for grade)
- AR = Silver
- AE = Bronze or any mix of bronze-like alloys
- El = Electrum (natural alloy of gold and silver)
- o or obv = obverse
- r, rx, or rev = reverse
- l or lt = left
- r or rt = right
- dr = draped
- c or cuir = cuirassed (the chest armor)
- laur = laureate
- rad = radiate
- diad = diademed
- hd = head
- std = seated
- stg = standing
- ex = exergue (the bottom area of the reverse usually demarked by a line and often containing mint marks or moneyer's name)
- g or gm = grams - mm = millimeters
- BCE = Before Common Era (BC)
- CE = Common Era (AD)
- FDC = Fleur-de-Coin (Absolutely flawless, without any wear scratches or fingerprints.)
- Unc. = Uncirculated (In new condition as issued, but not necessarily perfect.)
- EF = Extremely Fine (Slight surface marks or slight wear visible on close inspection.)
- VF = Very Fine (Some wear on the raised surfaces, but still retaining much detail. )
- F = Fine - (Considerable wear on the raised surfaces, all main features still sharp. I would guess that this fits a majority of ancient coins on Ebay/Yahoo!)
- VG = Very Good (Really means very bad. Very worn but you can still determine who issued the coin.)
- fr =Fair (Very worn.)
- poor = (Very worn, but you can still see that it is a coin.)
- BMC = Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum - 6 volumes
- C or Coh = Cohen - Descrption historique des Monnaies frappees sous l'Empire Romain. This is now online - see my links page.
- Cr. = Crawford - Roman Republican Coinage
- LRBC = Late Roman Bronze coinage - Carson et al.
= Ancient Greek Bronze Coins From the Lindgren Collection, H. C. Lindgren (3 volumes).
- RIC = Roman Imperial Coinage by Mattingly & Sydenham- 9 Volumes
and a work in progress. Greek Coins = 29 Volumes.
- RPC = Roman Provincial Coinage, A Burnett, M. Amandry and P.P. Ripoles. (3 Volumes - more on the way)
- RSC = Roman Silver Coins - Seaby, H. (5 volumes)
- S or SR = Sear ________ Coins and their Values (Greek, Roman, Provincial [Greek Imperial] Imperator, Byzantine, & Republican could all be inserted on this line)
- SNG.ANS = Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Am Numis Society
- SNG.BMC = Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, British Museum
- SNG.Cop = Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Copenhagen (8 volumes)
- SNGvA = SNG von Aulock. Originally 18 volumes, reprinted in 1987 as 4 hardbound volumes. In German.
(There are many SNG volumes with more cataloging private and museum collections in the works.)
- Syd = The Coinage of the Roman Republic, by E.A.Sydenham.