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.
Galvano: A large plaster or clay disc, about 12 to 15 inches in diameter, onto which a mint engraver creates the original design for a coin. The design is then reduced in size and transferred onto a master hub by a machine called a reduction lathe. (See Janvier Reduction Lathe.)
Garage Job: Also called a squeeze job, vice job, or hammer job, this is intentional post-strike damage when a coin is smashed against another coin or object, usually in an attempt to make it look like a genuine mint error. When squeezed or smashed against another coin, a mirror-image in reverse relief of each coin’s devices will transfer onto the other. Below you can see a mirrored incuse LIBERTY on the coin as the result of being pressed into another cent.
Gas Bubbles: See Blistered Plating.
Goiter Cent: See Die Subsidence.
Good: A coin grading standard of 4-6. See our grading guide Here.
Gouge: See Die Gouge.
Grade: A coin’s grade is reported by an alphanumeric code consisting of 1 or 2 letters indicating its general condition, followed by a number from 1-70, with 70 being best. Coin grades are as follows:
PO1 = Poor, FR2 = Fair, AG3 = About Good, G4 to G6 = Good, VG8 to VG10 = Very Good, F12 to F15 = Fine, VF20 to VF35 = Very Fine, XF(or EF)40 to XF45 = Extremely Fine, AU50 to AU58 = About Uncirculated, and MS60 to MS70 = Mint State. Please see our grading guide Here for more details.
Gram: The most common unit of measure used to indicate a coin’s weight. Lincoln cents made from 1909 to mid-1982 (excepting 1943) should weigh 3.11 grams. 1943 cents should weigh 2.7 grams. From mid 1982 to the present, they should weigh 2.5 grams.
Greaser: See Struck Through Filled Die.
Greasy Ghost: A ghost-like image of Lincoln’s bust seen on the reverse of some Lincoln cents caused by a build-up of grease on the reverse die. Since Lincoln’s bust is a large incuse element on the obverse die, the striking pressure on the reverse die corresponding to this area is lower, and therefore grease tends to collect on the reverse die in this area and in the general shape of the bust. Coins struck-through this grease collection will show an incuse ghost-like image of the bust on the reverse. This should not be confused with Progressive Indirect Design Transfer, which is another cause of a ghost-like image of the bust on the reverse of a coin. Images donated by mrmike916, and Roller.
Grease Mold Doubling (Stiff Die Fill Raised Design Element Doubling): error-ref.com‘s term for a recently discovered form of doubling being found on cents from the mid to late 1990s, affecting the terminal digit of the date. In this term, the word “mold” is used as in “jello mold,” not as in “black mold,” or fungus. Presumably, a greasy/gunky film covering the die surface can become hard enough from the striking process that it forms a solid mold of the design element. If this solid mold of gunk begins to shift into the field from its original position, and since it is in the same shape as that portion of the die, it can create a raised design element in an offset position. Of course, since this mold will be somewhat smashed during the strike, the slightly raised element will be larger that the original design element. In addition to the link at the beginning of the entry, please also see this article by Mike Diamond for more information. The images below were donated by jallengomez and Joel.