ASK: The price at which a dealer offers to sell.
BID: The price at which a dealer is willing to buy.
BU: Brilliant Uncirculated; used to describe a coin in new condition. It is for a coin that has no wear and shows original luster, but it may have light handling marks or other imperfections.
BULLION: 1. Gold, Silver, Platinum or Palladium coins which closely follow spot prices and have little or no numismatic value (such as restrikes and modern sovereign mint bullion coins). 2. The form in which metal is shaped, such as bars, ingots or wafers. The most commonly traded Gold bullion pieces among individual investors in the United States weigh 10 ounces or less.
BULLION COIN: A Precious Metal coin whose market value is determined by its intrinsic Precious Metal content. They are bought and sold mainly for investment purposes. They may be produced by a sovereign mint with a denominated face value but will be considered as bullion because they trade at a price relative to its intrinsic value.
COIN: A stamped piece of metal of a known weight and fineness issued for commerce.
FACE VALUE: The monetary value of an investment coin, which does not necessarily correspond to its actual worth. For example, the face value of a 1 oz Gold Panda coin is CNY500, but its actual worth is tied to the spot value of its Gold content — a much higher value.
NOMINAL FACE VALUE: Nominal value given to legal tender coins sold for their metal content. Example: The 1 oz Gold Panda carries a CNY500 face value but sells for its nominal value, which includes its Gold content plus a premium of 6 to 8 %.
KARAT: Measurement of purity used in showing the fineness of Gold, scaled 1 to 24. One karat is 1/24 pure Gold. 24 karat is pure Gold (.999).
LEGAL TENDER: Coin or currency identified by a government to be acceptable in the discharge of debts.
LONDON FIX PRICE: This bullion pricing standard is set each day in London by the members of the London Bullion Market Association. The "fixing price" reflects the price at which buy and sell orders from the firms' customers are in balance. The London Fix is an internationally recognized benchmark price for that particular moment in time. There is a morning (a.m.) price fix as well as an afternoon (p.m.) price fix.
NUMISMATIC COINS: Coins whose prices depend more on their rarity, condition, dates and mint marks than on their Gold or Silver content, if any.
PROOF: Refers to the manner in which a coin was minted and not to its condition. Highly polished dies and special planchets are used to produce coins with a mirror like finish. A Proof strike is very different from a business strike, and Proof coins are generally made for collectors, not for normal use.
SPOT: Describes a one-time open market cash transaction price of a commodity, where it is purchased "on the spot" at current market rates.
TROY OUNCE: The word ounce, when applied to Gold, always refers to troy ounces. A troy ounce is different from the ounce most people are accustomed to (the avoirdupois ounce). One troy ounce equals 31.1035 grams.
UNCIRCULATED: A coin in new or unused condition, sometimes said to be Brilliant Uncirculated or BU. The term is often used interchangeably with Mint State.