When I picked up my first copy of the Guide Book of United States Coins Book by Richard S. Yeoman (this is also called the “red book”), I noticed that there were tons of names and nicknames that coins go by.
It really made my head spin—I had to stop and figure out what was what. I realized that coins often get nicknames that are more popular than their real name. Here’s some of the nicknames that you will hear:
Half eagle—this is another name for a United States $5 gold coin.
Eagle—this is a nickname for gold $10 coins that were made up until 1932. The reason for the nickname is that the coin featured an eagle design on the back.
Trime—this is a nickname for the US three cent coin. The US mint made this coin in the 1800s.
Double dime—this is a nickname for the 20-cent coin made by the United States mint during the mid-late 1800’s.
Iron dollar—this is a nickname for the US silver dollar from the 1800’s. The phrase was primarily used in the northeastern portion of the United States, and this phrase was used by people who disliked carrying silver dollars due to their heavy weight.
Mercury dime—this nickname was for the US 10 cent piece that was made between 1916 and 1945. Even though it was called the Winged Liberty Head dime at the beginning, the name “mercury” dime quickly caught on with the public when it was compared to the Roman god Mercury.
This is just some of the nicknames that you will hear. Which ones have you heard?