Coin Identifier: Here’s How To Identify Your Coin Via Diagrams, Photos & Definitions Yourself

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy thru these links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Those of us who don’t necessarily collect coins, but happen to have found some interesting coins in our pocket change (or have inherited a hand-me-down coin collection)… we need some of the most basic coin identifiers spelled out for us. Right?

Like… what’s the difference between the edge of a coin and the rim of a coin? (You can find that answer in great detail here.)

What follows are some coin diagrams and photos that will help you describe your coin to others — like if you want to sell it online.

Plus, you will find coin glossaries and definitions that will be helpful as you learn more about the coins in your possession.

#1 – This first photo from the Coin Resource site helps you learn about each of the key parts of a coin, including:

  • device
  • rim
  • edge
  • obverse
  • reverse
  • date
  • fields
  • denomination
  • mint marks
  • legend
  • motto
  • exergue
  • dentils
Anatomy of a coin - this coin identifier from CoinResource points out all of the key places on a U.S. coin. is an excellent site for novice coin collectors!

#2 – This next photo from the U.S. Mint highlights the most basic parts of a coin, including:

  • the obverse and reverse sides of a coin
  • the difference between the edge and rim on a coin
  • the location of the inscription and mint mark on a coin
  • where the bust, date, and artist/designer’s initials appear on a coin
  • an example of relief and fields on a coin
Parts of a coin explained via diagram

The U.S. Mint website for kids has a wealth of resources available for beginners!

#3 – And finally, coin terms and abbreviations can be confusing. Check out these coin glossaries which describe the most popular words used to identify and describe U.S. coins. Each is a little different in its own way:

Don’t miss our latest tips!

Stay up to date with everything about U.S Coins

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy