Common Abbreviations on the APMEX Website
Just like most industries, Precious Metals have their own shorthand. Even after studying Precious Metals for years you may see a line of letters and think, “What was that again?” We have compiled a convenient list of the most common abbreviations used among Precious Metal collectors and investors. You may find it helpful if you are new to Precious Metal investing, or if you just need a refresher!
The chemical symbol for Silver, which is derived from "argentum", the Latin word for Silver.
The chemical symbol for Gold, which is derived from "aurum", the Latin word for Gold.
The system of weights and measures most commonly used in the United States and Great Britain in which 16 AVDP ounces equals 1 pound. It is used for most solid objects, but not for Precious Metals and gems. One avoirdupois ounce equals 28.35 grams or 437.50 grains.
Short for certified, meaning rated by a third-party grading service.
Certificate of Authenticity.
One of the world's major commodities futures exchanges where Gold and Silver are traded. It is a division of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). The COMEX is in New York City.
The metallurgical symbol for Copper.
An attribute on coins certified by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) indicating that the coin has a Deep Cameo appearance.
Items that are in Extra Fine condition. All design elements are sharp and well defined. Sometimes also abbreviated as XF.
EFP (Exchange for Physical):
An off-market trading mechanism that enables customers to swap futures and options exposure for an offsetting physical position.
ETF (Exchange Traded Fund):
A marketable security that tracks an index, a commodity, bonds or a basket of assets like an index fund.
Exchange of Futures for Physicals (EFP):
A method by which both parties of a futures contract, that has underlying cash commodities, agree to close out their positions simultaneously.
Composed of a solid layer of Gold, which must be at least 5% of the item's total weight, mechanically bonded to sterling Silver or a base metal.
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.
Mint State; no signs of wear.
National Futures Association (NFA):
Futures industry trade association which promulgates rules of conduct and mediates disputes between customers and brokers.
Acronym for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, one of two major coin grading services in the United States.
The New York Mercantile Exchange, a futures exchange where Platinum and Palladium are traded.
Original government packaging. Includes all packaging and certificates as issued from the mint.
An acronym for Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux, an independent refiner of Precious Metals, located in Switzerland.
Acronym for Professional Coin Grading Service, one of the two major coin grading services in the United States.
The chemical symbol for Palladium.
Abbreviation for Proof, used as part of the grading system by NGC.
Prooflike. Circulation-quality coins that feature qualities normally associated with collector coins.
Abbreviation for Proof, used as part of the grading system by PCGS.
The chemical symbol for Platinum.
Rolled Gold Plate (RGP):
Composed of a solid layer of Gold, which is less than 5% of the item's total weight, mechanically bonded to sterling Silver or a base metal.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):
An independent governmental agency that administers federal securities laws and regulates the firms that buy and sell those securities.
One of the largest private equity investment firms globally, focused on leveraged buyouts, growth capital and leveraged recapitalization investments in distressed companies and turnaround situations.
An attribute on coins certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) indicating that the coin has an Ultra Cameo appearance.
Very Good condition with main features worn but rather flat.
Mintmark of the West Point Mint.
Items that are in Extra Fine condition. All design elements are sharp and well defined. Sometimes also abbreviated as EF.