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HomeGlossaryObverse

Glossary


Obverse

The side of the coin that bears the 'head' – a term derived from the phrase 'crowned head'. This is normally a portrait of the reigning King or Queen in the country of issue. For example, on current British coinage, the obverse always carries a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II and the reverse, or 'tails' side, features a design such as the classic Britannia by Philip Nathan.  However, not all countries are ruled by monarchs and republics generally opt for their coat of arms. The Mexican Gold Libertad is a good illustration, the coin carries the country's coat of arms on its obverse while the reverse shows the famous Winged Liberty design.

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