Adjustment marks or scratches?

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by pianoman, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. pianoman

    pianoman New Member

    Hi all,

    I came across an older French 1/4 ecu recently with some significant scratches in the right field and to the right of the date. My first instinct was that the scratches were graffiti or somewhat intentional, as the leftmost scratch curves to avoid L14's nose, but I know very little about adjustment marks and would love a second opinion or two.
    Thank you!
     

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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Looks like scratches to me. They look too deep.
     
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  4. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    +1, adjustment Mark's are also usually straight lines and not so deep.

    Edit: deep was not the right word. The scratches are uneven and some are wider and show signs of having been carved more than once, but the lines wiggle as if done with an unsteady hand, widening the cuts and making them crooked.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
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  5. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    They are scratches. In any case, the depth of the mark is NOT THE WAY to differentiate the two.
     
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  6. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Well go on, tell 'em what is !
     
  7. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Agreed. Adjustment marks will be parallel to each other. Coins of Amisos under Mithradates IV were HORRIBLY adjusted for some reason, (especially copper for some unfathomable reason), with the marks being much deeper than these.

    Besides being parallel, remember the adjustments were made before striking, so they should flow into the design from field but be changed by the metal moving into the design. Probably not describing well. Many adjustment marks go right up to the design and mostly "disappear" at the design because so much metal was flowing into the design it wiped them out.

    Yours are graffiti after struck. If graffiti goes into the design, it scratches it as deep mainly as field.
     
  8. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Yes, they were at times but not always. There are plenty of examples where adjustment marks occurred after the coin was struck, with both world and US coins.
     
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  9. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    The lines look like they were in the die. They don't appear to be incused but rather raised. I enlarged the photo to see this. JMO
     
  10. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    True, sorry. I was thinking of the Amisos issues since I happened to have one in my hand 10 minutes before I wrote that.

    You are very correct that some world coins were adjusted after striking. I cannot remember the name but a large issue of German Thalers came onto the market 8 years ago but most had bad adjustment marks dated in the 18th century. Even then, the adjustment marks will be in parallel and usually cover both fields and devices. There are good threads here showing how to tell true adjustment marks and how the marks change between the two areas.
     
  11. John Conduitt

    John Conduitt Well-Known Member

    I believe the marks on the back of this William and Mary half crown are adjustment marks. You get them all the time on this sort of coin:

    upload_2020-7-7_20-52-35.png
     
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  12. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    I collect coins from 1700's Sicily and adjustment marks are common on Silver Tari coins. Most of the time they were done on the reverse of coins and they were deep scratches to check to see if the coin was silver and not a silver washed counterfeit coin.
     
  13. John Conduitt

    John Conduitt Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't that be a test cut rather than an adjustment mark? Adjustment marks were made at the mint to bring an overweight flan back into regulation
     

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  14. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    Yes, you're right. Test cuts would be a more accurate term to use. However, they are still commonly called adjustment marks.
     
  15. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    No they don't on the OP's coin.
     
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  16. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    upload_2020-7-7_21-2-18.png
    Look raised to me.
     
  17. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Photographs can be tricky. I see gouges, yet when I cross my eyes a little I see them raised. I think you can see either in the photo based upon what your eye wishes to see.
     
  18. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I see them as incuse, not raised. And I'm afraid they look like deep, deliberate scratches and not adjustment marks, which, as mentioned, would be straighter and more parallel.

    True. One's eye can interpret it either way. I'm sure there is some scientific term for this.
     
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  19. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    Yes, I too can see them both ways.
     
  20. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    On that particular coin, yeah, most of those are adjustment marks - and they were done before the strike. But the most prominent one - that's a pretty deep scratch.
     
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  21. John Conduitt

    John Conduitt Well-Known Member

    Adjustment marks and a scratch...at least it's a good example for this discussion :playful:
     
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