Coin Orientation Question...

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by TaborTot22, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. TaborTot22

    TaborTot22 Well-Known Member

    Do all US Coins have a UP/DOWN orientation when flipped? That is, when you flip a coin vertically, do all US Coins have a reverse the right-side up?

    I was contacted to look and possibly buy some coins. Upon arrival, I found an 1885 Morgan and an 1871 Seated Liberty Dollar that were nice yet circulated. However, I had to flip these coins left/right in order for the reverse to be right-side up. I didn't buy the coins because I thought that they were fake due to the coin orientation.

    Do all US Coins have an UP-DOWN orientation? Are there any that don't? I know that Canadian coins have a left/right orientation.

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  3. C-B-D

    C-B-D U.S. Type Coins or death! Supporter

    I've NEVER seen a Morgan or a seated dollar without that "orientation". You were wise to stay away.
  4. 19Lyds

    19Lyds Member of the United States of Confusion

    It is quite simple to machine these coins down and create these "oddities". Sometimes they are called magicians coins and usually, if you look very closely, you can see a thin line near the rim where the two halves were join together.

    Wise to stay away? As long as they were genuine US coins, they still have their silver content. A bit impaired but silver none the less.

    I have a two headed and a two tailed 1964 Kennedy Half dollars I purchased simply because I had the money. I bought them from a well respected coin dealer with the full knowledge that they were PMD coins.

    I expect that if the coins you saw were genuine coins with PMD that they would sell for at least what a genuine silver dollar sold for if not a smidge more.
  5. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    They are all SUPPOSED to have the up/down orientation. Every so often you will find a coin where one of the dies has rotated some. Coins with a 180 degree rotation tend to be fairly rare with the exception of some 1864 two cent pieces and 1807 S-276 large cents. However for awhile the Chinese counterfeits that have flooded our market were commonly seen with left/right or medal orientation. I think they are getting away from that now. The 1871 and 1885 Chinese fake dollars are known to come with medal orientation so the coins you looked at probably are fakes.
  6. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    A smart buyer will study what orientation a coni should be, and check it. A lot of fakes historically have gotten this wrong. The OP was smart to check. Like Conder said, true 180 degree misalignment is very rare.

    Btw, just for general information, up/down orientation is called coin orientation, (turn coin vertically to see reverse properly). Left/right orientation is called medal orientation, (flip the coin to the left or right to see reverse properly). Easy way to remember is if you are wearing a medal on a ribbon, you can't turn it vertically to see the reverse, only side to side.
  7. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Supporter

    Side note: That terminology only makes sense in the US. ;) Hardly any other country (South Korea is another exception, I think) uses that ↑↓ orientation these days. (And the US uses it for coins only, not for notes.) So people who collect non-US coins issued these days will soon notice that pretty much every coin they come across has parallel orientation ↑↑ or alignment ...

  8. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Well we have a long, proud tradition of doing something incorrectly, but by gosh none of you "others" on this planet are going to change our traditions. ;)

    Isn't it funny, a country like the US with so little history, relies on "historical tradition" more than most?
  9. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Supporter

    Don't quite agree re: little history. ;) Maybe in terms of coins made on American soil; but apart from that ... there aren't that many places in the world that have had by and large the same political system for more than 200 years. So if you guys want to continue to use that kind of orientation, fine with me. It's just the terminology that, from a non-US POV, I find amusing.

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