Trivia - Edges

Discussion in 'Clinker - In Memoriam' started by Clinker, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. Mikjo0

    Mikjo0 Numismatist

    Thanks Aidan,
    I never noticed that mintmark and wouldn't have known it was Rochelle,I thought it was just part of the inscription.I'll change the label to reflect it.:bow:
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  3. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    Not always. In some instances the edge inscription comes directly from the collar, in which case it will alwasy be facing the same direction with respect to the faces. That's the method used by the Japan Mint Bureau. I haven't seen anything to indicate whether the Presdollars will be done that way, but I believe reeding is done with the collar, which would imply that edge inscriptions will also be from the collar. NO guarantees!:)
  4. Just Carl

    Just Carl Numismatist

    More interesting stories. Therer should be a place where factual information such as this stays in one place. This post will slowly vanish and new people will not have the advantage of learning something about the edges of coins. I never knew this one.
    Now as to why the edges are like they are I don't see how anything like reeding, writting, etc could stop anyone from clipping off pieces of material to make thier own coins. Even that appears to be rather a waste of time unless the intent is to produce couterfiets. Phony coin around here were made for a long time in factories that normally produced washers. It took very little to produce a blank that would work in vending machines, pay telephones and especially in parking meters. That was some time ago and I'm not saying it was me but lets just say I used to know of thier usage. Clipping off edges of Silver coins used to be a constant thing with certain individuals and they would still be able to dump them in a banks coin counter. So what was the real advantage to playing around with ribs, reeds, writting, etc. since it sure didn't stop anyone I knew.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Well, before the practice started it was a big deal. There were no such things as vending machines or counting machines - there were only people. Banks didn't even exist in the form that we know them. Back then, bankers were known simply as moneychangers. And they would set up shop in the marektplace every day. They made their living by exchanging coins of the country they were in for coins from other places. They managed to do this because most people had coins from all over, and this was because coins were hard to come by. But if you wanted to shop, then you had to have coins in the local currency. So people would go to the tables of the moneychangers and exchange their coins.

    But the moneychangers did this for a living, and the only way they would exchange coins was by weight. And if they were not certain of the fineness of silver in a certain coin, well they'd do an assay and then they'd exchange it. For gold coins, they could tell the fineness by use of a touch stone and the accuracy was such that thyey could tell to within 1% or so what the fineness of the gold was. There wasn't any fooling these guys - they knew their coins. And they also knew that the world abounded in scoundrels who would clip a coin in a New York second ( even though New York didn't exist yet ). That's why they weighed them all.

    Of course after they exchanged all these coins, they would take them to the local mint, have the coins all melted and restruck into the local currency. But to do this they had to pay the mint and the mint had to pay the local govt. That's how most of the mints got the bullion they needed to produce coins, bullion was in short supply back then. And that's also how the local govt. replenished their treasuries - it was literally a money making proposition ;)

    Of course in times when trade was slow or bullion simply could not be had, then the govt, had to step up and provide the bullion. For if trade died completely, so would the govt. And in these times the govt, would of course lose money. They didn't like that. So when the idea came along to produce a coin with a reeded edge or an edge design - governments the world over were very happy. No longer would they have to step up and provide bullion for the mints to produce coins. If a coin was clipped, and the edge design was missing - the merchants simply wouldn't accept it. In effect it was worthless. So the only thing the holder of a clipped coin could do was sell it to the govt. based on its weight - and again the govt. was making money.

    So - people stopped clipping coins, it just wasn't worth it anymore. Of course that's when counterfeits really took off.

    I think that's where those folks you knew came in Carl :D

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    See what you started Clinker - now ya got me writing books :rolleyes:
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