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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 14, April 6, 2008, Article 18

GRANVYL HULSE ON CHOP MARKS

Granvyl Hulse writes: "What goes around comes around. I was
in the local grocery store yesterday and the person ahead of
me handed the clerk a $100 bill. The clerk reached in a drawer,
pulled out a special pen and swiped the bill.  The first thought
that came to my mind was 'chop marks'. I went back home and have
pulled out an old Peru 1807 8 real coin that I keep to illustrate
chop marks when I do the Boy Scout merit badge and am going to
take it back to the store to show them what the Chinese used to
do 201 years ago. My, how times have not changed except for
the method."

[I've had similar thoughts watching store clerks do this -
someone in front of me at the grocery store Friday paid with
a $100 bill.  There are three differences between pen marking
and counterstamps, though:

1. the pen mark is a test, not the affirmation of the result
  of testing

2. the pen mark is anonymous - it doesn't identify the
  merchant who made it

3. the pen mark isn't permanent - it disappears in time

Still, there are interesting parallels with the old chopmark
practice.  Same idea, different era.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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