Dick Johnson asks, "What term of numismatic technology have you created that you would like to see in my upcoming encyclopedia?"
I am sending out my manuscript on coin and medal technology for my first peer review this month. It contains 1,851 technical terms in the field of making, describing, cataloging, collecting and curating numismatic items -- at least those that are diestruck or cast. (It does not cover paper money or similar items).
There is still ample time to include a term or two that I may have overlooked. I am appealing to E-Sylum readers to reflect on their own use of technical terms in the field, particularly those that our knowledgeable readers have originated themselves. Isn't it interesting to note that you have coined a new term in the coin and medal field?
Walter Breen in all his numismatic writing invented two new terms:
ELECTROTRIAL -- An electroformed trial piece. That is what he named those galvanos of the Buffalo Nickel by James Earle Fraser that he had Henri and Felix Weil make for him, before he was satisfied enough to have hubs made to send the U.S. Mint.
BOUNDARY -- The line between contrasting metals of the core and the clad metal in a clad coin composition.
I could not resist creating two new terms as well, because no existing term covered exactly what is meant. My two are:
MODULATED RELIEF -- The rise and fall of three-dimensional sculptural surface; the total surface planes and curvatures forming a coin or medal design.
RIM/EDGE JUNCTURE -- The point where the horizontal plane of the face of a struck piece meets the vertical plane of the edge.
That last term is useful in describing proof coinage as pressmen seek to strike a proof coin where the metal flows to and completely forms a sharp point at that intersection but not one scintilla more metal (it would cause a WIRE EDGE if it did). The architectural term "arris" is the closest I found to indicate such a point, but this didn't seem to fit coins, thus I invented my own term.
So, what technical term in the coin field have you invented? Don't send me terms on condition or those trade puffing terms about how exquisite your coin is. I want terms of factual conditions in the field.
Email me at
I will acknowledge all those I accept for inclusion and guarantee your name will be mentioned for the next 70 years -- as long as my book will be in print.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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