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The E-Sylum: Volume 21, Number 29, July 22, 2019, Article 21

VOCABULARY TERM: CIRCULATION CAMEO

We like words here at The E-Sylum. A lengthy discussion begun in 2016 on the Coin Talk site deals with a certain type of circulated coin the proposer called "Circulation Cameos". I became aware of this when some new content was added this week. Are E-Sylum readers familiar with this term? -Editor

I've long been a fan of original grey-toned circulated silver with a "two-tone" look that provides contrast between darker fields and lighter devices. Most of you probably know what a "Cameo" proof coin is, right? A coin with deeply mirrored fields and frosty portrait or devices?

Well, a "Circulation Cameo" is an entirely different thing, but the same principle, really. It is a darker toned coin that got lighter highlights as an effect of light rub on the higher portions of the design, giving it a sort of "cameo" contrast, though not in the same was a proof, of course, since we're talking about circulated coins.

I wanted a good shorthand term to describe this look, so I came up with "Circulation Cameo", or "CircCam", for short. This term gained some acceptance on the PCGS/Collectors Universe boards, and I've seen members there adopt it and even use it in their eBay descriptions.

Now, I could go on and on about this, but the best way to further describe the look is to post some examples.

This is a CircCam. Rather dark, to be sure, but the coin was not that brown looking in hand after I bought it from these images. It was a perfect grey CircCam. A lot of this stuff might be too dark for some people's tastes, but I like me a good "black-n'-white" CircCam. I'm not a fan of completely-dark silver, but when you've got the contrast to make the design elements "pop", it's a good thing.

1838 Half Dime Circulation Cameo

Here are a couple more examples. -Editor

1888-S Quarter circulation cameo

1839-0 Dime obverse cirulation cameo 1839-0 Dime reverse cirulation cameo

Language is constantly evolving, and I have no objections to new terms - they serve a need or wouldn't have been invented in the first place. What do readers this of this one? See the complete thread online (17 pages worth)! -Editor

To read the complete discussion thread, see:
What is a "CircCam", you ask? Look and see! And post yours! (Cited from: https://www.cointalk.com/threads/what-is-a-circcam-you-ask-look-and-see-and-post-yours.288335/) (https://www.cointalk.com/threads/what-is-a-circcam-you-ask-look-and-see-and-post-yours.288335/)

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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