VOCABULARY TERM: CAST DOUBLE
Dick Johnson submitted this entry from his Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. Thanks. -Editor
Cast Double. A medallic item with designs on both sides, as the obverse and reverse are cast separate then joined together; not single-sided. Cast
double is, particularly, a numismatic term in that no other objects of equal size, shape and two-sidedness are joined together like medallic items. The two halves, called plates,
can be solid, but are usually cast hollow and are soldered together. (The lead solder not only is the adherent holding the two plates together but also the drop-in giving the
piece added strength). Medallic items are cast double as any casting – it is more suitable than diestriking (no diestriking equipment available, a size larger than can be
diestruck with fewer needed than die making requires).
There are two kinds of double-sided medals:
Cast – When both halves of a medallic item are cast each side is called a plate; the item can remain hollow, or a metal drop-in can be added to make it somewhat
Electroformed – When both halves of a medallic item are made by electroforming they are called shells; they also can remain hollow, or the drop-in metal added to
strengthen it. When made of two electroformed shells this is technically a galvano medal.
Where two halves, made by any method, are brought together there is usually a seam visible around the edge. This is usually trimmed or chased to smooth it, and often buffed to
make it as inconspicuous as possible. The fabricated item is then given a patina finish as one uniform medallic item.
A two-sided cast piece not joined, but of one uniform mass cast in a two-sided mold is termed double-sided and it is always cast solid.
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Wayne Homren, Editor
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