Dick Johnson submitted this entry from his Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. Thanks. Back to basics this week! -Editor
Circular Form. Roundness. Coins are most often struck circular for the ease of coining, handling and compatibility with
vending machines and such. Medals and medallic items are more varied in their shape because of less constraints of handling. But the circular form has somewhat
of an artistic and sensuous shape - the circle is a form of perfection - designers may even prefer it when they have the opportunity to utilize any other
Large medals are round for a simple reason they can be turned on a lathe at much less cost than expensive trimming procedures. Costs for trimming small
medallic objects are about the same irrespective of shape and are least expensive when an existing trimming tool is available. In numismatic cataloging, shape
is always considered; a circular object is considered the usual shape, and if no other shape is mentioned, it can be presumed the object is circular. All other
shapes are considered "unusual," and must be so mentioned. See unusual shapes.
Book lovers should be word lovers as well.
Looking for the meaning of a numismatic word, or the description of a term? Try the Newman Numismatic Portal's Numismatic Dictionary at: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/dictionary
Or if you would like a printed copy of the complete Encyclopedia, it is available. There are 1,854 terms, on 678 pages, in The Encyclopedia of
Coin and Medal Technology. Even running two a week would require more than 19 years to publish them all. If you would like an advance draft of this vital
reference work it may be obtained from the author for your check of $50 sent postpaid. Dick Johnson, 139 Thompson Drive, Torrington, CT 06790.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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