Here's more from the entry on Edge Lettering and Numbering from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology.
Edge Mintmarks and Symbols
Most of what has been discussed will help the observer decipher what is found on the edges of medals. Another practice needs to be discussed: the use of symbols as mintmarks or hallmarks, predominantly that of the official mint of the French government – the "Paris mintmark."
What originated as a mintmaster's mark evolved into a charming custom of a symbol for the Paris Mint. Since the 1830s symbols have appeared on French medals. Currently this is a cornucopia for medals produced since January 1880. And, since 1959, the date has been added in addition to the cornucopia mark. Previously the symbols were:
A bee for those medals produced November 1860 to December 1879.
A pointing hand for those medals produced June 1845 to October 1860.
The prow of a galley for medals produced September 1842
to June 1945.
An anchor and C interlaced for all medals produced October 1841 to September 1842.
An antique lamp for gold and silver medals only from March 1832 to October 1841.
In 1994 a French commemorative coin struck at the Paris Mint had a dolphin (for the engraver) in addition to the cornucopia mintmark punched on the edge.
Another common symbol appearing on recent American medals is the copyright mark, the c within a circle, ©. Or sometimes the sponsor of a medal appears in symbol form. On the Collegiate Football Centennial Medal of 1968 appeared the edge stamp of NCAA, for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the symbol for Chevrolet, the corporate sponsor. The copyright mark indicates a private issue, as national mints never copyright their designs.
A star symbol on the edge created two varieties of the Vermont Centennial Medal issued in 1927; a star was punched on the edge to indicate it was a second edition.
To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Edge Lettering and Numbering
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
VOCABULARY TERM: EDGE LETTERING, PART 3
Wayne Homren, Editor
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