Edge Lettering On U.S. Coins – See Which Early And Modern Coins Have Lettering On The Edges

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Most of the coins you come across every day have either smooth edges or reeded edges. But it ’ s not every day we find U.S. coins that have letters and words imprinted on the edge.

Edge lettering allows more room for the coin’s design. In terms of mod neologism, 2007 is the class that border letter was reinstated for U.S. coins in circulation. That ’ s the year that Presidential dollar coins contained letters on the edges.

here ’ south more about the U.S. Mint ’ south practice of edge letters on coins — on mod coins, and on older coins…

Modern U.S. Coins With Edge Lettering

The presidential dollar coin series brought mainstream attention to edge letters on coins. The series ran from 2007 through 2016. The edge lettering on these dollar coins included :

  • the date the coin was struck
  • the coin’s mint mark
  • 13 stars

interestingly, only Presidential dollar coins struck in 2007 and 2008 have the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” included in the edge lettering. Why is that ? Because there was a good deal of controversy generated over the seeming omission of “ IN GOD WE TRUST ” from presidential dollar coins in 2007 and 2008. ( Most of those who complained did not realize the motto was on the mint ’ second edge. ) The U.S. Mint responded by placing “ IN GOD WE TRUST ” under the portrait on the mint ’ randomness obverse in 2009 and on all other presidential dollar coins through 2016. All of the other inscriptions remained on the edge of presidential dollar coins .

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Coin edge letter was besides used on native american dollars which were issued beginning in January of 2009.

here ’ s more about edge letter on native american dollar coins .

Coin Edge Lettering Has Been Around For Years

Edge lettering on U.S. coins actually dates back to the 1700s. For example, early-type half dollars (those made in the U.S. from 1794 through 1836) have edge lettering which contains the comply words “ FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR. ” There are respective design variations of the early half dollar with edge letter :

  • Flowing Hair half dollar (1794-1795)
  • Draped Bust half dollar with small eagle reverse (1796-1797)
  • Draped Bust half dollar with heraldic eagle reverse (1801-1807)
  • Capped Bust half dollar (1807-1836)

early silver dollars minted during the years 1794 to 1804 also  contain edge lettering. They have the follow dedication on the coin ’ sulfur border “ HUNDRED CENTS ON DOLLAR OR UNIT. ”

There were a few mint border design variations from 1794 to 1804, including :

  • Flowing Hair dollar (1794-1795)
  • Draped Bust with small eagle reverse (1795-1798)
  • Draped Bust with heraldic eagle reverse (1798-1804)

Ultra-High Relief Saint-Gaudens Coin Edges

One of America ’ s most celebrate coins besides contains edge letter. The Augustus Saint-Gaudens double eagle $20 gold coin, which was struck from 1907 through 1933, featured edge lettering. The edge letter contains the inscription “ E PLURIBUS UNUM ”, with stars dividing the words.

In 2009, as a nod to the original Saint-Gaudens double eagle, the U.S. Mint made an ultra-high relief Saint-Gaudens gold coin with edge lettering. This double eagle was minted but never released into circulation. ( The original ultra-high relief Saint-Gaudens mint could not be minted in large numbers due to technical reasons — flatter respite designs were produced alternatively. )

Like the other Saint-Gaudens gold coins, the 2009 ultra-high relief coin edge contains the inscription “ E PLURIBUS UNUM, ” with each word divided by stars .

Errors With Edge Lettering

sol, the modern coins that most normally carry border inscription are the golden dollars — particularly the Presidential $ 1 coins, native american dollars, and american english Innovation dollar coins. however, the edge letter is missing from some of these coins. The reason for this is because this process occurs at a different stage of the mint process. Some dollar coins missing their edge lettering are popular collectibles called Godless dollars.

here ’ south why… On 2007 and 2008 Presidential dollars, the motto “ IN GOD WE TRUST ” was supposed to appear on the edges of these coins. But the edge inscription didn ’ metric ton always make it onto these coins — hence the missing edge lettering error. These errors soon became hot commodities in the coin collecting global, now worth $ 75 to $ 100 ! Just watch out for fakes .

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I ’ m the Coin Editor hera at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I chiefly collect and study U.S. coins produced during the twentieth hundred. I ’ m a member of the American Numismatic Association ( ANA ) and the Numismatic Literary Guild ( NLG ) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin diarist. I ’ m besides the editor program at the Florida United Numismatists Club ( FUN Topics magazine ), and author of Images of America : The United States Mint in Philadelphia ( a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint ). I ’ ve contributed hundreds of articles for respective coin publications including neologism, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I ’ ve authored closely 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins ( many of them with over 50K shares ), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below !

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