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Background Texture

Background Texture.  The characteristic pattern of the metallic surface in the field of a medallic or numismatic piece. Often the background offers the designer the greatest open area, thus the artist can add interest to the piece by giving it a texture, to add emphasis to the device, and/or provide contrast if the device has only smooth surfaces. A wide variety of background designs have been employed in medallic art. Only rarely do coins have a background texture, so often are they required, especially in modern times, to have a smooth field reserved for a polishing in the die for a proof surface.  See texture

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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