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
For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY D. WAYNE JOHNSON
Roger W. Burdette, Editor