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Cancel.  To withdraw from further use. To cancel a die is to mutilate it in such a way that a pristine specimen cannot be struck from it; to cancel a coin or medal is to physically change it from it's original state. Dies are cancelled when a limited edition has reached its announced quantity struck, or when no further use can be made from that die.

Coins and medals are cancelled when it is not convenient to toss them in a melting pot. They are cut, holed, mashed, segmented or corrugated. The pieces are then stored until they can be placed in a melting pot as a first step of recovering their metal content.

In 2001 with the introduction of the new Euro coinage in selected countries in Europe, when old coins were replaced by the new coinage they were cancelled by perforation. A machine used in France pierced 12 tiny holes in each coin.  The machine was called a trouilloteuse.  See deface, melting.

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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