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Cartwheel Rim

Cartwheel Rim.  A wide raised rim similar to British copper twopence pieces of 1797 struck by Matthew Boulton at his Soho Mint and bearing George III's portrait; hence any coin or medal with such a wide raised rim. The large diestruck pieces usually have their legends – incuse – on the wide rims of both sides instead of just inside a narrow rim. An American example is the Thomas Truxton Medal, 1801, struck by the United States Mint (Julian NA-2). A cartwheel rim is the widest of any rim, it is larger than a band and easily accommodates the lettering.  (The narrowest rim is called a lip.)  See rim, border.

Matthew Boulton's innovation of the cartwheel rim was brilliant but it never received widespread acceptance. Since raised lettering near the rim creates the greatest amount of stress to the die during striking – and the location of most diebreaks and cuds – placing the legend in the raised cartwheel rim eliminated this stress. die life was lengthened but this concept never became popular in coin or medal design. Designers continued to place the legend in raised letters just inside the rim, of whatever width they chose.


O37   {1977} Julian.

NE43 {1982} Doty, p 45-47.

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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