Skip to content


Graining.  A border element of little dots in the shape of grains appearing on a numismatic item. The grains – also called dentiles – are of several elongated shapes, often with one pointed end and always pointing inward. The pointed dentiles form a part of the border or frame and direct the viewers gaze inward toward the design. This form of dentilation was widely used on 19th century coins in many countries.  See border.

Graining as a term has been applied to the edge of a coin where it meant the milling – making smooth – of the edge as during upsetting. It does not mean the knurls and flutes of a reeded edge (although some numismatic writers have used the term with this incorrect meaning).

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

NNP is 100% non-profit and independent // Your feedback is essential and welcome. // Your feedback is essential and welcome.