Imitation. A manufactured piece resembling an official numismatic item, not issued by authority and with questionable intent, but technically not illegal or counterfeit. A costume jewelry or souvenir item closely resembling a numismatic item is an imitation. Often of poor quality (certainly less than the original), imitations are usually issued to capitalize on the demand for a popular coin or medal, as the Kennedy half dollar; coronation, inaugural or statehood medals, for example. See copies and replicas, official, unofficial.
excerpted with permission from
An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology
For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY D. WAYNE JOHNSON
Roger W. Burdette, Editor