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Inspection.  Examination for flaws which can occur at any step of the manufacturing process. There are three kinds of flaws which inspectors must look for: planchet flaws, striking flaws and finishing flaws. Inspectors of coins are concerned with only the first two, medal inspectors must be aware of all three. Planchet flaws consist of oversize, undersize, thick, thin, wrong metal, clipped and damaged planchets. Striking flaws consist of weakly struck, double struck, multiple struck, multiple planchet, rotated dies, off center, impressed errors, clashed dies and incorrect mating of obverse and reverse dies. Finishing flaws consist of stains, discolorations, damage due to mishandling (edge nicks, holes, mashed or damaged lettering) and incorrect serial numbers. Careful inspection is necessary before package and shipping.

Inspection on a production basis is usually on a continuous belt where a two-person team works by visually examining one side, a mechanism turns the pieces over for inspection of the opposite side. These can be done of blanks, or of completed struck up pieces. In England this is called overlooking. Inspection of medallic items is usually by one person who picks up each individual piece and manually turns it over for visually examining not only of both sides but also the edges (usually prior to being packaged or cased). Careful inspection is necessary before packaging and shipping any numismatic item.  See errors on medals.


C66 {1988} Cooper p 207, 242 (color illus).

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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