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Original.  A genuine numismatic or medallic item as authorized and first issued by proper authority; not a copy, reissue, revision, reproduction, facsimile, imitation, restrike, forgery or counterfeit. As one of the specimens among those authorized to be issued, it is also called original issue. To learn if a given item actually is an original, a study of its authenticity must be done. Since this requires experience in the field, it is not a project for the inexperienced, but usually requires comparison with similar items that are known to be genuine. The authenticator checks minute areas for similarity and dissimilarity, makes several tests, and occasionally consults numismatic literature.  See authenticity, authorized, copies and replicas.


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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