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Plug.  (1) A small metal core of contrasting color or precious metal inset into a planchet before the blank is struck into a coin or medal, the center of a bimetalic item. Lead medals or tokens have been plugged with copper; white metal, aluminum and copper items have been plugged with brass; bronze plugged with silver (as the American 1792 silver cent); and silver items with gold or other metals. Bimetallic items purposely have a contrasting color plug inset in a medal frame or ring. Some makers of bimetallic items call the plug a dump.


            A very rare occurrence were gold coins plugged with tiny bits of gold to bring the value up to standard of the stated denomination. These plugs were inserted both before and after being struck. These REGULATED COINS were issued by goldsmiths in America in the 1790s.. 

5 620-(004)08.8           Illus: Drawings

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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