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Private Mark

Private Mark.  A letter or symbol hidden in the design or signature of a coin or medal which has some private meaning to the original artist; or applied to an existing numismatic item by a onetime owner. In the earliest recorded case of this, the French medalist Louis Merley added an "M" to his signature, thusly: L. Merley.F.M. Some owners have added letters to items in their collection (their initials as a collector’s mark say), but the practice is not encouraged and may be considered a form of graffiti to subsequent owners.

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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