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Reverse.  The back or opposite side to the obverse. The symbolism or allegory on the reverse must supplement or support the principle device on the obverse. Designers claim the reverse is often the more difficult side to design, since the obverse is the principle theme – usually an easy design concept – the reverse is more difficult since it must complement the obverse and further develop the total theme

of the coin or medal design.

An interesting Washington-Lincoln Medal has the word reverse on the medal. King 856 (Baker 240) bears Washington on the obverse with the famous slogan First in war, first in peace ..." The opposite side bears Lincoln with "reverse" as its legend. Some numismatic writers believe this is the diesinkers misunderstanding, that he put his instructions as the legend, rather than some appropriate lettering.

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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