Skip to content

Half Ball Feet

Half Ball Feet.  A half hemisphere of metal attached to the back of a medallic item to make a paperweight of it. The hemispheres resemble half a ball, hence the name, and they serve as "feet" to raise the medallic item from the surface it rests on. Usually plaquettes have four such feet, one at each corner (example: Columbia University Bicentennial Plaquette, 1952-011), and round medals have three feet (Monarch Life Insurance Company 50th Anniversary Medal, 1950-003). Customarily the reverse die is designed to accommodate these feet with raised circles – limiting guides – in the relief design. The half ball feet are soldered within these guides to a raw medalafter the piece is fully struck up and trimmed but before it is finished. Large medallic companies produce their own half ball feet (Medallic Art Company die 1951-080) or jewelry supply houses stock such ball feet in solid brass. Smaller medal manufacturers have used full spheres, as ball bearings, instead of half ball feet; while these serve the immediate function, they are somewhat less artistic and can break off easily. These are termed ball feet.  See paperweight.

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

NNP is 100% non-profit and independent // Your feedback is essential and welcome. // Your feedback is essential and welcome.