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Hand Punched, Hand Punching

Hand Punched, Hand Punching.  The use of separate punches – either letter or figure punches one at a time – punched to form an inscription or legend on a numismatic or medallic item, or a form of counterstamping. The lettering is incuse and the alignment of letters is often uneven attesting to the amateur experience of the person hand punching or counter- stamping such an item. The lettering is not the original wording and such inscribing was not intended by the original designer. An example is a Washington Medal counterstamped with an Emancipation Bill inscription on the reverse.  See punch, puncheon; counterstamped.

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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