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So I got this e-mail about US coins:

 

I received an email today protesting the absence of the words:"In God We Trust" on the new $1.00 coin, bearing the face of George Washington. I checked to see if those words were on other US coins and money: from the penny to the silver dollar, the words were on the coins. We are a theistic nation and if this is a step towards our abandoning that national character and tradition, it should not have been done without the public's consent.

 

If you agree, then pass this on to your friends.

 

So I responded:

 

Okay, I don't actually have the coin in front of me, but according to the US Mint's web site, "In God We Trust” IS on the new coin!

 

Several inscriptions traditionally found of the face of circulating coins have been moved to the edge, making these coins unique among U.S. Circulating coins. They are "E Pluribus Unum," "In God We Trust," the year of the minting, and the mint mark

 

http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/$...#036;1coinFlash

 

(political comments removed)

 

Well, needless to say, since I sent it back to EVERYONE on the mass e-mail list, I got back an answer:

 

Alright, I've been to the U.S. Mint website, and "In God We Trust" is on the coin..... That is, on the edge of the coin, along with the mint date. By the way, who looks at the edges of coins? It's not exactly a step in the right direction to put "In God We Trust" on the edge of the coin, where inevitably it can wear off. I am not impressed so far....

 

So, here’s my numismatic question:

Do things engraved into the edges of coins wear off faster or slower than things raised up on their surface?

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The mint should recall all dollar with no inscrption on the side from the bank or other finacial institution or by the public and melt them until most of them are melted.

 

A variety a Godless dollar more like a Godless florin.

 

For me RECALL,RECALL ALL GODLESS DOLLAR. ;):ninja:;)

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The main source of edge wear on modern coins is their use in slot machines in Las Vegas and elsewhere. These machines are designed to spit out coins on their edge since that makes the most noise (hence excitement in the casino) when they hit the metal pan for a payout. I've seen half dollars in Vegas with the reeding worn smooth despite being only a few years old due to this process.

 

This shouldn't be a worry on the new dollars since the larger $1 tokens used by casinos cost them less than $1 to buy (hence they get the "seignorage") and I doubt many casinos would opt for smaller and more expensive coins. To be honest, most of these coins will never see circulation, so the idea of them wearing at all seems pretty crazy. But for arguments sake, the only comparable coins in the US were the old bust coins (Saints had raised letters) and I got a 175 year old half in the mail yesterday and you could still read the edge lettering just fine, though there weren't slot machines back then!

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The main source of edge wear on modern coins is their use in slot machines in Las Vegas and elsewhere. These machines are designed to spit out coins on their edge since that makes the most noise (hence excitement in the casino) when they hit the metal pan for a payout.

True but most of the casino have now switched over to payout by ticket, not clattering coins.

 

And the lettered edges will probably last a LONG time. If you go back and look at the early large cents and half dollars that had lettered edges even coins that grade Good or even lower normally still have clear edge lettering visible. The letters appear to be at least about .3 mm deep which would mean that the edge would have to worn down almost as much as the distance equal to the height of the mintmark on a regular coin. How many coins have you seen worn down so much that the mintmark is barely visible? You pretty much have to go back to the early SLQ. So I think the edges should be good for about 90 years at least. (And frankly the edges probably wear less than the faces. If you go all the way back to the start of the close collar steam press coins an check the diameter you will find that they are still almost exactly the same as the legal specifications, not a half mm less. So that evidence suggests the edges should last at least 170 years.)

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With the lettering on the new dollars it will be there for thousands of years. The reason is no one is going to use them in circulation any more than they have with the other baby dollar coins made in the last several years. Don't know about you but the only dollar coins I've seen in change was when I received some as if they were quarters. As to wear on the edge of any coin. I've seen way to many coins where the faces have been just about worn away and the edges are still in decent condition. My vote is for the edges just don't get abused as much as the front of back.

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