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Why Some Coins Have Ridges

While looking thru your pocket change, you may have noticed that some coins have ridges. The term is actually called “reeding”. Although many may think that these reeded edges are there for decoration, this was not their original intent.  In earlier times, these ridges were created to prevent clipping and counterfeiting of coins.

Historically, higher denomination coins were made from precious metals, such as silver and gold.  Criminals would shave off the sides of the coins and sell the metal flakes. To avoid having to carefully inspect each coin, countries introduced reeded edges.  This reduced the risk of shaving and prevented counterfeiting.

It was not cost effective to create ridges on lower denomination coins, since these crooks had little interest in copper and cheap metals.

Today the ridges on coins have remained there and the tradition has too. Since then, many new styles of reeding have been introduced World Wide.

In order to identify fake coins, collectors should make themselves familiar with the ridges of their collection.

To learn more about coins, please visit us at

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St. Louis Park,
Minneapolis, MN, 55426
Phone: (952) 920-6101
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