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Waffled Or Cancelled 1868 2 1/2 Centimos? Did They Do That Back Then?

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Valued Member
United States
251 Posts
 Posted 02/23/2021  4:34 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add HGK3 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Came across this interesting coin in a recently acquired lot.

The marks bear a striking (no pun intended) resemblance to the way more modern coins are cancelled.

Does anyone know if this was an accepted practice in this time period, or is this just post strike damage?


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 Posted 02/23/2021  6:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As far as I know, "waffling" is a modern practice, and a result of modern concepts of how a mint operates.

Back when this coin was made, the Mint did everything itself, nothing was outsourced; the melting down of old, worn out coins was done at the mint itself, so there was no need to specifically mark worn or obsolete coins for destruction when it was all done in-house, with very minimal chance of a condemned coin escaping back out into circulation.

These days, the recycling of old worn out coinage is outsourced to private scrap metal merchants. There is therefore a need to deliberately deface coins sold to the metal recyclers at scrap value, otherwise the recyclers could simply hand the coins back in at the bank for full face value at a tidy profit, and the Mint would have to try to recycle them all over again, at their cost. Waffling marks the coins as having been sold as scrap; waffled coins are no longer legal tender and can not be returned to circulation via the banks.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Valued Member
United States
251 Posts
 Posted 02/24/2021  2:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add HGK3 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks very much and I agree on all counts you mention (with the possible exception of mints recycling worn out coins - don't think they do that).

However, I'm still left with explaining the appearance of this coin.

I searched the forum for "waffle coins" and found the following old thread:,coins

Second page images include a Spanish type matching my example, as well as other equally old coins. Although there are a variety of methods for marking the coins, the Spanish coins are waffled in the exact same way as mine.

It appears to have been a practice for some time, although there's some suggestion the reasons for cancelling the coin are as likely to be political as practical.

Just read that Queen Isabella, depicted on the coin, was deposed in the "Glorious Revolution" of 1868, so it seems likely this was done to cancel any coinage featuring her likeness.

Edited by HGK3
02/24/2021 2:57 pm
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