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What Is The Difference Coin/Medal/Medallion/Etc

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 4 / Views: 12,407Next Topic  
Valued Member
United States
53 Posts
 Posted 03/11/2010  08:06 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add biglite351 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I figure a "coin" has an actual value. I suppose a Silver Eagle is actuall $1 legal tender. Would that be wat makes it different than a medal or medallion or other item? I was just wondering the differences in "types" of thing. I figured there are more than just Metal and paper differences.
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United States
12437 Posts
 Posted 03/11/2010  11:20 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add biokemist6 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A coin has to be denominated legal tender to be called a coin. A medal is usually a highly detailed high relief round used to commemorate someone or something while a medallion can serve the same general purpose as a medal or can even be used as a souvenir item. Medallions are usually produced to a lower standard than a medal, the engraving is not as artistic and the metal used is usually inexpensive(brass, aluminum, etc).
Edited by biokemist6
03/11/2010 11:20 am
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Australia
14363 Posts
 Posted 03/11/2010  5:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If an object is struck by a government and given a monetary value by that government, it can be called a "coin", even if it isn't actually intended to circulate as money.

If a coin-like object is struck for some kind of monetary use but not by a government, then it's a "token", not a coin.

If a coin-like object has no monetary function or nominal face value, then it's a "medal", whether it was issued by a government or not.

I've heard several technical differences between "medal" and "medallion", but in practice, those two words are interchangeable. One such distinction is that "medals" are smaller, while "medallions" are larger. Another is the "method of manufacture" distinction biokemist mentions.

Personally, if I make any distinction at all, I tend to use "medal" for something that was given to somebody that did something to deserve it (like a war medal, or an Olympic medal) while I use "medallion" for something that was sold as a souvenir or fundraiser, given away as a PR stunt or otherwise available to anyone that wanted one. This does seem to follow the conventional "man in the street" understanding of the terms.
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
Pillar of the Community
Canada
598 Posts
 Posted 03/11/2010  7:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add IBGolden to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

A coin can also have a Medallic Strike... where the obverse and reverse would both be simultaneously right side up. Whereas Coinage Struck would have one face of the coin upside down when compared to the other.

... just thought I'd throw that in
Valued Member
United States
53 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2010  10:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add biglite351 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you all for the explanations. Sometimes little, seemingly silly, things like this help get better grasps of the overall coin collecting world.
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