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die designs

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:45 am
by Bond632
Hi all, long time lurking, first time posting.

Before a bank or merchant were about to make a coin in the early 1850’s, when they were first deciding on different designs for dies, how many designs do you think were chosen for actual die engraving? Did they decide on one design, or make a few totally different die designs and then decide which dies to use after a few example coins were made? I guess what I’m really asking, is die making too time consuming and/or expensive to make more than one?

All opinions welcome, let me know what led you to your conclusion!

Re: “ die “ designs

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:46 am
by Bill in Burl
If you just look at the early-mid century dies, you will see many with either a common Obv or Rev that were used over and over in different combinations. The dies were very time consuming and expensive to make, let alone makers with the skill tp actual make them. I don't think that there were "books" full of designs from which to choose. I'm sure that the cost to go from "design" to manufacture was not cheap.

Re: “ die “ designs

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:23 pm
by Bond632
Thanks for your informative answer Bill.

I can understand how a bank could afford to make a die, but how could a merchant afford to make such a thing? I wonder, could a merchant token only be used at that particular store, or be used anywhere, like regular money, since there was so little coinage around at the time?