If you’ve ever wondered whether a “blank” and a “planchet” are the same thing, Dick Johnson’s Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology has the answer. This week’s E-Sylum newsletter shared the following encyclopedia entry:
Planchet. A round metal disk (or other shape) made from a blank for striking into a coin or medal. While the term BLANK is widely used in the metalworking field, planchet is only used for coins and medals to be struck in coining presses. A planchet is the end product of blanking where metal of the proper composition, weight, and thickness is made into a blank which is prepared by treatment of the edge for use in a coining press.
The blanking process, formerly called cutting and cutting-out (particularly in England), leaves a BURR on the exit side of the blank. The piece must be DEBURRED. This, plus additional preparatory steps, occur by UPSETTING in an UPSETTING MILL (British terms “rimming” and “rimmer”) which thickens the edge, makes the piece perfectly round, in addition to deburring. Since this step WORK HARDENS the blank, it must be ANNEALED (or softened), then RIDDLED (to eliminate imperfect blanks) and METAL CLEANED (to remove all surface contaminants). At this stage the planchet is ready to be fed into the press. All of these steps are required to create perfect blanks for automatic feeding into coining presses (if not they would cause mis-strikes and could jam the press). See BLANK, BLANKED, BLANKING.
You can read the rest of the entry, and see photos of the differences, in the newsletter. The E-Sylum and its parent organization, the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, are excellent resources for coin collectors.
In other news, numismatic bookseller Kolbe & Fanning is holding a 50% off sale on some 1,400 books this week. Collectors of numismatic literature will find many old, collectible, and hard-to-come-by titles on the sale list, including a third edition of the Red Book. As regular Coin Update contributor Dennis Hengeveld says, “A coin collector who does not invest some of his or her collecting budget in numismatic references is like a car buyer purchasing a car without a steering wheel.” ❑