skip navigation
Print Friendly

Edge-Incused Inscriptions

The edge-incused inscriptions found on the eight 2007 and 2008 Presidential $1 Coins (George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren) include the year of minting or issuance (2007 or 2008), E PLURIBUS UNUM, IN GOD WE TRUST and the mint mark ("P", "D" or "S").

Beginning in 2009 with the William Henry Harrison $1 Coin, the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST moved to the coin's obverse (heads side), with the year of minting or issuance, E PLURIBUS UNUM and the mint mark remaining as edge-lettering.

However, there are two processes for producing the edge-incused lettering and each produces a different result.

Circulating and Uncirculated Quality Coin Edge-Incused Lettering Process

Because of the minting process used on the circulating and uncirculated quality coins, the edge-incused inscription positions will vary with each coin.

The Presidential $1 Coins are inscribed on the edge without regard to their "heads" (obverse) or "tails" (reverse) orientation. In addition, the location of the inscriptions around the circumference of the coin with relation to the obverse and reverse designs will vary as well. This is because the United States Mint incuses these inscriptions on the edge of each coin at the second step of a two-step coining process.

In the first step, the blanks are fed into a coining machine which strikes the obverse and reverse designs onto the coins, and dispenses the coins into a large bin. In the second step, the bin is transported to the edge-incusing machine, into which the coins are fed at random, without regard to their heads or tails orientation.

Therefore, statistically, approximately one-half of the coins produced will have edge-lettering oriented toward the heads side, and approximately one-half of the coins will have the edge-incused inscriptions oriented toward the tails side.

Proof Coin Edge-Incused Lettering Process

The minting process used to manufacture the Presidential $1 proof quality Coins is a one-step coining process that allows the edge-lettering to appear in a consistent location on every proof coin. Using a three-piece collar, the edge-lettering on the proof coins is incused in the edge of the coin at the same time that the obverse and reverse designs are being struck onto the blank planchet.

This method produces edge-incused lettering that will always appear right side up when the coin is showing its heads side. Furthermore, the location of the lettering will always be in the same location on the circumference of the coin with relation to the obverse and reverse designs. In addition, the proof coins will each bear a faint demarcation line where the three segments that make up the edge-lettering collar are joined.

View other Designs

The United States Mint Coins and Medals Program