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Paper Money Terminology

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For my continuing education, what is the correct terminology to use to refer to different parts of paper currency?


Is the front of a note also called the obverse ?


Is the back of a note called the reverse ?


Is the border considered the rim ?


Is the body of a note considered the fields and devices ?


You can laugh all you want, but are there any other terms that are common to collecting paper currency that a novice should know?


Maybe, it would be a good idea to permanently affix a topic like this at the top?




PS. If this thread has given you cause to laugh, then I have, at the least, accomplished one thing. I've made someone feel good, today!

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Oh your a riot Chris 27_laughing.gif27_laughing.gif27_laughing.gif27_laughing.gif27_laughing.gif27_laughing.gif27_laughing.gif


Sorry you said we could laugh all we want thumbsup2.gif


You don't have to apologize, KC , no offense taken! I'll mark you down as my first good deed of the day.



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Here are the appropriate terms:


1. Face


2. Back


3. Margins and corners.


4. Vignettes, borders, engravings, seals and serials.


Jam , what is the difference between margin and border ?


Vignette and engraving ?


Thanks, Chris

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The border is the engraved scrollwork around the the central features of the face and back. The margins are the outer edges of the note and usually include the plain areas outside the borders.


Engravings inlcude all the features of the intaglio design on the note.


Vignettes are engravings but usally reserved in description of some type of scenery or picture on notes. Obsolete currency is famous for great vignettes. For a good example of what a vignette is see the reverse of large size series 1914 and 1918 FRBN and FRNs. Portraits are another type of engraving.


Before you ask what intaglio means here it is: Currency is printed using a hardened steel plate into which the design is engraved (intaglio). When the plate is inked the ink deposits itself into these incuse lines. The surface of the plate is wiped clean and paper is forced under very high pressure into the lines and picks up the ink.


This is why if you feel freshly printed paper is has texture. The ink is literaly deposited onto the surface.

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