Capping Liberty

The Invention of Numismatic Iconography for the New American Republic

Numismatic Die Study

Die study, the comparison of surviving coins to determine which were made from the same dies, is one of the basic tools of modern numismatics, especially for determining the chronology, mints, and quantities of production for the coinages of ancient and medieval issues. Its first documented use, however, was in the study of American half cents and cents of the 1790s carried out by Sylvester Sage Crosby in 1869 and published in 1897. Since then, many of those issues have been analyzed to the extent that numismatists can determine at what stage of a die’s lifetime a given specimen was produced.

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