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What is the Difference Between the Edge and the Rim of a Coin?


The Rim and Edge of a Coin

The rim is the raised part around the devices on both sides; the edge is the part between the faces.

United States Mint image modified by Susan Headley
Question: What is the Difference Between the Edge and the Rim of a Coin?
Ever since the Presidential Dollars have come out, many people seem to have a hard time distinguishing between the rim of the coin, and the edge. These terms have very specific meanings; make sure that you are using them correctly.
Answer: The edge of a coin is sometimes called the "third side." Experts call the heads side the obverse, and the tails side the reverse, reserving the term edge for the third side, or the side that you see if you look at the coin in the space between the obverse and reverse. The edge runs around the entire circumference of the coin, and is the portion that has the reeding on it if it's a dime or quarter dollar. The edge is plain on pennies and nickels.

The rim of a coin can be found on either side. In fact, a coin can be said to have two rims, one on the obverse and one on the reverse. The rim is the up-raised part of the coin that completely encircles the diameter on both front and back. On U.S. coins, the rim is usually very thin, but on Presidential Dollars it is much wider, the purpose being to allow blind people to tell the dollar apart from the quarter dollar coin by touch alone. (This standard was created back when the Susan B. Anthony dollar also had the reeded edge, so the lack of reeding wasn't enough for the blind to make the distinction.)

I have shown these two important parts of a coin in the photos with this article, or you can see what all of the parts of a coin are called.
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