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What is a Planchet?

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Blank coin planchet for a Sacagawea Dollar

Blank coin planchet for a Sacagawea Dollar

Photo courtesy of the Coin Page
Definition: A planchet is a prepared disc-shaped metal blank onto which the devices of a coin image are struck or pressed. The metal disc is called a blank until the time it passes through the upsetting machine which causes the rim to be raised. Once it has a rim, the disc is called a planchet.

When referring to ancient coins, and coins which were made from cast metal discs rather than machined metal discs, the generally preferred term is flan.

There are really no hard and fast rules about the usage of these terms in ancient coin collecting, and you will sometimes hear ancient coin blanks referred to as "planchets." In modern machine-made coinage, the distinction is very clear: the disk is a "blank" before getting the rim, and a "planchet" afterwards.

If you have a blank planchet and are looking for more information about it, see my page on blank planchet errors.
Examples:
When modern coins are being struck, the planchet is fed into a coin press, which stamps the images onto the coin.

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