Washington Quarter

Quarters Without Ridges

Did you know that reeding edges on a coin metal were introduced to avoid counterfeiting and coin clipping? The main strategies of coin edging are composed of edge mills of different types. It puts a design on a smooth edge quarter after a penny and coin mills with an edge ring that pattern the edge at the time when the coin is milled.

You may now be asking why there are reeded edges on a coin? Well, in 1696, the great Isaac Newton became the steward of the Royal Mint in the UK. He preferred to employ reeded edges on coins to avoid counterfeiters and clippers from tampering with the precious metal.

Likewise, why do some half-dollar coins have a ridge, and some do not? The reason why today’s pennies and coins have no ridges is because of the lower value. You see, it costs more to create the penny than the coin’s worth itself. That means the copper inside the coin is much more valuable than the actual half-dollar coin.

Further, what are the ridges on half-dollar coins? According to United States Mint ridges were included to the edges of half-dollars coins (also referred to as reeded edges) to help avoid counterfeiting and fraud.

Until about five decades ago, half dollars coins were minuted with real silver in them. On top of that, dimes and regular silver quarter coins have reeded edges, while cents and nickels have a simple edge. You may also have noticed that the regular quarter and time in your pocket have reeded edges, featuring ridges or vertical grooves, while cents and nickels have a smooth edge quarter.

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quarters without ridges

What Do the Rough Edges on Half-Dollars Suggest?

Take note that reeded edges are often called grooved or ridged. Other coins, like the Washington quarters, have reeded edges. Aside from that, reeding of edges was presented to avoid counterfeiting and clipping.

How Do Reeded Edges Prevent People from Fraud?

A fairly typical way to create ill-gotten money was coin clipping. You see, clippers would shave off a small number of precious metals all the way around the rums of half-dollars coins, collect the shavings and sell them.

A coin clipper could cut enough off of coins to make a decent profit, but not too much as to make them smaller or lighter. They can also still go out and spend their devalued coins at casino slot machines as if they’re unaltered.

You see, a smooth edge quarter ruined that scheme since a regular quarter with a shaved edge would alert anyone who received one that something was completely wrong.

How Many Ridges Are There on a Washington Quarter?

Gather up a few coins. You will notice that not all reeded edges are made the same. The size and number of reeds on the coins aren’t dictated by law. Therefore, individual United States Mint ridges were long free to make their reeds to their in-house specifications, resulting in unique style differences between coins from different eras and mints.

The rare Washington quarter from the Carson City Mint’s 1871 to 1874 has 89 broad, widely spaced reeds. Further, the Philadelphia Mint in the same years had 113 thin, tightly spaced reeds.

Arthur Karter


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