Jan 31
Take a George Washington quarter and hold it in your hands with George facing you. Make sure he's in an upright position. Now rotate the coin over from top to bottom. You'll now either see the eagle or if it's a state quarter, you'll see the obverse with a certain U.S. state. Note that the image is not upside down. Now take your coin and rotate it sideways either to the left or right. George Washington is now upside down. You should have the same result with your dimes, nickels and pennies as well as dollar coins and half dollars.

Nearly all U.S. coins are aligned like this and it is called "coin alignment". Not every country uses coin alignment. The other option is called "medallic alignment" or "medal alignment." For instance, I have in front of me a 1 pfennig coin from East Germany 1977. As I turn the coin over on it's verticle axis, the coin is still upside right. When I turn the coin on the horizontal axis, the face of the coin is now upside down.

The majority of coins minted in the world currently use medal alignment although historically, coin alignment was used. This is something many nations have changed over the last few centuries. A few of the countries using coin alignment are the United States, Thailand, South Korea, and France before they started using Euro coinage.

Keep this in mind as you expand into collecting coins of various nations. Use caution if someone claims to have a coin with an alignment error. They may not realize that there are two types of coin alignments.

written by Nicholas