Why are there ridges on the edge of most coins?

Have you ever looked closely at the edge of a coin and noticed tiny grooves along its circumference? These ridges, also known as reeded edges, have been a feature of coins for centuries. They were initially designed to prevent people from filing down the edges of coins made of precious metals such as gold and silver.

The practice of clipping coins was common in the past when circulating coins made for everyday transactions contained more valuable materials. People would shave off small amounts of metal from the edges of coins, which they could then melt down and sell for profit. To combat this, governments began adding ridges to their currency to make it more difficult to file them down without being noticed.

Today, most circulating coinage is not made from precious metals, so clipping is no longer an issue. However, reeded edges remain a popular feature on many types of currency around the world. The rims on U.S. dimes, quarters, half dollars, and some dollar coins all have reeded edges that serve as both a security measure and an aesthetic touch.

Overall, ridges on the edge of coins help protect against illegal activities like clipping or counterfeiting while adding a unique design element to our currency.

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