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piece of metal, usually a disk of gold, silver, nickel, bronze, copper, aluminum, or a combination of such metals, stamped by authority of a government as a guarantee of its real or exchange value and used as moneymoney,
term that refers to two concepts: the abstract unit of account in terms of which the value of goods, services, and obligations can be compared; and anything that is widely established as a means of payment.
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. Coinage was probably invented independently in Lydia or in the Aegean Islands and in China before 700 B.C. The earliest known example is an electrum coin (c.700 B.C.) of Lydia. The first U.S. mintmint,
place where legal coinage is manufactured. The name is derived from the temple of Juno Moneta, Rome, where silver coins were made as early as 269 B.C. Mints existed earlier elsewhere, as in Lydia and in Greece; from there coinage was introduced into Italy. The first U.S.
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 was established in 1792. Mottoes used on many U.S. coins are "E Pluribus UnumE Pluribus Unum
[Lat.,=one made out of many], motto on the Great Seal of the United States and on many U.S. coins. Although selected in 1776 by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson for the Continental Congress, it was not officially adopted as a national motto
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" (1795) and "In God We Trust" (1864).

Early coins were die-struck by hand and showed many individual variations. Standardized coins date from the use of a mill and screw machine (invented c.1561). Coins are usually stamped from rolled metal blanks, then milled. The final product bears a design impressed upon it between the upper and lower dies of a coining press. Milled or lettered edges have been used since the 17th cent. to discourage the removal of slivers of metal, especially from gold or silver coins.

No gold coins have circulated in the United States since 1934, when the domestic gold standard was abandoned. Until 1965, silver was used in the minting of dimes and quarters, but by the 1980s silver had disappeared from American coinage altogether. The cost of minting a penny has led a number of nations, including Australia (1964), New Zealand (1989), and Canada (2013) to end the circulation of that coin. In the mid-1990s, the European UnionEuropean Union
(EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the European Community (EC), an economic and political confederation of European nations, and other organizations (with the same member nations)
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 developed a common currency for its members. The new currency, called the euro, was inaugurated in 1999; coins and notes went into circulation in 2002, replacing the currencies of most EU members (see European Monetary SystemEuropean Monetary System,
arrangement by which most nations of the European Union (EU) linked their currencies to prevent large fluctuations relative to one another. It was organized in 1979 to stabilize foreign exchange and counter inflation among members.
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). Canada introduced the first colored coin for circulation in 2004; it was a quarter featuring a poppy.

See also numismaticsnumismatics
, collection and study of coins, medals, and related objects as works of art and as sources of information. The coin and the medal preserve old forms of writing, portraits of eminent persons, and reproductions of lost works of art; they also assist in the study of
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coin, quoin

1.The corner of a building.
2. The stones or bricks which form the corner.
3. A wedge.

quoin, coign, coin

stone quoins set in brickwork
In masonry, a hard stone or brick used, with similar ones, to reinforce an external corner or edge of a wall or the like; often distinguished decoratively from adjacent masonry; may be imitated in non-load-bearing materials. Occasionally imitated, for decorative purposes, by wood that has been finished to look like masonry.