The stylish rims you could have i found it on U.S. Dimes, quarters, fifty percent dollars and some disagreement coins are called reeded edges. They’ve been on American currency nearly since day one as a means of keeping people honest.

You are watching: How many ridges are on a quarter

The United claims Mint built its first minting facility in Philadelphia in 1792. The following March, it developed its an initial batch of circulating coins - 11,178 copper pennies. The silver- coins the soon followed were connected to a silver- standard, per the 1792 Mint and Coinage Act. This intended the “major” coins to be at least partially comprised of the precious metal (the very first dollar coin, from 1794, to be 89.25% silver and 10.75% copper). Silver dollars contained about a dollar’s precious of silver, give or take, and also the others – half dollars, quarters and also dimes – had a proportionate metallic content and size. Half-dollar coins contained ½ the lot of silver together a dollar and were fifty percent the size, quarters had actually ¼ the lot of silver, and so on.

Reeded edges served a two-fold security purpose for silver- coins. One, they added an additional, intricate facet to the coins the made castle more difficult to counterfeit. Two, lock prevented fraud.

How carry out ridges prevent fraud?

For as lengthy as coins have been do from valuable metal, a fairly common method to make a quick, ill-gotten buck to be coin clipping. Clippers would shave off a small amount of steel all the way around the rims that a bunch that coins, collect the shavings, then sell them. Working carefully, a coin clipper could trim sufficient off that coins to make a quite profit, however not therefore much as to make them noticeably lighter or smaller. A clipper could then still walk out and also spend his devalued coins as if they were unaltered. Reeded edges destroyed this scheme, because a shaved edge would certainly be immediately obvious and also alert anyone who obtained one the something was wrong.

Why don"t nickels and also pennies have actually reeded edges? Nickels and also pennies are mostly composed of inexpensive metals, for this reason the chances that they would certainly be tampered with are low.

Before their adoption by the U.S. Mint, reeded edge were also used in the UK. As soon as the physicist Isaac Newton ended up being warden the the Royal Mint in 1696, he offered reeded edges, amongst other means, to combat clippers and counterfeiters. Other European coins from together far back as the early on 1500s likewise feature reeded edges.

Wait, are civilization still clipping coins?

Due come the abandonment the the silver standard and also a an international silver shortage in the mid-20th century, the Coinage action of 1965 authorized a readjust in the composition of dimes, quarters, and also half-dollars, slowly shrinking their silver content down to the contemporary 0%. Coin clipping is no longer a problem, yet reeded edges room still around, a centuries-old protection measure hanging on in an age where people pay for points with your smart phones rather of digging out pocket change. The tenacity is admirable. Yet why room they tho there?

Coins space made by stamping coin blanks v a steel tool dubbed a die. The dice is engraved v the negative of a coin’s design, and also the positive picture is transferred to the coin when stamped. As soon as the coins room struck, a part of the die called the collar hold the empty in place and applies the edge. When the silverless coins were first produced, the federal government didn’t see any need to make or purchase expensive brand-new dies or collars. Maintaining the reeding wouldn’t hurt anyone, lock figured, so the brand-new coins to be struck indigenous the same old dies as the old ones, and also reeding continued to be used as a matter of tradition and also backwards-compatibility. More recent coins through updated design (state quarters, brand-new portraits) likewise have reeded edges. The style element live to see one more day ~ above the new dies since reeding is advantageous for separating coins by feel as well as appearance, making them much more user-friendly because that the visually impaired.

See more: Are Liquor Stores Open On 4Th Of July, Can I Buy Beer On The Fourth Of July

I can"t stand the suspense. How countless ridges are on my quarter?

If you conference up a bunch of coins, you"ll watch that not all reeded edge are produced equal. The number and size of reeds on coins is not dictated by law, so individual U.S. Mints to be long cost-free to do their reeds come their very own in-house specifications, top to distinctive style differences between coins from different mints and eras. Rarely dimes from the now-defunct Carson City Mint’s 1871-74 runs, because that example, have 89 broad, extensively spaced reeds. The dimes make by the Philadelphia Mint in those exact same years have actually 113 thin, tightly-spaced reeds. 

Things are a little more standardized now and also the Mint list its reeding specifications as follows: dimes, 118; quarters, 119; half dollars, 150; dollar, 198; Susan B. Anthony dollar, 133.