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Symbols Used on Municipal Coins

The choice of what exactly to depict on a challenge or commemorative coin should be done with care because of the lasting and symbolic nature of such a coin. The symbols selected for use in the coin design are typically historic or widely recognized with a rich legacy.

Municipal Seal
Often the seal of the governmental entity is chosen precisely because of the rich meaning usually associated with each item within the seal. Often detailed local history explains each item depicted. Indeed, the history of the use of seals to officially authenticate documents has been known to be used since the fourth millennium BC. English town seals date back to the 13th century, when promises under seal carried the weight of English common law and breach of such promises could be addressed. In less literate times when few could read or sign their name, seals were used to indicate the acceptance and validity of a document. Find out more.

Historical Coin Symbolism
Coins, historically the close formal relative of the seal in their use of symbols, long functioned as the most important locus for busts of monarchs, state insignia and attributes associated with the effigies. Along with seals, coins of the ancient city-states are often today’s most important source of knowledge for how their rulers wanted to be seen by subjects, neighboring states and rivals. In Greek and Roman cultures use of symbolism in coins became highly developed. Find out more.

An anniversary of founding, incorporation or some other important historical event is often the impetus to commemorate the event in a coin. Things that symbolize such events are clearly excellent choices to be used on coins. As well, the stock die featuring the anniversary year makes a good choice without the cost of creating a new die. Find out more about stock dies here.


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