HomeNumismatic TermsGuilloché - The Intricate Web Pattern on Paper Money

Guilloché – The Intricate Web Pattern on Paper Money

Guilloché pattern. Image: Heritage Auctions (visit www.ha.com).
Guilloché pattern. Image: Heritage Auctions (visit www.ha.com).

(n.)

Guilloché (pronounced “GEE-uh-shay” with a hard g) is a word borrowed from the fields of jewelry and metalworking that is frequently encountered when dealing with U.S. paper money. It can mean of the following:

  1. ) An engraving and printing term for a delicate, precise, and intricate weblike pattern. One example is the line work found around the design of any United States Federal Reserve Note.
  2. ) An engraving and printing technique for creating a delicate, very precise and intricate pattern on the surface of an object.

Engravers and printers originally utilized guilloché as an anti-counterfeiting technique on a variety of printed media, and the practice naturally carried over into currency design.

Guilloché was also used on the reverse of California gold rush $50 gold slugs.

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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