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Coin Clipping


Coin clipping is a practice of physically shaving down or clipping metal coins as a form of taxation. Coin clipping was practiced by many ancient empires, and it is an early example of currency debasement.

Coin clipping degrades the fungibility of a currency. When some coins are clipped more than others, they necessarily contain different amounts of the underlying metal which gives them value.

Key Fact: Most modern coins have ridged edges to prove that they have not been clipped.
Most modern coins have ridged edges to prove that they have not been clipped.

Coin clipping was eventually abandoned as a method of tax collection, but the practice of debasing a currency has persisted. Today, governments simply create more paper or digital currency to fund their endeavours and devalue the existing currency held by citizens.