By Richard Giedroyc
Is company store scrip still in use anywhere?
Payroll cards come close since they aren’t universally accepted. Payroll cards are a legal form of wage payment, according to the American Payroll Association. There is an ongoing lawsuit in Pennsylvania where a restaurant franchise is being sued by an employee, claiming she is receiving less than minimum wage due to fees attached to a bank payroll card in which she is being paid. Forest product businesses in Wisconsin are still exempt from having to pay employees in U.S. currency rather than in company store money. In 2008 Wal-Mart de Mexico was ordered by Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice to cease paying Mexican employees in company store vouchers. Other company scrip or cash substitutes may still be in use elsewhere.
What method do you suggest is best for evaluating prooflike coins?
I’ve always understood standing the coin on the edge of a ruler, then seeing just how many inches of the ruler can be read through the reflectivity of the coin surface will determine the depth of the prooflike surfaces. This, of course, won’t work if your coin has already been slabbed by a third-party certification service. If you are considering purchasing a slabbed prooflike coin, ensure the coin was certified by a well-recognized service for this reason.
What is considered to be the ultimate prooflike surface for a coin?
A Deep Mirror Prooflike coin is what is normally encountered, this being a coin with a surface reflectivity of more than four inches. (A semi prooflike coin has up to two inches reflectivity, while a prooflike has between two and four inches reflectivity.) There is a seldom encountered ultra prooflike designation. There is disagreement regarding if this designation requires eight or 12 inches depth to qualify.
I understand prooflike coins were the result of basining. Can you explain basining?
Business strike coinage dies were routinely polished just before they were placed in the coining press. Basining is this polishing process. It involves machining the die surface using fine die polish, resulting in a slightly concave striking surface. If the basined dies were buffed it would result in a more intense proof-like result to the coins that followed. Not all polished dies resulted in prooflike coins. Even when prooflike quality coins did result, this “finish” would likely only occur on early strikes. As the dies wore the quality of the coinage details and any mirror-like surface qualities would diminish on these late die state strikes.
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