The earliest traceable specimens of this class are certain counterstruck imitation silver drachms of Phraates IV,... (Source)

What does "counterstruck" mean?


First of all, coin striking is the process of taking a "blank" coin and stamping it with a die so that it now has a picture or other marking on each side.

Secondly, the author(s) of the paper appear to use "counterstruck" and "countermarked" interchangeably, as indicated in this quote from page 27:

The strikers of the imitation Hermaios coinage were probably also responsible for a group of Arsakid drachms which were countermarked, or imitated and then countermarked (MA 1-5). It has been demonstrated that the nature of these counterstrikings was benign, ...
[emphasis added]

Finally, a countermark is:

an additional mark or symbol punched into [a coin] at some point during its career as a circulating coin.


If a coin is counterstruck (or overstruck), an existing coin is treated like a blank so that the old image is obliterated by the new image.

I found the following definition in a forum for coin collectors, unfortunately without the original source:

OVERSTRIKE (COUNTERSTRIKE)- coin struck over an older and usually worn coin used as a planchet [eg, 1804 Bank of England 5-shilling piece struck on a Spanish dollar]


Counterstruck, overstruck, or countermarked means that a coin was 're-used'.

The original coin was freshly stamped with a new pattern/design, over the top of the existing pattern.

Often coins from one authority being re-struck [stamped] to become the currency of a new authority.

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