1994 reference United States Patterns and Related Issues, numismatic researcher Andrew W. Pollock III defines a pattern as “an experimental piece which either illustrates a proposed coinage design, or which embodies a proposed innovation of composition, size, or shape.” Pollock acknowledges, however, that numismatists have traditionally employed a much broader definition of the word: experimental pieces, die trials, unofficial pieces and the often more nefarious restrikes and “pieces de caprice” made primarily for collectors also fall under this heading.
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