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Coin wear: A power law for small shocks


  • Manas, Arnaud
  • Velde, François R.


The study of coin wear is useful for numismatics and economics. We examine a 19th century gold coin with a SEM and show that weight loss is due to a large number of small shocks that follow a truncated power law. Under the compound Poisson process we propose, weight loss over time is nearly deterministic in the proportion of time actually spent in circulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Manas, Arnaud & Velde, François R., 2021. "Coin wear: A power law for small shocks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 574(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:574:y:2021:i:c:s037843712100220x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2021.125948

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Velde, F R., 2013. "On the Evolution of Specie: Circulation and Weight Loss in 18th and 19th Century Coinage," Working papers 422, Banque de France.
    2. Aban, Inmaculada B. & Meerschaert, Mark M. & Panorska, Anna K., 2006. "Parameter Estimation for the Truncated Pareto Distribution," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 101, pages 270-277, March.
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