Legend of a Coin

is that which is written round the face of a coin. Thus, on a shilling, the legend is round the head of the reigning sovereign; as, “VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRITT: REGINA F: D:” (or “BRITANNIAR: REG: F: D:”). The words “ONE SHILLING” on the other side of the coin, written across it, we denominate the “inscription.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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