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Experiments were conducted using a novel tactile contact rendering device to explore important factors of the tactile contact event. The effects of contact velocity and event-based transient vibrations were explored. Our research was motivated by a need to better understand the perception of the tactile contact event and to develop a means of rendering stiff surfaces with a nonspecialized haptic device. A passive tactile display, suitable for mounting on a Phantom robot, was developed and is capable of rendering the tactile sensation of contact on a fingertip over a range of velocities commonly experienced during everyday manipulation and tactile exploration. Experiments were conducted with this device to explore how tactile contact dynamics affect the perceived stiffness of a virtual surface. It was found that contact velocity does not have a significant effect on perceived stiffness. These results can be explained by prior research that defines perceived hardness (akin to stiffness) in terms of rate-hardness. However, in agreement with prior literature with stylus-based studies, the addition of transient vibrations to the contact event can, in some cases, increase the perceived stiffness.