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Interesting/Rare Uses of Coins


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Hello Everyone,

 

I am a children's book writer, currently working on a book about coins. Can anyone offer any information or sources for interesting or rare uses for coins? Have you ever heard of coins being used in a very creative or quirky way?

 

For example, I've gathered some information on a man who actually made a jacket out of coins. I know this may seem a bit strange; but, I imagine avid coin collectors are probably the best source.

 

Looking forward to any interesting insight you might be able to provide!

Thanks!

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Coins were used as buttons in times when the button would have cost more than the coin. It was fairly common for coins like US Large cents to be used as washers. They cost less and were readily available.

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Going off of what you said about a jacket made of coins, I have heard that back in the 1800s some British soldiers would actually make a sort of chain mail out of large pennies. This rarely worked, but if a coin did manage to stop a bullet, many of the soldiers would keep the coin as a lucky charm of sorts.

 

Morgan dollars were often made into various pieces of jewelry. An antiques dealer in my town had a cup that had one of those coins as the bottom.

 

Also, don't forget hobo nickels!

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Some fun uses:

 

Inset into cups, dishes, plates and bowls

As spoon of a bowl (or finial of any silverware)

On a belt, money clip, tie clip, or cufflinks

As a pendant / charm (love tokens anyone?)

Linked together to form a necklace or bracelet

 

Buttons, washers, and cogs

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Don't forget spoons. I believe there's history about coins being made into them to avoid seizure by the Nazis.

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IMG_2561.jpg

IMG_2562.jpg

IMG_2564.jpg

 

2 Silvered 2d cartwheels made into a buckle, the last pic shows that something was attached below both coins, since removed. The initials T. H. S. are stamped into the obverse of the left cartwheel.

 

Could have been a buckle for some form of regalia, used by a lodge or political club in England in the early 1800's to show loyalty to the king.

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Cartwheel two pences were sometimes converted into boxes where messages could be hidden (during the Napoleonic Wars). I'm not quite sure how they achieved this, but the obverse was separated from the reverse (sawn in half?) and then the two halves were hollowed out and a screw system put in place so the new box could be screwed shut. Seen a few for sale in the past.

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Cartwheel two pences were sometimes converted into boxes where messages could be hidden (during the Napoleonic Wars). I'm not quite sure how they achieved this, but the obverse was separated from the reverse (sawn in half?) and then the two halves were hollowed out and a screw system put in place so the new box could be screwed shut. Seen a few for sale in the past.

 

I believe they used 2 cartwheels to make one box.

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I am a children's book writer, currently working on a book about coins. Can anyone offer any information or sources for interesting or rare uses for coins? ...

The late Robert Matthews told me of an Early American Copper exhibit that displayed Large Cents and Half Cents that had been put to other uses, among them, machine gears. On the frontier in the 1820 and 1840s, hard metal was rare. You should query Early American Coppers, explaining your needs. http://www.eacs.org/ They are very supportive of the hobby. You can drop Bob Matthews' name and mine to get their attention. http://www.eacs.org/

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I have many coins made into buttons and washers but one of my favorite uses for large pennies was nailing one to the doorway of a new home as a good luck charm. It's the same idea as a horseshoe nailed in the same place. Otherwise I am wearing a Spanish 8 reale from 1814 around my neck and I wore a modern handmade silver dollar of sorts around my wrist for years on a chainmail bracelet. Fun thread, good luck finding more ideas!

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dont forget trench art and people who scrape designs onto the coins as love charms or out of boardom

 

Did anyone mention hobo nickels??

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