Modified Or Repurposed Coins

Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
6,028
Likes
5,294
Points
294
Location
Midwich
#1
This is an edited version of a couple of posts I made some years back on another thread. Kind of outwith the general thrust of this thread: it's not so much a mystery how they got where they got - but why they've been treated the way they have is still a bit of a headscratcher:



These were part of a load of old and very worn coins that had been used to create ballast in the replacement of a broken grandfather clock counterweight (inside the case there was also a set of harness bells; a perfectly preserved but very old leather double headed dog leash with an internal release - for coursing, I assume; a very old pistol - the mechanism of which still works; leather saddle panniers - from the Boer War, I think; and what looks like an ancient pepperpot: a veritable treasure chest, no less). No-one can remember how long the clock had been in the family. (It's since been repaired and sold.)

The type looks pretty old (18th century? but I'm no expert) and the edges of the letters are very worn. The scar above the lettering on the larger coin looks deliberate. (I'm now pretty sure that the larger one of these two is a Georgian 'cartwheel' twopence coin - there is a less worn example of this in the same pile that came from the counterweight - and the smaller, possibly the cartwheel penny.)

Of course, someone could have just been messing around with a set of letter punches, but STOLEN and SPACE (or S·PACE) seem odd words to choose for someone who was just mucking about.

These are the unmarked sides:



There is a possible relevance to these in the locality (and maybe even family history). My dad's ancestors can be traced back in the Peak District to the mid 1700's (and before that, the Hebrides). The area on the western edge of their stamping ground was once notorious for coining*, as well as other more general skullduggery, apparently because it lies on the border of three counties, which meant that if the authorities of one were after you all you had to do was pop over the back wall and you were in another jurisdiction. Wouldn't surprise me if some of my lot - who seem to have been comfortable operating at both extremes of the legal spectrum - might not have had something to do with the reasons these coins have been defaced.

The STOLEN one seems the more easily explained, until you wonder why on earth anyone would actually mark a stolen coin in that way.

Any ideas?

*Edit: I just checked this. Apparently one of the theories that the village of Flash - which claims to be the highest in the UK - is so named is that counterfeit coins were once known as 'flash money'. I'm not entirely sure about that: why the locals would advertise their illegal sideline is not explained - but Flash is very isolated, would have been tough to approach without being noticed, and is close to the point where three counties meet (imaginatively named Three Shires Head) - so, who knows?

Edit II: Actually, the E in SPACE could be an F - but that doesn't exactly help matters.
 
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
6,028
Likes
5,294
Points
294
Location
Midwich
#3
The coin on the right seems to be a Victorian 'bun penny', showing the young Queen Victoria with her hair up.
I'm almost positive this is the Georgian cartwheel two penny. The little upflick of 'hair' is actually the tip of the leaves on the laurel wreath; you'll see what I mean on this link. And all the other less worn coins in the group are recognisably Georgian.

Mytho suggested on the original thread that they might be company tokens used as part of the truck system, but the examples I can find of these were manufactured by (or for) the companies themselves, and their ownership is very clearly marked (which was kind of the point). I'm pretty sure it would not even be legal to use (and deface) regular currency in such a way - for what is, effectively, private use.
 
Last edited:

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
15,538
Likes
19,773
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
#10
A seal for making wax impressions? ...
Yes, a seal was also my first thought. Though then I would have expected the image to be in reverse.
Same here ... The first thing that occurred to me was a seal or mold, but the image not being reversed seems to rule out that explanation.

The imagery seems to match coinage from 50 to 60-some years ago, but without the lettering / captions.

Could it be a mint / engraver's test blank that was encased as a collector's item?

Or perhaps some sort of souvenir / commemorative item from decades ago?
 
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
6,028
Likes
5,294
Points
294
Location
Midwich
#11
I'm wondering if it's something like a homemade coin holder, minus it's lid. There is engraving on the inner rim - is it possible that it's a larger coin, or commemorative item, that's been stamped into that shape in a bench press?
 

Frideswide

Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
Staff member
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
11,355
Likes
12,508
Points
284
Location
An Eochair
#12
Seal protective cover? You don't want the actual seal bit damaged or dusty and so you have a cover that pops on/off.

or

something like a ferrule made out of a coin.
 

Stillill

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
350
Likes
514
Points
99
Location
London
#14
It looks like a half crown probably from the 60s or 70s. I used to collect coins when I was a child and had a few of these shaped ones. I think they’re home made but. I don’t know the reason.
 

bugmum

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
203
Likes
419
Points
94
#15
There is engraving on the inner rim - is it possible that it's a larger coin, or commemorative item, that's been stampesd into that shape in a bench press?
Yes, the lettering round the edge is what you'd find on the edge of a coin.

I can see why a seal would come to mind, but I don't think it is defined enough to have made impressions. I thank all for their thoughts! Maybe I need to get someone to look at it properly.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
15,538
Likes
19,773
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
#16
This video showing how to make a ring from a coin has something similar at the 5.40 mark. An unfinished jewellery project? ...
I think that's an excellent match for bugmum's coin object - complete with the outermost rims with peripheral lettering being pressed (?) orthogonally into the ring with the central coin left in the middle.
 
Top