Author Topic: Egyptian Magic Coin Token  (Read 4197 times)

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Offline WillieBoyd2

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Egyptian Magic Coin Token
« on: August 31, 2011, 12:34:07 AM »
I have seen versions of this item for years on Internet coin and metal detecting boards, on Ebay,
at coin shows, and even in the movies.

The coin or token shows Egyptian symbols on both sides, one side has the sphinx and pyramids,
the other side has a pharoah and various hieroglyphic symbols.

Some are plain round tokens, others have loops for wearing them.

They would probably fall into the category of "magic coins" or "good luck coins".

They have been around since at least 1905, when a listing for one appeared in the
1905 Sears & Roebuck mail-order catalog.

One looks like this:

Egypt Magic Coin

Sphinx, Four Pyramids, and Sunburst
Egyptian Pharoah seated on throne, throne has cat supports, surrounded by Hieroglyphic symbols
Size: 32mm
Weight: 10gm

Movie Star
One even made it into the movies, appearing in the 1946 David Selznick film "Duel in the Sun",
a "Western" set in the 1880's at a large southwestern cattle ranch.

"Duel in the Sun" Medal

Jennifer Jones played Pearl, a half-breed "bad girl" who wants to be "good".
Preacher Walter Huston gives a medal to Jennifer with the idea that it will keep her "pure".

Doesn't work.

The coin in the film appears to be the size of a US silver dollar and made of silver or white metal.
The relief on this coin is very flat and the coin appears to be worn.

Sears Roebuck 1905 Catalog listing for almost identical coin:

Sears Roebuck 1905 Catalog listing

The 1905 Sears & Roebuck mail-order catalog item is
"The latest craze. Gentlemen's fob", silver plated German silver.
The listing does not show the Sears' coin other side.
The fob length of 5" would make the coin size around 32mm, like the one above.

Good Luck Coins

Although one was sold by Sears in 1905, they were probably mass-produced in the 1920's when
the "Egyptian Fad" started with the 1922 discovery of the tomb of the Pharoah Tutankhamun or "King Tut".

Supposedly these items are sold to tourists in Egypt, but I visited Egypt in 1987 but never saw one for sale there.

The ones I have seen are usually brass and 32mm in size, I have not seen the larger silver-plated ones.
Some of these coins have a flat relief.

The creator and designer of these items is unknown, but the design was probably trademarked at some time.
The trademark may still be active.

They aren't worth very much, I have seen them sell on Ebay for 99 cents to $10.00.

I am continuing to look for information on these items, if anyone has something to share, please contact me.

« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 04:33:03 AM by WillieBoyd2 »
BrianRxm Website
The Mysterious Egyptian Magic Coin
Coins in Movies and Television
The 1949 San Francisco Mexico Peso Restrikes

Online Figleaf

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Re: Egyptian Magic Coin Token
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2011, 01:01:43 AM »
Excellent research, WillieBoyd. As for the origin of the idea, I read in the 1905 Sears catalog: "The latest craze. Gentlemen's fob". Most likely for watches. Your Tutankhamon/Howard Carter theory sound pretty good to me as an explanation of its enduring popularity. Champollion is too early and the rest too late. Like you, I haven't seen it in Egypt and not in other countries either. If it is common in the US, it is likely to be a US product.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Prosit

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Re: Egyptian Magic Coin Token
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 02:13:07 AM »
I also collect lucky items.  Loved your post and information!
Seen stuff like this but never acquired an example.  May need to do so now  ;D

Offline Coinsforever

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Re: Egyptian Magic Coin Token
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011, 01:12:46 PM »
Enigmatic token!

But  covers history & monuments of Egypt , interesting to read more about it.

Thanks & Cheers ;D

Every experience, good or bad, is a priceless collector's item.

Offline malj1

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Re: Egyptian Magic Coin Token
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2015, 06:12:57 AM »
Just acquired a nice one of these magic coins complete with the suspension loop.

Also included in the lot was one of the square pieces shown at the head of this thread. So now we know the reverse of the lower piece.
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.