Author Topic: A marriage across the water  (Read 171 times)

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Offline brandm24

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A marriage across the water
« on: June 24, 2019, 12:53:07 PM »
Recently I came across these two fantasy coins while looking through my token boxes. My son gave them to me about 15 years ago, but other than my notation on the flip "From Penny Arcade", I know nothing about why they were made or how they wound up in an arcade. In any case, I though they would be fun to post here.

I  thought the marriage of an English Penny and a Kennedy Half Dollar was particularly interesting. Another thought was, what a lot of work to make them. Someone obviously needed a life.  :)

Bruce
Bruce

Offline Figleaf

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Re: A marriage across the water
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 11:00:38 PM »
The reverse of the penny looks a bit funny, but otherwise, I can't spot why you call them fantasies. Is the weight or size off, perhaps? Or is one side of the penny combined with one side of the half?

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

Offline malj1

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Re: A marriage across the water
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2019, 11:56:50 PM »
We need the sizes of these to compare with the originals. ...perhaps you could confirm which image goes with which too.

The penny reverse looks to have had the edge removed?
Malcolm
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Offline andyg

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Re: A marriage across the water
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2019, 09:03:14 AM »
I was thinking these were magicians coins - half a penny stuck to half a dollar...
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline malj1

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Re: A marriage across the water
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2019, 09:41:54 AM »
Yes that could well be the answer. I have a similar penny with a token on reverse.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline brandm24

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Re: A marriage across the water
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2019, 11:06:01 AM »
Sorry, I wasn't clear about the two coins.

 The first two pictures, both reverses, are one coin, and the second set, both obverses are of a second coin. In effect we have one double-headed and one double-tailed coin. But instead of the marriage of say two Pennies or two Half Dollars, we have coins of different denominations from different countries joined together. I believe a magician's coin would be made from the same type of coin, but with either two heads or two tails joined together.

I think the reverse marriage didn't go well, so there was a little adjustment made to even the edges. That would account for the rim damage.

I have a two-headed Jefferson Nickle magician's coin in my box. I'll find a photo of it and post it here.

Bruce
Bruce

Offline brandm24

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Re: A marriage across the water
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2019, 11:37:04 AM »
I actually looked into what's considered a magician's coin, and the hybrids I posted apparently are. I suppose any coin that would deceive an audience in any way would fit into that category.

 Anyway, here's my two-sided Jefferson Nickle made from the obverse of a 1941 and a 1954. I found this coin in a collection I was sorting for a friend in 2002.

Bruce
Bruce

Offline malj1

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Re: A marriage across the water
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 11:40:09 AM »
I have a similar penny with a token on reverse.

Here is my piece, the penny is hollowed out and the token machined to fit inside. Note the copper rim on reverse image. (with a daub of white paint inside where the hole is)
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline brandm24

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Re: A marriage across the water
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2019, 02:10:12 PM »
That's unusual, Mal. I saw a similar piece on line with a dime attached to the hollowed out reverse of a Lincoln Cent. Of course the rim of the cent showed as the dime has a slightly smaller diameter.

Bruce
Bruce

Offline Figleaf

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Re: A marriage across the water
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2019, 03:23:13 PM »
Your two pieces are part of a magician's set. Sets are much harder to find than single pieces. The magician would try to borrow a half from the public, start a little story say on the US dollar, show the Kennedy side, reminisce about what he could buy for a half as a boy, turn the coin around unnoticed and joke how today it was worth a penny, change the coin for the second in the set, show the other side, explain how Britannia used to rule the waves, demand politicians that would restore the value of the dollar, and change the penny back into a half. The difference in size between the penny and the half explains why the penny looks clipped.

You can also use them the other way around, e.g. saying that the British got rich from their colonies but the US turned the tables on them.

The two-headed nickel has a different function. It is a gambler's coin. The gambler would make a bet, throw up the coin and make sure he'd chosen heads. A more convincing trick is letting the victim choose heads or tails. The con man has two such coins, one with two heads in his left pocket, one with two tails in his right pocket. He picks the appropriate coin after his victim has made his choice. The 5 cents is the coin of choice for this type of fraud, because it has a smooth edge.

What the coins have in common is a seam on the edge. On the gambler's coin it has probably been hidden as well as possible, but it will be in view on the magician's coins. These coins were obviously made with two coins, both filed smooth on one side. The self-made coin is therefore often too heavy.

The remaining question is what the magician's coins were doing in the penny arcade. Perhaps they were stolen from the magician. The thief had no use for them and feared they could be used as evidence against him, so he whitewashed them in the penny arcade.

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

Offline brandm24

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Re: A marriage across the water
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2019, 04:14:23 PM »
Interesting information, Peter. Insider information perhaps?  ;)

I don't know what arcade he found the coins in, but it was probably one of many in Wildwood, NJ. Wildwood was a popular watering hole for our family. The only explanation I can come up with is that they were given out as prizes. All the games issued tickets for winning something which were redeemable for cheap prizes at the counter. You would probably spend $20 just to get a "treasure" worth about a quarter...in this case 51 cents. The kids loved it though. Well worth it to see them have fun.

Bruce
Bruce