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Coins and tokens in film

Started by Prosit, August 08, 2010, 12:58:17 AM

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I listed some coins used in movies on my website, focusing on US films made before 1960.


The US Treasury Department made it illegal to show real money, coins or paper,
in films from 1933 to 1960.

The restriction was lifted in 1960, supposedly at the request of film director
Alfred Hitchcock who wanted to use real $100 bills in a film about the motel business.

The films, so far:

Greed / McTeague (1924) US gold, Mercury dimes
The Good Earth (1937) Chinese
The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) Roman and Canadian
The Maltese Falcon (1941) Chinese and others
Buffalo Bill (1941) US Indian Head pennies
Duel in the Sun (1946) Egyptian medal
The Brasher Doubloon (1947) Title coin imitation
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) Mexican peso 1924
King Solomon's Mines (1950) Ethiopian Birr (Dollar)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) Diamonds as money
The Treasure of Lost Canyon (1952) Two-part medal
River of No Return (1954) US Silver dollar
The Wonderful Country (1959) Mexican pesos
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) US Indian Head pennies
Gidget Goes To Rome (1963) US $10 Liberty Gold
In Cold Blood (1967) US Silver dollar
Caligula (1979) Roman coin imitation
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Portuguese gold moidores
Young Indiana Jones (TV 1992-96) US, French, Great Britain

The Mysterious Egyptian Magic Coin
Coins in Movies
Coins on Television


Pieces like the Egyptian medal (1946 film) as shown on your website are occasionally available on ebay.....

There happens to be one at present...

Maybe the piece in the ebay lot is a more recently made copy - but I do not know.

Thanks Mr Paul Baker


In a Spanish forum, they had a similar thread. They posted the name of the film (or clip or whatever), a snapshot of the coin shown (or banknote or medal), and a short of explanation.

Of course, I will post here only the index to have a rough idea of it, but I could add any information / translation if you want. There were coins of all kinds. The names of the films are in Spanish at the bottom.

They also made fun with the film "Throw momma from the train" and the scene in which DeVito shows Crystal his coin collection. I can only find it in Spanish right now :

The film index :

1612 (Película)
300 (Película)
Alatriste (Película)
Amelie (Película)
Assasin's Creed: Lineage (Corto Animación)
Asesinos Cibernéticos (Película)
Atraco a las 3 (Película)
Atrapado en un Pirado (Película)
Axterix en los Juegos Olímpicos (Película)
Bangkok Dangerous (Película)
Bolt (Película)
Bones (Serie)
Bones [2] (Serie)
Bones - El Hombre de Hueso 1x18 (Serie)
Breaking Bad - Phoenix 2x12 (Serie)
Camarote de Lujo (Película)
Cármen (Película)
Cazadores de Mitos: Batalla contra el Alcoholímetro (Documental)
Coca-Cola (Anuncio Fábrica)
Como Locos a por el Oro (Película)
CSI Las Vegas - No des Nada Por Seguro 4x01 (Serie)
CSI Nueva York - Las Profundidades 4x02 (Serie)
CSI Nueva York - Se Acabó el Tiempo 4x04 (Serie)
CSI Nueva York - El Precio de una Vida 5x05 (Serie)
Daniel el Travieso (Película)
Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic (Película Animación)
Død snø (Muerte en la nieve) [Película]
Don Erre que Erre (Película)
Donde vas Alfonso XII (Película)
El Álamo (Película)
El Bueno, el feo y el malo (Película)
El Caballero Oscuro (Película)
El Color de la Magia de Terry Pratchett (Mini Serie)
El destino Final 3D (Película)
El Grinch (Película)
El Hombre Orquesta (Corto de Animación)
El Perfume (Película)
El Sexto Sentido (Película)
El Tren de las 3:10 a Yuma (Película)
El Truco Final (Película)
El Último Gran Mago (Película)
El Retrato de Dorian Grey (Película)
En La Oscuridad (Película)
Fito y Fitipaldis - Antes de que cuente diez (Videoclip)
Fringe (Serie)
Fuga de Alcatraz (Película)
Gangs of New York (Película)
Ghost [1] (Película)
Ghost [2] (Película)
Gosford Park (Película)
Gritos de Muerte (Película)
House 2x08 (Serie)
Indiana Jones y el Reino de la Calavera de Cristal (Película)
Infiltrados (Película)
James Bond, Quamtum of Solace (Película)
Jumanji (Película)
La Comunidad (Película)
La Gran Aventura de Mortadelo y Filemón (Película)
La Isla del Tesoro, 1950 (Película)
La Isla del Tesoro, 1972 (Película)
La Misión (Película)
La Noche es Nuestra (Película)
La Salchicha Peleona (Pelicula)
La Sombra de la Espada (Película)
La muerte Tenía un Precio (Película)
Las Vegas - Cuando la Vida te da Barritas de Limón 5x06 (Serie)
Lock & Stock (Película)
Los Chicos del Coro (Película)
Los Falsificadores (Película)
Los Fantasmas de Goya (Película)
Los Goonies (Película)
Lor Protegidos 1x01 (Serie)
Los Simpsons Cap. 91 (Serie Animación)
Los Simpsons Cap. 224 (Serie Animación)
Los Simpsons Cap. 324 (Serie)
Los Simpsons Cap. 420 (Serie Animación)
Lost (Serie)
Lost 4x03 (Serie Animación)
Mary And Max (Película Animación)
Maverick (Película)
Mentiras e Ilusiones (Película)
Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal (Videocliop)
Moby Dick 1956 (Película)
Mongol (Película)
Nueve Reinas (Película)
Oliver y Benji (Serie Animada)
Ojos De Brujo - Todos Mortales (Videoclip)
Padre Made In USA - Los Amantes de Lincoln 2x04 (Serie Animación)
Pérez: El Ratoncito de tus Sueños (Película)
Perseguida (Película)
Pipi Calzaslargas 1x01 (Serie)
Piratas del Caribe: La Maldición de la Perla Negra (Película)
Piratas del caribe III: El Fin del Mundo (Película)
Prison Break 1x02 (Serie)
Prison Break 4x04 (Serie)
Prison Break - Solo Son Negocios 4x14 (Serie)
Rápida y Mortal (Película)
Regreso al Futuro II (Película)
Resident Evil: Extinción (Película)
Río Bravo (Película)
Rockanrolla (Pelicula)
Roma 1ª Temp. (Serie)
Sahara (Película)
Salvador (Película)
Sangre Fácil (Película)
Sentido y Sensibilidad (Película)
Sesión 9 (Película)
Sherlock Hound - Las Monedas Robadas (Serie de Animación)
Smallville 1x10 (Serie)
Spiderman 2 (Película)
Sobrenatural (Serie)
Tesoros Perdidos de la Humanidad, Las 7 Maravillas (Documental)
The Box (Película)
The Code (Película)
The Kelly Family - Flip a Coin (Videoclip)
Tira a Mamá del Tren (Película)
Transiberian (Película)
Un Plan Sencillo (Película)
Una Noche en el Museo (Película)
Una Proposición Indecente (Película)
Vaje al Centro de la Tierra (Película)
Vega - Mejor Mañana (Videoclip)
Winchester 73 (Película)


This coin briefly appeared in the movie Prophecy: Forsaken.

It is a Bulgarian 100 Lei.  KM # 111 to be more precise.

I have one  :)




A British £5 note for movie use from MGM studios. Signature unreadable.
Measures 220 X 130mm simulating the old white fiver in use up to the 1950's.
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.


The signature block enlarged it is composed of minute Bank of England lettering repeated throughout and I now see it is blocking out the K Peppiatt signature.
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.


Aren't those real 5 pound note fairly pricey now?


I have a specific US film in mind here - but I forgot its title.  I saw it on UK TV in the late 1980's.  Can anyone assist?

The film had a general "Grapes of Wrath" feel to it, but I seem to recall towards the end had scenes in a striker's camp that may have been inspired by the Ludlow miners strike.

I recall the main characters got into a fist fight with an employer (fruit picking?) who tried to pay then in tokens.

Anyone recall the title?


Interesting that no one had any suggestions.

Googling around I think the film may have been John Ford's 1940  "Grapes of Wrath" itself

I notice a prominent web site votes it number 37 in the top 100 films of all time.

But I checked the first 100 google sites for connected relevant use of the word "token" without any luck.

There are a number of reasons why that could be the case - me being wrong is just one of them


It's not a film I would see.

The only film I remember that showed a large number of tokens (at the very beginning) is the James Bond flick "License to kill". It's a ten dollars token. It seems there is another one in "Skyfall", but that one I never saw. Those are obviously casino tokens, while yours would probably be truck tokens. Not sure if those existed in California.

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


I rarely watch films but I have managed to download The Imitation Game this is my kind of film! its very good.

A search on Google is pretty hopeless if you don't know anything of the film. However I did get this response The "What was the name of that movie?" thread   ;D your move!  :D
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.


Coins in Movies - His Majesty O'Keefe (1954) - Yap Island stone money

The famous "stone money" of the Pacific Island of Yap get their feature film appearance.

The 1954 Warner Brothers film "His Majesty O'Keefe" is about an Irish-American adventurer David O'Keefe, who lands in the South Pacific Island of Yap in 1870, sets up a company to employ the residents to harvest coconuts and produce copra (coconut oil), and later becomes a "king" of the island.

"King" O'Keefe on his throne

The film stars Burt Lancaster as David O'Keefe and was mostly filmed in Fiji. It is based on a true story.

Examples of the famous Yap stone "money" (sacred stones or "Fei" stones) are shown along with some generic gold coin props.

Yap Island sacred stone "money"

O'Keefe visits the Island of Palau where the Yap natives mine and manufacture the stones.

Yap Islanders manufacturing a sacred stone

Some real copper coins appear as gold coins in the film.

Money on the table

The top left coin appears to be a Russia 5 kopeks, copper, 32.7mm, issued 1867 to 1912.
The top right coin appears to be a Japan 2 sen, bronze, 31.8mm, issued 1873 to 1892.
The bottom two coins appear to be Bank of Upper Canada tokens, copper, 33.4mm. issued 1850 to 1857.

The film has been added to my website under "Coins in Movies".

The Mysterious Egyptian Magic Coin
Coins in Movies
Coins on Television


Coins in Movies - Ill Met by Moonlight (1957) - Austrian gold coin

The 1957 British film "Ill Met by Moonlight" is based on the World War II true story of two British Army officers who land on the Greek island of Crete to kidnap a German Army general and take him to the British headquarters in Cairo Egypt.

The title is a quote from William Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream". The film was released in America with the title "Night Ambush". It was based on W. Stanley Moss's 1950 book Ill Met by Moonlight: The Abduction of General Kreipe.

The British agents are assisted by Cretan resistance fighters who have been fighting the Germans since the Germans invaded Crete in 1941.

Major General Heinrich Kreipe always carries a "lucky gold coin" with him as it stopped a bullet when he was fighting in Russia.

The large coin used in the film appears to be a real gold coin minted by Austria between 1872 and 1915.

Right after the abduction the general complains to the British that he has lost his coin. A British officer offers to replace the coin but the general doesn't want a "British sovereign" because his coin was a German coin.

Later the group is joined by a Cretan boy whose greatest desire is a pair of boots.

The group is near some German soldiers and the general offers the coin to a Cretan boy to take to the Germans to buy boots (The coin would let the Germans know that their general is nearby).

The general makes an offer

A closer look at the coin:

Two views of the coin

The coin appears to be a real gold coin, an Austrian 4 ducat coin.

Austria 4 ducats 1915
This coin is a large thin coin of diameter 40 mm, weight 14 grams, 0.986 fine, gold 0.44 troy ounce.
These coins were struck in Vienna from 1872 to 1915.
They have since been restruck by the Vienna Mint with the date of 1915 for sale as bullion coins.

The film has a happy ending.

On the boat taking the general to Egypt the British officers return the general's medals and original gold coin to him.

The last scene is the boy polishing his new boots.

The Mysterious Egyptian Magic Coin
Coins in Movies
Coins on Television


Unusual Jersey coin in golf movie "The Greatest Game Ever Played" (2005)

The 2005 film "The Greatest Game Ever Played" is about a 1913 golf tournament where a young American player played against two British players.

At the beginning of the film, on the Isle of Jersey in 1879, some "gentlemen" visit the island to survey a golf course and one of the men throws a Jersey "penny" coin to a little boy. The little boy grows up to be one of the British golf champions.

The coin is an Isle of Jersey bronze 1/12 of a shilling (equivalent to a British penny) dated 1877.

Although the Isle of Jersey belongs to Great Britain, it has had its own currency based on the British Pound since 1834. At the time the scene was set (1879) Jersey minted coins equivalent to the British penny, halfpenny, and farthing. Jersey's coins were struck at the Royal Mint and the private Heaton Mint. All of the 1877 circulation coins were struck only at the Heaton Mint.

The coin is shown flying through the air before the boy catches it.

"Greatest Game" film Jersey "penny" 1877 obverse

"Greatest Game" film Jersey "penny" 1877 reverse

After watching the film, I had to get a real Jersey "penny" and I did:

Jersey 1/12 Shilling 1877
Bronze, 30.5 mm, 9.41 gm

Obverse: Queen Victoria facing left, VICTORIA D.G. BRITANNIAR. REGINA F.D.
Reverse: Shield with three lions, STATES OF JERSEY, ONE TWELFTH OF A SHILLING, 1877

This coin has the mintmark 'H' on the obverse as it was struck at the Heaton Mint, a private company located in Birmingham, England, and later known as the Birmingham Mint.

The film also features a US Barber half dollar dated 1900-S.

The Mysterious Egyptian Magic Coin
Coins in Movies
Coins on Television