Are you an avid coin collector? Are you always looking for a new excuse to add a new coin or token to your collection? If so, there's good news—Halloween is coming up! Read more about how to take advantage of the opportunity and hunt down one of these 3 creepy coins in celebration of the bewitching holiday.
Thomas Paine Tokens
Thomas Paine was a well-known political activist of the 1700s. His written work, The Rights of Man, played a big role in both the American and French Revolutions by encouraging citizens to stand up to unfair government practices.
When Thomas Paine's literature made it to Britain, however, it was met with some hostility. Those who opposed a revolution began to spread their own propaganda. One British token of an unknown issuer, circulated in 1793, depicts the ominous scene of Thomas Paine hanging from gallows. The reverse side of this coin shows an open book with the term "The Wrongs of Man" clearly visible—an obvious play on the words of Paine's pro-revolution written work.
Another anti-revolution coin, issued by Thomas Wyon in 1796, shows Paine, as well as 2 of his supporters being hanged. The reverse of this coin depicts J. Spence, one of Paine's supporters as a begging sailor. Around the image is inscribed the term "J. Spence Slop Seller."
At a time when political unrest was rampant, the tokens served as a warning to those who dared oppose the rule of the British Government. These tokens are made of copper, which was widely available at that time. They are often of crude shape and design as hand tools were the common means of token production.
Gibraltar Skull Pounds
Gibraltar skull coins were first issued in 1988 in the British territory of Gibraltar. While they appear a bit morbid with their front face depicting a jawless skull, the coins were actually made to commemorate a great scientific discovery.
The skull image on the face of the coins is that of a female Neanderthal, discovered in a Gibraltar quarry in 1848. Gibraltar takes pride in this discovery as the skull was among the first bits of evidence of the Neanderthal species' existence.
Since these nickel-brass 1 pound coins are still in circulation today, they currently hold little value; however, their uniqueness and historical significance make them worth adding to your collection.
At the height of the Civil War, one New York undertaker, J.J. Diehl, found a unique way to advertise his business. He began distributing coins to the families of those on the battlefields.
Distributed in 1863, these coins were quarter-sized and made of copper. The front of the coins featured the head of an Indian maiden while the backs were stamped with a coffin and an address at which the coins could be redeemed. The address was of course Diehl's funeral home.
It was a bold move to remind the families of those fighting of a possible grim outcome for their loved ones, but most of these families were so financially burdened that they welcomed the discount the tokens offered and J.J. Diehl's business thrived throughout the war.
Since Diehl's undertaker coins were only distributed for a single year, they're difficult to find in local coin shops. Boost your odds of scoring one by checking several online coin shops daily or browsing antique shops that specialize in Civil War memorabilia.
If you're looking for a reason to add a new coin or token to your collection, let the upcoming holiday be your excuse. The above three options are all perfectly creepy and worthy of splurging on in celebration of Halloween.Share