Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Embossed Masonic Penny Found in a Coin Roll!

Along with all of the incredibly valuable finds that you will pull out of coin rolls when coin roll hunting, you occasionally come across a peculiar but otherwise menial find that will pique your interest but will not line your pocket. Most often these come in the form of foreign coins, but periodically you'll cross paths with one of the embossed coins, most often pennies. The coins have an etch, carving, or stamp that had some meaning to someone or commemorates an event. These coins are typically made by individuals, but some organized groups have made and sold them for special events such as the bicentennial of the US. Most have no premium but many coin collectors and coin roll hunters collect them as a curiosity.

I happened to come across an embossed coin this week while hunting through some customer submitted penny rolls and noticed that this wasn't your run-of-the-mill bicentennial carved penny. It's shown here on the left, next to a more typical JFK penny carving that also exists in my collection. Definitely click on the photo to see a larger image.

Embossed Masonic coin carved penny stamped penny stamped coin

The penny I found has the Masonic Square and Compass stamped into it. I won't delve into details about the Freemasons, but I recommend anyone who's unfamiliar with the group to take a few minutes to learn a little about them.They're a somewhat mysterious group in popular culture, but Wikipedia estimates that there are about 2 million in the US.

My guess is that this very coin is a challenge coin within a specific lodge or a pocket piece of a member that somehow escaped into circulation.

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