1901 Indian Head Cent. Encased Pan Am - Obverse reads: "GOOD LUCK" at the top and "KEEP ME AND PROSPER" at the bottom. Horseshoe, four leaf clover, and wishbone symbols are seen. (Hover for larger image)
1901 Indian Head Cent reverse. Encased Pan Am - Reverse reads: "FROM THE / PAN AMERICAN / ESPOSITION / 20th CENTURY PENNY / GROUNDS OF THE" - These are each inside a loop of a chain which follows the rim of the encasement. (Hover for larger image)
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Note: Some images may be duplicated on other pages.
When encased coins first appeared they were cents. Over the last 120 plus years, the "Lucky Cent" was the mainstay of encased coins. In 1901 when it is believed the first encased cent was created, a cent was a lot of money. $100 dollars adjusted for inflation requires $3061.52 in 2020. So giving away a cent in 1901 was valuable. When did larger denominations first appear? In reviewing my collection I found any number of pre-1900's dated encased coins. When I looked at the message on the encasement most were modern (post-1950) pieces. Below is the image of a 1937 dime. It was encased for the 1939 Silver Anniversary (1914-1939).
One thing that can be noted is that larger denomination coins were used for at least two reasons. First for a greater effect on the targeted audience, i.e. a higher value coin meant a higher value message. Second due to the significance of the coin to the subject matter. For instance, using the Roosevelt dime for The March of Dimes encased. Larger denomination coins would also be more likely to be kept by the recipient and therefore the message would be seen more frequently. In some cases, the coin was used, as we'll see next, to commemorate an anniversary and the denomination is pertinent to the message.
1937 Brass encased dime obverse (1 1/2 inch diameter). Obverse reads: "SILVER ANNIVERSARY / 1912 / 1939 VIRGINIA MIRROR CO. (Hover for larger image)
1937 Brass encased dime reverse. Reverse reads: "THE SOUTH'S LARGEST MIRROR PLANT / MARTINSVILLE, VA." (Hover for larger image)
Of the pieces I own. The one above is my pick for the earliest non-cent encased. I have other denominations with a coin dated before 1937, but none where it is clear that the piece was made at or near the same date.
As noted above encased cents or "lucky pennies" were the first encased coins. Below are some examples, from the common to the traditional good Luck penny" to the more exotic and unusual.
Obverse 1901 cent. Obverse reads: "GOOD LUCK" 'KEEP ME AND PROSPER". Reverse reads: "NORTH" In large script at the top of a globe with cent in middle. "PAN-AMERICAN SOUVENIR / CLEVELAND, O. U.S.A." (EC06)(Hover for reverse image)
Traditional horseshoe shape. Obverse 1950 D reads: "GOOD LUCK" "KEEP ME AND PROSPER" "" I BRINK GOOD LUCK". Reverse is blank - this was a salesman sample, (Hover for reverse image)
1922 D Cent. Traditional round shape 1 3/8th inch. Obverse reads: "H. W. LEMORE & CO. / REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS / 29 80 LASALLE ST." at the bottom "CHICAGO, IL. / TELEPHONE STATE 4640 / BUILDING - SUBDIVIDIONS - BROKERAGE". Reverse reads: "OWN A HOME THE ELMORE WAY" inside a horseshoe. Rabbit, four leaf clover and wishbone symbols at bottom. (Hover for reverse image)
Liberty Bell shape 1929 - a lot of scroll work on obverse. Obverse reads: "KEEP ME AND NEVER GO BROKE" ""I BRING GOOD LUCK". Reverse reads: "SOUVENiR OF WASHINGTON, D. C." (Hover for reverse image)
1901 Cent in horseshoe shaped encasement. Obverse reads: "KEEP ME AND NEVER GO BROKE / I BRING GOOD LUCK" / "PAT. APR 11, 99." (Hover for reverse image)
1901 Pan american Expo vulcanite encased. Obverse reads: "I AM NEVER BROKE / LUCKY SOUVENIR" in small letters at edge "PATENT APPLIED FOR" The legend is applied on a paper ring around the coin. Reverse has an image of the "Temple of Music" again on a paper glued to the reverse. The reverse of the coin is not visible. See Vulcanite Encased for more information. (Hover for reverse image)
Chamber pot style encased containing a 1905 cent. Obverse reads: "SOUVENIR / NIAGARA FALLS / GOOD LUCK / I HAVE BEEN TO NIAGARA FALLS AND GOT CLEANED". Reverse reads: "GO WAY BACK AND SIT DOWN / A POT FULL OF MONEY / KEEP ME AND NEVER BE CAUGHT SHORT" (Hover for reverse image)
1847 large cent encased in stainless steel ring with an incuse legend. Obverse reads: "WILLIAM A. MULLER & CO - CORP. / BUSINESS EST. 1847". Reverse reads: "99 WATER ST. - BOSTON / ALL KINDS OF INSURANCE". (Hover for reverse image)
1842 Large cent encased in clear acrylic plastic - cent is well worn, but has a clear date. No legend on this piece. (Hover for reverse image)
1902 cent full red and brilliant. The coin is off center with a four leaf clover, horseshoe, and wishbone symbols above the cent. "GOOD LUCK" on each side of cent. Reverse reads: "GARMIN / WATCHES AND JEWELRY / 101 3RD ST. 1ST DOOR VELOW CHESTNUT / PHILADELPHIA / FORMERLY WITH LATE FIRM OF DAVID F. CONOVER & SON". (Hover for reverse image)
1901 cent encased in a wishbone shape. Obveres reads: "KEEP ME AND PROSPER / I BRING GOOD LUCK". Reveres reads: "PAN AMERICAN EXPOSITION 1901" under the cent and a large relief buffalo at the top. (Hover for reverse image)
"AMERICAN CZECHOSLOVAK LEGION / OF CHICAGO" in brass encasement. reverse readS: "BENEVOLENT FUND" (Hover for reverse image)
Below are a few encased nickels. I will add to this and other categories as I photograph more of my encased coins.
1899 "V" nickel. Obverse reads: "KEEP ME AND NEVER GO BROKE". Reverse reads: "DIAMOND PANTS STORES / HOME OF STAG TROUSERS / UNION MADE" (Hover for reverse image)
Obverse - This Hand Carved Hippie Hobo Nickel by Tyler Tyson was carved in a custom encasement (encasement also designed by Tyler Tyson). Reverse reads: "IF YOU'RE STUCK IN A PICKLE HERE'S A NICKEL" Buffalo has a hat added. (Hover for reverse image)
1912 "V" nickel. Obverse reads: ""NEVER RIDE FASTER THAN YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL CAN FLY" a pair of wings is pictured below the coin. Reverse reads: "GOOD LUCK" "HEALTH & WEALTH" four leaf clover, horseshoe, and wishbone symbols also appear on the reverse. (Hover for reverse image)
1950 nickel in brass encasement. Obverse reads: "JEFFERSON JUBILEE AND DEMOCRATICE NATIONAL CONVFERENCE" / "1800" and "1950" on sides of coin "CHICAGO MAY 1950" separating the two dates. "Our Goal must be peace for all time / President Harry S. Truman". Reverse reads: "GOOD LUCK PIECE" "COOK COUNTY CENTRAL DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE" at the bottom in tiny letters - "Colonel J. M. Arvey / Chairman". (Hover for reverse image)
When it come to encased coins there is an abundance of different denominations available. In United States coins I have large cents, small cents, nickels, dimes, quarters, halves, and a wide variety of dollar coins. I have Canadian, French, Italian, British, Australian, Spanish, and German. I have no doubt that there are others I don't know about.
1945 Dime in a Red Plastic encasement 1 1/2 inch in diameter. Obverse reads: "NATIONAL INFANTILE PARALYSIS FUND 1945" reverse reads: "1882-1945" and has a bust of FDR in the middle and his signature at the bottom. (Hover for reverse image)
1953 D Brass encased dime. Obverse reads: "MARCH OF DIMES" / "FIGHT INFANTILE PARALYSIS". Reverse reads: "FIGHTER POLIO 1954" - the reverse of the dime is covered by the encasement. The encasement is 1 1/4 inch diameter brass. (Hover for reverse image)
The two pieces above are significant for a number of reasons. Both have non-traditional encasements. The plastic encased is interesting in that it has a "Mercury" dime as the coin and the reverse is covered. But is still honors Franklin D. Roosevelt the longest serving President and a polio survivor. I am guessing that the 1945 dime was chosen as that was the last year that FDR served as President and the year he died. The brass encased is smaller than traditional. It encases a Roosevelt dime to honor FDR and his fight with polio and support of polio research. He founded the "National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis" now known as the "March of Dime." These encased were no doubt made by and used for "The March of Dimes." I have more encased dimes here.
1954 Quarter obverse reads: "AMERICAN SAVINGS / SAVE THE AMERICAN WAY". Reverse reads: "AMERICAN SAVINGS" "8th ANNIVERSARY / 1955 / DETROIT, MICH." (Hover for reverse image)
100 Year Anniversary Denver Mint 2006 D Colorado quarter. Obverse reads: "100th ANNIVERSARY / DENVER U.S. MINT". Reverse reads: "DENVER COIN EXPO / 2006 / AUGUST 11 - 13, 2006 / 1983" "719-275-0585" (Hover for reverse image)
1958 D quarter. Obverse reads: "REMEMBER THE YELLOW FLAG". Reverse reads: "ACCIDENT FREE ANNIVERSARY - CONGRATULATIONS" (Hover for reverse image)
Obverse 1953 quarter. Obverse reads: "MOROLA ENG. CLUB / XMAS PARTY 1953 PARTY" This is an encased mirror 1 3/4 inches in diameter. The reverse is a mirror. (Hover for reverse image)
1960 D obverse reads: "EDDIE SHIPSTAD • OSCAR JOHNSON • ROY SHIPSTAD • 25TH YEAR". Reverse reads: "SHIPSTAD & JOHNSON ICE FOLLIES / SILVER JUBILEE EDITION" (Hover for reverse image)
1948 quarter - obverse reads: "TIME" "1923-1948" / "REPRESENTATIVES SILVER AWARD" / "THE WEEKLY NEWS MAGIZINE(in text half the size of Time)(Hover for reverse image)
2004 Michigan quarter OBVERSE READS: "COMMERATING / THE 50 STATES". Flag symbol at base star left and right.. 1 3/4 inch diameter. Reverse reads: "KALAMAZOO NUMISMATIC CLUB" / 1960-2004 (Hover for reverse image)
Obverse of 2007 Washington state quarter. Obverse reads: "GOOD LUCK" "HEALTH & WEALTH". Reverse Reads: "GOOD LUCK" "KEEP ME & PROSPER" (Hover for reverse image)
1953 Franklin Half encased in red plastic. Obverse: "ARAGON BALLROOM / LICK PIER OCEAN PARK" - Reverse: (blank) (Hover for reverse image)
1939 Walking Liberty Half encased in red plastic. Obverse: "ARAGON BALLROOM / LICK PIER OCEAN PARK" - Reverse: (blank) These were given out as prizes for dance contests. (Hover for reverse image)
1962 Franklin half - Obverse: "First Federal Savings W/B PA" - Reverse: "Good Luck..." the rest is illegible (Hover for reverse image)
There is a full page click on "Dollars"
These four all contain foreign coins. Two are traditional encased and the other are not. Even the first two are not totally traditional. With the first the legend is incuse as opposed to the more normal relief. The second while traditional is thicker than usual and is an anodized orange color. The third is encase in thin aluminum that is folded over to encase the coin. Note the fold at the left side. The final has a split ring, like to hold keys encasing the 200 Mark coin.
Encased in a 33.4mm aluminum ring is a 1936 "Deutsches Reichs Pfennig", the obverse reads: "Allein Vertriebsrecht Münchner Bürobedarfs-Gesellschaft m. b.H. München Ost", which translates as, "Sole distribution right Münchner Bürobedarfs-Gesellschaft m. B.H. Munich East". The reverse reads: "Bewahre mich auf, ich bringe Dir Glück! In english: "Keep me safe, I'll bring you luck!". (Hover for reverse image)
The orange anodized aluminum encasement draws you into this U.K. six pence wedding piece. The obverse reads: "Something Old, Something New, Something Bowwored, Something Blue". The reverse reads: "And a Six Pence in her shoe". (Hover for larger image)
A 1/2 "New Penny" is encaased in a thin aluminum ring that is folded to encase the coin. The obverse reads: 'Scotch Blends / "Strathduie" / "The Usual" / Wellington-Clark LTD. Euclid, O.'. Reverse reads: "Scotch / 'Glenbruich' / Unblended Malt Whisky". (Hover for larger image)
A 1923 Deutsches REich 200 Mark in BU condition is encased in a split ring 31.5 mm in diameter. The ring is 5mm in width with incuse legend. The obverse reads: "Pasaden Savings & Trust Co., Pasadena, Cal.". The reverse reads: "Safe Deposit Boxes for rent.". (Hover for larger image)