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4 encased cents, reverse of indian head, off center, horseshoe and a vulcanite encased

Encased Keychains/Fobs

Traditional Horseshoe shaped encased 1963 D, with hole at the top and a chain. It reads: "KEEP ME AND NEVER GO BROKE / I BRING GOOD LUCK" - (Hover for larger image)

Reverse reads: SOUVENIR OF WASHINGTOM,D.C. (Hover for larger image)


Encased coins used as a keychain are not a new idea or unusual. Traditional encased were often holed as made and had a chain inserted. In looking ar the Osborne Coin Company work orders from 10/1948 thru 9/1957 646 were not holed out of 1958 work orders that I entered into a spreadsheet. This works out to roughly 33% that were NOT holed. Over 67% were holed and a quick look shows over 90% of these had a chain inserted. As evicenced above the horseshoe was a favorite as a keychain. Encased keychains come in a variety of shapes, sizes, material , and, denomination of the encased coin. Below I expolore some of the varieties.


Chicago keychain. the obverse reads: "LUCKY PENNY CHICAGO" - (Hover for larger image)

Reverse reads:   - (Hover for larger image)

The piece above is a spinner. The encased coin spins on it's axis. Can be used to decide heads or tails by spinning as opposed to flipping a coin.

Side view of the Chicago keychain/spinner.



Keychain encased come in a variety of shapes and materials. Here is a plastic horseshoe shaped encased cent with a chain. This is a molded plastic horseshoe.

Pale green plastic horseshoe - Obverse reads: "KEEP ME AND NEVER GO BROKE / ALL STATE / LUMBER CO. / 2939 S. Cicero St. / " - (Hover for larger image)

Reverse reads: ""Complete Line / Of Building Materials / Garage And / Home Remodeling"(Hover for larger image)

Encased bell - 1953 D cent - Obverse reads: "I BRING GOOD LUCK / KEEP ME AND NEVER GO BROKE" - (Hover for larger image)

Reverse reads: "BETSY ROSS HOUSE / PHILADELPHIA / PENNSYLVANIA (Hover for larger image)



A 1930 buffalo nickel in an oval steel holder with a short chain and an oval ring with a screw closure. (Hover for larger image)

Reverse of the 1930 buffalo nickel keychain. (Hover for larger image)



A 2005 D cent encased in acrylic is hung so that it spins. Obverse reads: "LUCKY PENNY / WASHINGTON D.C." - (Hover for larger image)

Reverse reads: "LUCKY PENNY / WASHINGTON D.C." (Hover for larger image)

Side vide of DC Spinner



The keychain like the Chicago pice above is a "spinner". The ring that surrounds the coin is steel with incuse legends. The encasement that holds the cent is .40 inches thick, which leads me to believe that there are two cents in the encasement. The cent(s) are in a .85 inch diameter ring, spinning free inside a 1.34 inch ring. The outer ring is .15 inches thick. The chain is a link style with a solid ring at the end. The entire chain is plated a gold color.


Here is a more traditional encased keychain.

Round encased with a 1968 D cent. Encasement is 1.4 inches in diameter. Obverse reads:"KEEP ME AND NEVER GO BROKE" - (Hover for larger image)

Reverse reads: "LAS VEGAS CLUB / HOME OF THE 49¢ BREAKFAST" (Hover for larger image)

Traditionally, horseshoe style encased had chains attached. As I indicated earlier, of the Osborne Coin encased, 67% were holed and, probably 90% of those had chains inserted. Typically the chains used were the "ball chain" or bead chain" style. Some of the bead chains were plated to match the encasement. They are typically nickel-plated steel or steel or brass. On the encased shown here there are also "chain link", "snake link" and solid. The piece below has a solid loop, and a solid piece connected to the encasement. Ther is a link between the solid loop and the solid "fake" chain.

Nickel plated "Bead Chain" example.



Half Lira "Repubblica Italiana" - (Hover for larger image)

Reverse and obverse on hover. (Hover for other side)

The use of encased coins as part of a keychain is extensive. I will be adding other examples to the site in the future. Some will contain encased coins of different denominations, and some will be different styles of chain or encasement.

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