I have been trying to identify this “mystery coin” and its
enigmatic symbols for eight years.
One side has four symbols, the other has only two. The symbols are
raised but I can’t tell if they are upside down or not.
What is this coin, and what do the symbols mean?
Carolynne Templeman-Rooke, Lake Forest, Calif.
Images provided by the reader are of a piece unfamiliar to Coin
World staff, so we contacted the principal of Stephen Album Rare Coins.
Album immediately identified the central symbols on the coin,
suggesting they are well known on the coins of Indore, a city in the
modern Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
However, Album said the ancillary symbols are “weird.” The fabric
somewhat resembles some coins of Rewah (a princely state in Madhya
Pradesh), but “doesn’t look quite correct,” Album said. “My suspicion
is that this is a modern made-for-collector or tourist piece, probably
no older than the 1990s. But I am not 100 percent certain.”
Album is a respected specialist in Islamic and Indian coinage, so
this item’s true origin may never be known.
Though Album did not address the possibility, the piece may have
been used as a counter or weight.
This Polish coin came to me in an estate. It appears to show
Nicolaus Copernicus, but I cannot tell what metal it is and what its
value might be. Can you please help?
Brenda Simonson-Mohle, Dallas
Thankfully, the reader’s 1967 Polish 10-zloty coin is readily
identifiable from photographs she provided.
The copper-nickel coin does indeed celebrate famed Polish astronomer
Mikolaj Kopernik, known in English as Nicolaus Copernicus.
Examples of this coin measure 28 millimeters in diameter and weigh
9.5 grams. The coins are the first type of the denomination issued
following a reduction in size and weight after the 1965 issue (the
1965 coin measures 31 millimeters in diameter and weighs 12.9 grams).
Unfortunately for the reader, the coin exhibits some type of damage
at the reverse rim.
According to the 2013 Standard Catalog of World Coins by
Chester Krause and Clifford Mishler, 40th edition, edited by George
Cuhaj and with values by Tom Michael, the coin would be worth $3 in
Extremely Fine condition.
As it is, it might likely be located in a “bargain bin” for less