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 Identification: Unidentified Coins, Medals, and Tokens

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Help identifying Old (possibly Mayan? coin)

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Newbie123
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United States
2 Posts
 Posted 01/25/2014  12:29 am Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Newbie123 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Hi All!

I've had this coin for a while now, I have no idea if its real/fake but I would love to know the origin if anyone knows. Thank you :)



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Canada
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 Posted 01/25/2014  12:40 am  Show Profile Check Libertad's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add Libertad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Looks cast. I doubt real people ever used money. A Mayan coin wouldn't use the Spanish language even if they had a monetary system.
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Nickel, not Nickle :)
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United States
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 Posted 01/25/2014  12:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Newbie123 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
True. Thanks for the input
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 Posted 01/25/2014  01:41 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add philadelphian to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The legend is a line from the Popol Vuh:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popol_Vuh
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Canada
129 Posts
 Posted 01/25/2014  06:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add uchihadesendent to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I wouldn't know enough to say anything about this coin but I like it
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United States
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 Posted 01/25/2014  09:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add philadelphian to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The one side depicts the Aztec "sun stone," or "calendar stone."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_calendar_stone
Unearthed in Mexico City in 1790, it has since become incorporated into folk art, and features on many souvenir tokens and medallions. The Popol Vuh, however, is Guatemalan, not Mexican.

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Edited by philadelphian
01/25/2014 09:36 am
Valued Member
Canada
201 Posts
 Posted 01/25/2014  09:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Fixguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just curious, is it magnetic?
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United States
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 Posted 01/25/2014  09:50 am  Show Profile Check Sabre2th's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Sabre2th to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Libertad commented on it being cast. Are there no legitimate cast coins?
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297 Posts
 Posted 01/26/2014  02:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
El Quiché is a predominantly Mayan department of Guatemala. Perhaps that helps.
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 Posted 01/26/2014  08:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Libertad commented on it being cast. Are there no legitimate cast coins?

There are. Chinese "cash" coins are cast, as are some primitive proto-coins of other civilizations (such as early Roman Republic "Aes Grave" coins). There are also some other numismatic items, such as medals, that were originally cast. But most are die-struck.
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 Posted 01/28/2014  5:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Based off of the font, I'd say this is a modern token--probably something made for tourist shops. Mayans and Aztecs didn't have metal currency, and all Spanish coins from the time were hammered "pieces of eight"-type silver coins. The squishy sans-serif font doesn't look like anything you'd expect to see on a coin prior to the 1960s or so. Plus, it seems to be rather poorly made and contains a random line from the Popol Vuh rather than any sort of indication of value--I'd say it's a token picked up in a tourist gift shop.
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 Posted 01/30/2014  12:22 pm  Show Profile Check jcmworld's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jcmworld to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Mayans and Aztecs didn't have metal currency



Quote:
... even if they had a monetary system


Both of these statements are incorrect. The Mayans and to a greater extent the Aztecs, both had developed monetary systems and they used metallic currency. They both had a well-developed monetary system before the Spanish conquest which persisted among the indigenous population well after the Conquest.

Here is a photo of some Aztec copper "hoe" money in my collection. These examples are from the 1350's-early 1500's made around Oaxaca. The Mayans used similar hoes, but of a different shape.

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United States
371 Posts
 Posted 01/30/2014  10:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add publius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The Mayans and to a greater extent the Aztecs, both had developed monetary systems and they used metallic currency. They both had a well-developed monetary system before the Spanish conquest which persisted among the indigenous population well after the Conquest.


In my opinion, that's a bit strongly stated. Firstly, it ignores the well-attested use of cacao beans and gold dust. Secondly, and more importantly, it ignores the fact that the Aztec and Maya societies clearly fall into the class of those in which most economic activity is not on the basis of explicit exchange, and especially not of monetary exchange. Hence, the role of "currency" is significantly different than in a modern society which emphasizes money-based transactions.
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