Holes in Coins?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Urban_Lawyer, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Urban_Lawyer

    Urban_Lawyer Half dollar nerd

    I've noticed that some nineteenth-century coins (mainly silver) have holes in them that go clean through, much like a bullet would go through a metal sign. Does anyone know why this was done or whether it was done by individuals or banks? I can only think they were punctured to string coins together, but that doesn't make sense. They must have had an 1800s version of a coin tube. An example of what I mean is below (not my coin, just a picture).

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  3. GreatWalrus


    I believe a lot of them were holes drilled for making the coins into necklaces. Not sure though.
  4. cman

    cman Junior Member

    Most were for jewlery. and i believe someone has a dansco 7070 with all holed coins...
  5. GreatWalrus


    You can get some pretty nice holed coins for cheap :D
  6. Urban_Lawyer

    Urban_Lawyer Half dollar nerd

    No kidding? That's a great idea for a collection. Sort of like collecting chopmarks or something.
    LaCointessa likes this.
  7. wheatydigger

    wheatydigger Member

    I have heard somewhere that the old Chinese coins with holes in the middle had holes in them so people can keep them all on a string so no one could steal it or they couldn't lose it very easily, since they didn't have wallets back then. I would assume that this is the reason that old U.S silver coins have holes in them.
    HoledandCreative likes this.
  8. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Hammer at the Ready Moderator

    I actually like the idea of collecting holed coins. Most of the big-money collectors will turn up their noses at these, thus the low prices on them. And, you know there is more of a story behind these coins than the ones that got stashed away, never circulating, and remained in pristine condition. If only they could talk. ;)
    HoledandCreative and LaCointessa like this.
  9. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    If they could talk, there'd probably be a lot fewer of them. "OW! OW! OW!"
    HoledandCreative and LaCointessa like this.
  10. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Coins were holed for several reasons. Some were so they could be worn as a necklace. Others were holed so they could be sewn to clothing for safe keeping, pants didn't have pockets back then. Still others were nailed up over doors or to the mast of a ship for good luck. Some were holed so they could be kept on a string. And some were holed by people just wanting to see if they could make a hole in them.
    HoledandCreative and LaCointessa like this.
  11. Detecto92

    Detecto92 Well-Known Member

    Just looked on eBay. Holed coins still bring a decent amount of money.
  12. Kanderus

    Kanderus Active Member

    Aye, in the Civil War soldiers didn't have anywhere to keep their coins, like a pocket. So they made holes in them, sewed them to clothing or put them on a string for safe keeping.
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