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My Great-Grandfather's Masonic Coins (Medals?)

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Good evening, one and all. It's been a long time since I've been here, and just noticed there was a section dedicated to the Freemasons. As it happens, my great-grandfather had been a Mason for many years, and I happen to have a couple of coins (or medals - not sure about the terminology) that belonged to him.

I hope you guys enjoy seeing them. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about them, or what they represent. If anyone could shed some light on them for me, my family and I would be eternally grateful :)

 

Gold Freemason Coin.JPG

Silver Freemason Coin.JPG

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These coins or tokens were issued by a number of fraternal orders and carried by the members so that they could prove their membership status [if the secret handshake or watch fob weren't enough proof].  The modern equivalent are popular in some military groups and are called 'challenge coins'.  If I was, say, in Iraq with the Royal Marines in 2012 and meet somebosy else who was or says he was, I have to pull the coin out of my pocket.  If he can't do the same he pays for the beer.  Or gets beat up,. i guess, if I decide he's a liar.  here's a very basic site on such tokens: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/us-coins/fraternal-tokens

These don't have the details filled in but presumably yr Great granfer had at least one with the requiste dates for his entry, passage of the 'exam' and so on.  I hope this helps a little.  

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Thanks for the information. I figured they were some kind of award for progressing through the "ranks", but it seems there's more to it than that :)

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In the late 19th and early 20th century a huge number of men, in GB and North Ameirca, and I suspect in Europe, belonged to 'fraternal organizations' - a place to go for a quiet drink between work and the family, and often involved in communal good works - and there miust have been millions, literally, of membership tokens of various sorts.  Obviously, from a quick scan, there are collectors and a market for them, so you should be able to get more info.  Good luck with the hunt! :)

Peter

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Its a lodge coin given to him so he could enter his three dates. My lodge didnt have such but as a york rite mason we were given coins.

Looks like he was in Newark Lodge number 7. He didn't enter any dates so it may be hard if you are looking for them.He should have a sheep skin apron. Mine is still in its presentation tube. What they did back when I do not know.

My lodge is 714 so he was in a very early lodge

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Unfortunately, I think his apron and any other Masonic items may be lost to history. It seems these two coins were all that was left. I may try and find out if is old lodge is still around and see if they may have any information.

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