Dear Ms. Q,
Using Coins in Magical workings is as old as the creation of the concept of money or wealth.
In primitive times it was measured by the number of cattle or goats or sheep, even the camels one had in a nomadic living environment. Later on it was the number of wives one could keep well fed. Then the concept increased to the number of bushels of grain one’s land could produce.
Eventually coins were created to equal the value of a cow or wheat or what ever. Then the concept of numbers was created, so that the numbers on the coin equaled the value of a cow or bushels of wheat.
Now, at least here in the United States we have denominations going from 1 penny to, at least in common usage a $100 dollar bill, there are larger bills but are rarely ever seen in public anymore.
Years ago when we were on the gold exchange one dollar could be redeemed as one ounce of silver on demand, as a matter of fact those $1.00 dollar bills were called Silver Certificates.
Now all money is called Fiat money or credit money, and is suppose to equal the value of an item or the amount of gold and/or silver that the country has in its treasury. I won’t get into the concept of credit money and real money that is something for an economist to talk about.
But up until 1964, in the United States, all coins including the 1 dollar coin had silver in them to equal the value of the coin (almost), copper pennies did have copper in them. Now all coins are either copper or silver clad or with a very light coating of silver/copper, eventually that may change as the metals become scare and of more value.
In Europe, Asia, Mexico, South America and other countries I’m sure that also holds true, for those of you reading this post, find out from coin collectors in your respective countries what was the silver and copper content in your coins and when did that content cease to be included in that particular countries coins, also inquire, if you wish, how to go about purchasing very worn coins that have silver / copper content. The slang term is called “Sliders” meaning that the coins are so worn that they slide.
Much of the use of coins especially coins made of real silver and gold, in the use of magikal workings is because of the properties of the actual metal of gold and silver and even copper.
Considering that gold has gone sky high in value one can almost eliminate it for magikal works. But silver has special properties and one can still afford to purchase silver coins especially those most commonly called “sliders” to work magick.
Among people who use hoodoo, if you wear a silver coin (most likely a dime) around your ankle, if it turns very dark, then it means you’ve been hoodooed with Hot Foot powder or another type of negative magikal ingredient in Hoodoo workings. Some people will wear a silver coin as a pin or broach or tie pin or bracelet or even a pendant to do the same thing.
Some people have a lucky coin, usually with their birth year on it and wear it as a good luck charm, I’ve seen gold coins mounted into rings, this is to bring money to you.
In the old west it was not uncommon for a cowboy to hide a 5 dollar gold piece in his boot so he could get a proper burial. This was similar to a pirate wearing a gold hoop earring; the value of the earring was to give the pirate a decent burial if he was lucky enough to be buried on land.
The legend of the Golden Fleece comes from the areas near Greece, where to harvest gold from the free flowing streams there one would kill a sheep, skin it and nail the skin with all its wool intact upon a flat board. The one would submerge the board under water and leave it there for a month or more, bit by bit the gold floating down the stream as it was being tumbled down would be snagged by the wool, after 3 to 6 months submerged in the water, the wooly skin would be taken out of the water allowed to dry over a period of time and then when dry the skin would be burned in a deep pan releasing the gold from the wool. The ash from the burned skin and wool would be carefully panned away leaving the gold behind to be collected.
Silver was considered magikal because it would be found mixed with other ores or gold, but once separated it was tarnish resistant with a lot of use, because the wealthy sometimes would be poisoned, as a precaution they would drink their wine from silver cups or eat their food with forks and knives made of silver, because of the high sulfur content in most poisons during that time, most poisons would tarnish or discolor the silver made utensils, therefore it was considered to have magikal properties.
It was also noted that wine and water kept in silver containers tasted better and purer because of the properties of silver.
Silver is associated with water, the moon, as well as it being the only metal to balance all of the Chakra’s. Wearing Silver is supposed to have a calming effect; it is used for invoking positive protective energy as well as banishing negativity. Use the metal as coins or shavings or the color silver candles in rituals, spells or talismans concerning the Moon-goddesses, the female force, cycles, emotional and/or hormonal imbalances, reflecting or neutralizing negativity, dreams and intuition, psychic work and psychic abilities. Wear silver jewelry to improve fertility, emotional and hormonal stability.
But silver worked into a magikal amulet that has a positive meaning to the wearer gives protection from negative influences, that is why many Catholic Children when they are about to receive first holy communion and confirmation into the church are given blessed holy metals and crosses made of silver for protection from evil.
I realize that this takes use away from the use of coins in magikal workings but the principal especially when using what wizards would refer to as one of the “7 noble metals”, is much the same, whether it is a coin or a ring, bracelet, pendant, its principals work the same.
The images on a coin is also important, many practioners prefer to use a “mercury dime” as Mercury was one of the few gods that could go into the Underworld of Hades with impunity to carry messages.
That is why a silver mercury dime or in some cases a copper Indian head penny is considered important in magical workings.
For any prosperity ritual the use of silver such as a silver coin is best, but I have found that in rituals of protection the use of an Indian head penny works very well. This is an American and Hoodoo idea or concept because Native Americans were always in harmony with the earth as well as being very vigilant. In the old West the Calvary had Scouts that were Native Americans, and in sports there were and still are Baseball and Football teams named after Native Americans, such as the Atlanta Braves and the Stanford Indians, to represent their bravery and fierceness in battle, although of late there has been a movement to eliminate any Native American reference in naming teams.
When using Iron rail road spikes to nail down one’s property I have used both the Mercury dime and the Indian Head penny, the dime to keep the value of my property intact and to buy the assistance of Spirit and the Indian penny to ask the Native American spirit to watch for evil and deflect it.
With coins from other countries, again I recommend using coins in which the images are almost gone or “Sliders” the only value is just a few dollars, anything which is listed as good, fine, excellent or un-circulated has a numastic value and should not be used in magikal workings.
Also look at the images on the coins to see if they reflect in any way the type of magikal properties or workings that you wish to achieve, be creative, as I said in the Mexican Peso the image of the eagle eating a snake I would consider protective.
Now I have referred to the “7 Nobel Metals” for use in magikal workings, besides silver they are gold, copper, lead, tin, iron, and electrum which is a natural alloy of silver and gold with a percentage of 75% gold.
Each of these metals has uses in magikal workings and I will deal with each in another post.
Now some people have asked me what if I can’t afford to get or purchase a real silver mercury dime or Indian head penny.
Well in purchasing graveyard dirt a coin made of silver or copper is important. You can use a Roosevelt dime which came out in 1945 to 64, in 1915 or so the copper Lincoln penny came out, that will work as well.
I have found that when one wants silver shavings using a very worn Roosevelt dime works very well. I have used a modern copper penny that has a shield on it for protection and that seems to work even though it is only copper clad.
If one goes to yard sales look for silver jewelry being sold, even if it’s broken jewelry, one can obtain shavings from that for mojo bags and such. However if the jewelry is pretty, not broken and can be worn then re-consecrate it towards protection and invoking those positive energies.
There are many spells on the internet and in books that mentions the use of silver candles and on occasion copper colored candles and of course gold candles, if you can obtain a supply of them for future workings in property, banishing negativity and protection. Keep them in boxes that are crush proof and away from sun and heat. Label them what color they are and for what use. The candles come in different lengths, so I’d buy or get boxes for the longest possible length which is about 12 inches.
Even in sympathetic magic these colors are important.
Blessings Ms. Q