Introduction to Masonic Pennies

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money Start Price:1.00 USD Estimated At:2.00 - 3.00 USD
Introduction to Masonic Pennies
SHIPPING & HANDLING: Shipping is subject to a minimum charge of $19.00. Shipping and handling cannot be estimated prior to invoicing as it is based on the size and weight of your purchase. Additional shipping and handling costs, if required, will be re-invoiced for the balance due. Items are not shipped until the invoice is completely paid. Many buyers purchase a number of lots. Every effort will be made to include all lots in a single shipping charge calculated to cover the weight and size.
Our auction includes a remarkable lifetime collection of Masonic Pennies. Although some collectors may be unfamiliar with this branch of exonumia, these pieces can often by seen at coin shows.

E. A. King wrote in the 1926 edition of his reference Masonic Chapter Pennies they represented: “a sacred token of the rites of friendship and brotherly love.”

King based his catalog on the collection of Mason Albert Hanauer which was donated to the Museum of the House of the Temple in Washington D.C. in 1925. The museum purchased other collections. The scarcity of Masonic Pennies may be attributed to members refusing to part with them in their lifetime. The basic unit in Freemasonry is the lodge (or chapter) and membership is indicated by the issuance of a “penny or “mark” (or “mark penny”).

Most Masonic pennies are copper, about the size of a U.S. large cent, usually 28 or 29 millimeters. Some are counterstamped large cents. They are also found in silver, German silver, aluminum, brass, bronze, white metal and nickel.

Not all tokens are “pennies.” King mentions “shekel” or “a half shekel” becoming popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Many chapters used stock dies, builder’s tools often in the design. The symbols and lettering found are described in King’s book, often referring to biblical references. HTWSSTKS stands for "Hiram The Widow's Son Sent To King Solomon." A member’s initials, his full name or other mark is often chiseled into one side. Most chapters include a town name, but some only the chapter number.

Besides King’s volume, there is an article in the July 1901 Numismatist by Dr. B. P. Wright on Masonic Chapter Pennies, available in public domain.?--Paul Williams