Masonic coins frequently provoke numerous questions for individuals seeking to better grasp the meaning of the coins itself as well as the symbolism depicted in their artwork. Symbolism has always been an important component of fraternal culture as a whole, notably in Freemasonry, where Masonic coin is rich in symbolism, representing many events and aspects of Freemasonry that give them their intrinsic worth.

There are several types of masonic coins and tokens, and all tokens will fall into one of the following categories: a token commemorating a specific mason, lodge, or event; an initiation token indicating when a Brother was initiated, passed, and raised; and finally, the mark mason token (or penny) which represents a pivotal part of a mason’s life.

One last type is money, which was designed specifically for one Masonic family. Brother James Sketchily of the Grand Lodge of England issued the first and only masonic coinage in 1794. It was a 28mm copper coin that was accepted as cash across the whole British Empire, which at the time included the majority of the world. On November 24, 1790, the Prince of Wales, King George IV, was chosen Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England (Moderns).

Looking at the Symbols

Many of the symbols encountered by Masons on a daily basis may be found on each of these coins. Taking a closer look at the coins themselves, we can see that they often contain some of the following symbols and iconography:

Square and compasses: These symbols, which are commonly associated by the letter G, symbolize for doing good and realizing one’s place in the spiritual cosmos.

The Letter G: The letter “G” surrounded by a compass and square is frequently interpreted in one of two ways: for few, it refers to Geometry and supports the lessons of Masonic and symbolism associated with architects and builders, as well as the understanding and measurement of the perfection and order of the universe; for others, it refers to the letter “G” surrounded by a compass and square. Others interpret it to mean God or the “Great Architect of the Universe,” an ecumenical word used by Masons of many religions to allude to Deity while they worship together, each according to his own beliefs.

Apron and gloves: These symbols represent living a pure heart and keeping one’s hands clean.

All-seeing eye: This emblem is intended to remind Masons that God and others watch their thoughts and deeds at all times.

Ashlars: Masonic coins may have both rough and smooth ashlars. They are to serve as a reminder to Masons of the difference between man’s natural state and perfection.

Level: This insignia, which may be found on some Masonic coins, serves as a reminder to Masons that everyone is equal before God.

The Masonic Challenge Coin Story

Since time immemorial, the Masonic Challenge Coin Story and Custom Masonic Challenge Coins have existed. Promotional items were first used in America in 1824, when Andrew Jackson was running for President. This narrative of how the challenge coin came to be has been passed down the generations since it is related to a World War I storey that goes something like this.

Masonic-Challenge-Coins During WWI, several American volunteers joined a newly organized flying unit. And a rich officer, said to be Mason’s brother, decided to create a special coin after his newly established squadron and have it cast as a solid bronze medallion with the squadron logo and some other mystery symbols. He handed one to each of his squadron members. In a tiny leather satchel, the Lt. wore his pendant around his neck. The lieutenant’s plane was shot down behind enemy lines shortly after distributing the medals, and he was captured by a German soldiers squad.

Everything was taken from the lieutenant save the medallion, which he managed to hide beneath his tongs.

Shortly after being brought to a French town that had been set up as a makeshift POW camp near the front lines, the officer escaped by putting on civilian clothing and walking out of the settlement. He didn’t have any military identification on him since the German forces had taken it all. After traversing no-land, man’s the Lt. arrived at the front lines, fatigued and hungry, and stumbled into a French station.

Because of all the German spies who donned civilian clothes, the French soldiers in that region became suspicious. The French officers mistook the Lt’s American accent for a saboteur and were going to execute him.

The American recalled his bronze medallion and displayed it to his would-be executioners just as they were ready to shoot him. The French recognized the medallion’s emblems right away and gave the Lt. adequate time to authenticate his identification. They presented him with a bottle of red wine. The Lt eventually returned to his squadron, where it became a practice to ensure that all soldiers wore their medallion or coin at all times. Following the war, several troops became Masons and wanted to continue the challenge coin tradition, producing coins with Masonic insignia.

It has been claimed that if you receive a challenge coin, you must always keep it in your pocket. Because if you are challenged to reveal your currency and do not have it with you, you must for the following round of drinks for the group.

By Manali