I wanted to create a coin that would look similar to a Spanish treasure “cob” dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. According to Wikipedia: “The ends of bars or “cabos de barra” which the term “cob” came about were cut/sliced off bullion rods as planchets (flan) which are round metal disks used as blanks which were to be stamped into coins.” These coins were roughly cut to shape to achieve the desired weight of the precious metal and were all struck by hand, leading to rough straight sides, irregularities, and imperfections that, to many people today, gave them character. These coins were also a major part of the monetary system during the “Golden Age of Piracy” in the late 1600’s-early 1700’s.
I took time to study the different coins that were in circulation during this era, and chose the one that I felt was best suited to the purpose of the design I had in mind. I then used that as a template to incorporate the various design elements that I wanted to include.
On the front, I went for a variation on the skull and crossbones, and added a pair of crossed flintlock pistols to create a version of the Masonic Square and Compasses, set over a ship’s wheel. Above that is the phrase “FORTES FORTUNA ADIUVAT”, which is Latin for “Fortune favors the bold”. Below the design is the year 1717, which is the year that the United Grand Lodge of England was first formed, and was also the height of the “Golden Age of Piracy” in the Caribbean.
On the back, the centerpiece is a Crusader’s Cross, with the Masonic Square and Level alternating within it. Above and below is the phrase “SUPER LIBRAM OCCURRERE, SUPER REGULAM DISSOCIARI”, which is Latin for “Meet upon the level, part upon the square” a key phrase in Masonry.
The coins are available in your choice of antique silver or antique gold. The choice of these finishes gives the coins a much more “aged” appearance, and also helps to bring out greater detail in the design.
Please note that the coins are not actually made of silver or gold; that would make them extraordinarily expensive! These coins are made of metal and plated with a silver or gold colored metal, then treated give them the aged appearance and bring out the detail.