Touch piece

Last updated
Henry VIII: Archangel Michael doing battle with Satan (thin gold coin) Henry VIII's Angel.jpg
Henry VIII: Archangel Michael doing battle with Satan (thin gold coin)

A touch piece is a coin or medal believed to cure disease, bring good luck, influence people's behaviour, carry out a specific practical action, etc.


What most touch pieces have in common is that they have to be touched or in close physical contact for the 'power' concerned to be obtained and/or transferred. Once this is achieved, the power is assumed to be permanently present in the coin, which effectively becomes an amulet.

Cure of diseases by coins

Coins which had been given at Holy Communion could be rubbed on parts of the body suffering from rheumatism and it was thought that they would effect a cure. Medallions or medalets showing the "Devil defeated" were specially minted in Britain and distributed amongst the poor in the belief that they would reduce disease and sickness. [1] The tradition of touch pieces goes back to the time of Ancient Rome, when the Emperor Vespasian (69–79 AD) gave coins to the sick at a ceremony known as "the touching". [2]

Many touch piece coins were treasured by the recipients and sometimes remained in the possession of families for many generations, as in the case of the "Lee Penny" obtained by Sir Simon Lockhart from the Holy Land whilst on a crusade. This coin, an Edward I groat, still held by the family, has a triangular stone of a dark red colour set into it. The coin is kept in a gold box given by Queen Victoria to General Lockhart. [3] It can supposedly cure rabies, haemorrhage, and various animal ailments. The coin was exempted from the Church of Scotland's prohibition on charms and was lent to the citizens of Newcastle during the reign of King Charles I to protect them from the plague. A sum of between £1,000 and £6,000 was pledged for its return. [4]

The legend of the Lee Penny gave rise to Sir Walter Scott's novel The Talisman . The amulet was placed in water, which was then drunk to provide the cure. No money was ever taken for its use. [5] In 1629 Isobel Young, burned as a witch later that same year, [6] sought to borrow the stone to cure cattle. The family of Lockart of Lee would not lend the stone in its silver setting; however, they gave flagons of water in which the coin had been steeped. [7]

Healing of the King's or Queen's Evil

Queen Anne Wissing, Willem - Queen Anne, 1687.jpg
Queen Anne

Persons of royal blood were thought to have the "God-given" power of healing this condition by touch, and sovereigns of England and France practised this power to cure sufferers of scrofula, meaning "Swine Evil", as it was common in pigs, [8] a form of tuberculosis of the bones and lymph nodes, commonly known as the "King's or Queen's Evil" [9] or "Morbus Regius". In France it was called the Mal De Roi. [5] William the Lion, King of Scotland is recorded in 1206 as curing a case of scrofula by his touching and blessing a child who had the ailment. [10] Charles I touched around 100 people shortly after his coronation at Holyrood in 1633. [11] Rarely fatal, the disease was naturally given to spontaneously cure itself after lengthy periods of remission. Many miraculous cures were recorded, and failures were put down to a lack of faith in the sufferer. The original Book of Common Prayer of the Anglican Church contained this ceremony. The divine power of kings was believed to be descended from Edward the Confessor, who, according to some legends, received it from Saint Remigius.

The custom lasted from the time of Edward the Confessor until Anne's reign, although her predecessor, William III refused to believe in the tradition and did not practice the ceremony. James II and James Francis Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender, performed the ceremony. Charles Edward Stuart, the "Young Pretender", is known to have carried out the rite in 1745 at Glamis Castle during the time of his rebellion against George II and also in France after his exile. Finally, Henry Benedict Stuart, the brother of Charles, performed the ceremony until his death in 1807. All the Jacobite Stuarts produced special touch-piece medalets, with a variety of designs and inscriptions. They are found in gold, silver and even lead. [12]

Robert II of France was the first to practise the ritual in the 11th century. [5] Henry IV of France is reported as often touching and healing as many as 1,500 individuals at a time. No record survives of the first four Norman kings' attempting to cure by touching; however, there are records of Henry II of England doing so. Mary I of England performed the ceremony [13] and her half-sister, Elizabeth I, cured all "ranks and degrees". William Tooker published a book on the subject, titled Charisma; sive Donum Sanationis.

Holyrood Palace and Abbey 2006 Holyrood Palace and Abbey from above.jpg
Holyrood Palace and Abbey 2006

Queen Anne, amongst many others, touched the 2-year-old infant Samuel Johnson in 1712 to no effect, for although he eventually recovered, he was left badly scarred and blind in one eye. [14] He wore the medal around his neck all of his life and it is now preserved in the British Museum. It was believed that if the touch piece was not worn then the condition would return. Queen Anne last performed the ceremony on 14 April 1714. [15] George I put an end to the practice as being "too Catholic", but the kings of France continued the custom until 1825. William of Malmesbury [16] describes the ceremony in his Chronicle of the Kings of England (1120) and Shakespeare describes the practice in Macbeth .

The gold Angel coins, which were first struck in Britain in 1465 and later dates, particularly of the reigns of James I and Charles I, are often found officially pierced in the centre, as illustrated in Coins of England 2001 [17] to be used as touch pieces. The sovereigns of the House of Stuart used the ceremony to help bolster the belief in the "Divine Right of Kings". [18] Charles I indeed issued Angels almost exclusively as touch pieces to the point where intact specimens are hard to come by. [19] He was the first monarch to perform the ceremony in Scotland at Holyrood Palace on 18 June 1633. The size of the hole may indicate the amount of gold taken in payment by the jeweller or the mint for the work of piercing or punching and the provision of a ribbon or silk string. [12]

Charles II Charles II of England.jpeg
Charles II

The cure was usually more of a "laying on of hands" by the monarch and the Angel coin or medalet, etc., although touched by the monarch, was seen as a receipt or talisman of the potential of the monarch's healing power. Originally the king had paid for the support of the sufferer until he had recovered or died. The move to the gift of a gold coin touch piece may represent the compromise payment when the custom of "room and board" support by the king ceased. [5] Coffee in the 18th and early 19th centuries was thought to be a relief, but not a cure for scrofula.

The Angel coin was favoured at these ceremonies because it has on the obverse an image of St. Michael slaying the Devil represented as a dragon (actually a heraldic Wyvern). [20] St. Michael, especially venerated for his role as captain of the heavenly host that drove Satan out of Heaven, was also associated with the casting out of devils and thus was regarded as a guardian of the sick. [21]

The monarch him/herself hung these touch piece amulets around the necks of sufferers. In later years Charles II only touched the medalet as he unsurprisingly disliked touching diseased people directly. He "touched" 92,107 people in the 21 years from 1661 to 1682, performing the function 8,500 times in 1682 alone. [8]

After these coins ceased to be minted in 1634, Charles II had holed gold medalets specially produced by the mint with a similar design of good defeating evil. [9] [21] An example of a medalet in the British Museum has a hand descending from a cloud towards four heads, with "He touched them" around the margin, and on the other side a rose and thistle, with "And they were healed."

Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary for 13 April 1661: "To Whitehall to the Banquet House and there saw the King heale, the first time that ever I saw him do it — which he did with great gravity; and it seemed to me to be an ugly office and a simple one." [22] John Evelyn also refers to the ceremony in his Diary on the dates of 6 July 1660 and 28 March 1684. [23]

John Wain in his biography of Dr. Samuel Johnson writes that Johnson was taken by his mother as a small child to London, where after standing in a long line with many others, he was in turn subject to this ritual from Queen Anne.

Unsurprisingly the system was open to abuse and numerous attempts were made to ensure that only the deserving cases got the gold coin, because others would simply sell it. [24]

Luck and coins

Good luck coins

Illustration of a mandrake, believed to have magical properties, from the 15th century manuscript Tacuinum Sanitatis. Mandragora Tacuinum Sanitatis.jpg
Illustration of a mandrake, believed to have magical properties, from the 15th century manuscript Tacuinum Sanitatis .

In many countries it was believed that coins with holes in them would bring good luck. This belief could link to a similar superstition linked to stones or pebbles which had holes, often called "Adder Stones" and hung around the neck. Carrying a coin bearing the date of one's birth is purportedly "lucky". In Austria any coin found during a rainstorm is especially lucky, because it is said to have dropped from Heaven. European charms often require silver coins to be used, which are engraved with marks such as an "X" or are bent. These actions personalize the coin, making it uniquely special for the owner. The lucky "sixpence" is a well-known example in Great Britain.

Holy Sacrament communion coins were thought to acquire curative powers over various ailments, especially rheumatism and epilepsy. Such otherwise normal coins, which had been offered at communion, were purchased from the priest for 12 or 13 pennies. The coin was then punched through and worn around the neck of the sick person, or made into a ring. [25]

Gonzalez-Wippler records that if money is left with a mandrake root it will double in quantity overnight. She also stated that the way to ensure the future wealth of a baby is to put part of the child's umbilical cord in a bag together with a few coins. Lucky coins are lucky charms which are carried around attract wealth and good luck, whilst many, often silver coins, attached to bracelets multiply the effect as well as create a noise which scares away evil spirits. [26] Bathing with a penny wrapped in a washcloth brings good fortune at Beltane or the Winter Solstice in Celtic Mythology. Chinese "Money Frogs" or "Money Toads", often with a coin in their mouths, bring food, luck and prosperity.

1936 Winged Liberty Head (Mercury) dime Mercury dime.jpg
1936 Winged Liberty Head (Mercury) dime

A Celtic belief is that at the full moon any silver coins on one's person should be jingled or turned over to prevent bad luck, also the silver coins would increase as the moon grew in size. [27] A wish to a new moon could also be made, but not as seen through glass, jingling coins at the same time. [28] American silver "Mercury" dimes, especially with a leap year date, are especially lucky. Gamblers' charms are often these dimes, Mercury being the Roman god who ruled the crossroads, games of chance, etc. Although these dimes actually figure the head of Liberty, people commonly mistake it for Mercury. A silver dime worn at the throat will supposedly turn black if someone tries to poison the wearer's food or drink. American "Indian Head" cents are worn as amulets to ward off evil or negative spirits. In Spain a bride places a silver coin from her father in one shoe and a gold coin from her mother in the other. This will ensure that she will never want for anything. Silver coins were placed in Christmas puddings and birthday cakes to bring good luck and wealth. [27] A variation on this custom was that in some families each member added a coin to the pudding bowl, making a wish as they did so. If their coin turned up in their bowl it's said their wish was sure to come true. In Greece, a coin is added to vasilopita, a bread baked in honor of the feast day of St. Basil the Great. At midnight the sign of the cross is etched with a knife across the cake, to bless the house and bring good luck for the new year. A piece is sliced for each member of the family and any visitors present at the time, and the person who gets the slice with the coin will receive good luck, and often a gift.

In Japan the five-yen coin is considered lucky because "five yen" in Japanese is go en, which is a homophone with go-en (御縁), en being a word for causal connection or relationship, and "go" being a respectful prefix. Therefore, they are often used at shrines as well as the first money put into a new wallet.

In ancient Rome "good luck" coins were in common circulation. "Votive pieces", for example, were struck by new emperors, promising peace for a set number of years. Citizens would hold such coins in their hand when making a wish or petitioning the gods. [25]

Coins bearing religious symbols are often seen as lucky; for instance, the Mogul emperor Akbar's rupees carry words from the Islamic faith, and in India the Ramatanka shows the Hindu god Rama, his wife, Sita, his brother and the monkey god, Hanuman. Gold ducats issued in the name of the mid-18th century Doge Loredano of Venice bore an image of Christ and were issued to be worn as pendants by pilgrims. The Shinto religion has a shrine called Zeniariai-Benten where followers wash their money in the spring water at certain times of year to ensure that it doubles in quantity. In Roman times, sailors placed coins under the masts of their ships to ensure the protection of the gods from the wrath of the sea. [2]

A rare example of a "Wish Tree" exists near Ardmaddy House in Argyll, Scotland. The tree is a hawthorn, a species traditionally linked with fertility, as in "May Blossom." The trunk and branches are covered with hundreds of coins which have been driven through the bark and into the wood. The local tradition is that a wish will be granted for each of the coins so treated. [29] Many pubs, such as the "Punch Bowl" in Askham, near Penrith in Cumbria have old beams with splits in them where coins are forced "for luck."

In some countries, finding a coin on the ground, then keeping it is considered to provide the finder with good luck for the rest of the day, a belief reflected in the adage "Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck'. [30] Variants of this superstition include good luck only being given to the finder if the coin is found face up, or bad luck being given to the finder if the coin is picked up when it was lying face down.

Common Hawthorn flowers (MHNT) Crataegus monogyna - flowers and buds.jpg
Common Hawthorn flowers
The bridge over the Lowther Water at Askham. Askham Bridge, River Lowther.JPG
The bridge over the Lowther Water at Askham.

Another local custom at Askham is the throwing of coins from the nearby bridge onto a boulder that lies just below the water level of the river. Getting the coin to land on the rock gives the thrower "good luck." Obvious connections exist with water generally and the practice of throwing in coins to seek favours of the water spirits. The Lady's Well in Kilmaurs, Scotland, is a typical wishing well. At St. Cuby's Well (SX224 564) in Cornwall the legend was that if anyone did not leave an offering of money then they would be followed home by Piskies in the shape of flying moths, embodying the spirits of the dead. [31] At Loch na Gaire in Sutherland, Scotland, it was the tradition to throw coins into the waters to ensure that the waters kept their healing properties. [32]

A "Black Saxpence" in Scots, is a sixpence, supposed by the credulous to be received from the devil, as a pledge of an engagement to be his, soul and body. It is always of a black colour, as not being legal currency; but it is said to possess this singular virtue, that the person who keeps it constantly in his pocket, how much soever he spend, will always find another sixpence beside it.

A Devonian superstition is that carrying crooked coins is good luck and keeps the devil away. [33]

In an example of a modern lucky coin custom, a Canadian sports official secretly embedded a loonie (CAD $1 coin) in the ice of the hockey rink at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Both the Canadian men's and women's hockey teams went on to win gold medals. Canadians have gone on to hide coins in rinks in several subsequent international competitions, and in the foundations of the buildings for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The Royal Canadian Mint has produced a "lucky loonie" commemorative coin for each Winter Olympics since 2002.

Bad luck coins

In Ireland it is thought to be bad luck to give money away on a Monday.

The 1932 silver yuan coin from China showed a junk, rays of sunshine and a flock of birds. These were seen as symbolising Japan (the rising sun symbol) and its fighter planes (the birds) invading China. The coin was re-issued in 1933 without the sun or the birds.

The Queen Victoria "Godless" florin (which omitted all the Queen's titles, including the customary Dei Gratia, by the grace of god) was regarded as bringing bad luck.

Finding money was bad luck in some cultures and the curse could only be removed by giving away the money. [2]

It is bad luck to have an empty pocket, for even a crooked coin keeps the devil away. [34]

Love tokens

An English love token made from a James II shilling from the late 1600s Post medieval silver coin love token (FindID 533296).jpg
An English love token made from a James II shilling from the late 1600s

The bent coin as a love token may be derived from the well-recorded practice of bending a coin when making a vow to a saint, such as vowing to give it to the saint's shrine if the saint would intercede to cure a sick human, animal, etc. Bending a coin when one person made a vow to another was another practice which arose from this. [35]

Protection against evil

It was believed that the gift of second sight came from the devil; as protection, a silver coin was used to make a cross above the palm of a Gypsy fortune-teller, thus dispelling any evil. In Japan, Korea and Indonesia, coins were made tied together to form sword shapes which were thought to terrify, and therefore ward off, evil spirits. They were also hung above the beds of sick people to drive off the malevolent spirits who were responsible for the illness. [27]

Curse coins

In 2007 a lead "coin-based" curse on a Roman emperor was found by a metal detector user in Lincolnshire. The 1,650-year-old curse was an act of treason, blasphemy and criminal defacement of the imperial coinage. The perpetrator had cursed the emperor Valens by hammering a coin with his image into lead, then folding the lead over his face. Thousands of ordinary lead cursing charms exist with written inscriptions and a small hole for suspending them. [36]

Touch pieces that influence behaviour

Coins placed on the eyes of the dead, if briefly dropped into the drink of a husband or wife, would "blind" them to any infidelities that the partner might be involved in. [1]

Also, some groups say that if a penny is thrown into a person's drink, they must "down" the rest of it.[ citation needed ]

Coins carrying out a specific practical action

The Sator square Sator Square at Oppede.jpg
The Sator square

In Germany, since Medieval times, it was believed that a silver coin with a Sator square engraved on it will put out a fire if thrown into the conflagration.[ citation needed ] Coins were placed on the eyes of a corpse to prevent them from opening and also in Greek mythology as payment for the ferryman who would carry the dead person across the River Styx into Hades. [27] In the 17th century coins bearing an engraving of St. George were carried by soldiers as a protection against injury following a lucky escape when a bullet hit such a coin and the soldier remained uninjured (Coins of the World).[ citation needed ] Some of the gold coins of Edward III carry the cryptic legend: IHS MEDIVM ILLORVM IBAT ("But Jesus passing through the midst of them, went his way" – St'Luke IV. 30). According to Sir John Mandeville, this was a spell against the power of thieves. [23]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Penny</span> Unit of currency in various countries

A penny is a coin or a unit of currency in various countries. Borrowed from the Carolingian denarius, it is usually the smallest denomination within a currency system. Presently, it is the formal name of the British penny (abbr. p) and the de facto name of the American one-cent coin (abbr. ¢) as well as the informal Irish designation of the 1 cent euro coin (abbr. c). Due to inflation, pennies have lost virtually all their purchasing power and are often viewed as an expensive burden to merchants, banks, government mints and the public in general.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Luck</span> Concept that defines the experience of notably positive, negative, or improbable events

Luck is the phenomenon and belief that defines the experience of improbable events, especially improbably positive or negative ones. The naturalistic interpretation is that positive and negative events may happen at any time, both due to random and non-random natural and artificial processes, and that even improbable events can happen by random chance. In this view, the epithet "lucky" or "unlucky" is a descriptive label that refers to an event's positivity, negativity, or improbability.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Evil eye</span> Curse believed to be cast by a malevolent glare

The evil eye is a supernatural belief in a curse brought about by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person when one is unaware. The evil eye dates back about 5,000 years. In the 6th century BC it appeared on Chalcidian drinking vessels, known as 'eye-cups', as a type of protective magic. It is found in many cultures in the Mediterranean region as well as Western Asia and Central Asia with such cultures often believing that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury, while others believe it to be a kind of supernatural force that casts or reflects a malevolent gaze back upon those who wish harm upon others. Older iterations of the symbol were often made of ceramic or clay; however, following the production of glass beads in the Mediterranean region in approximately 1500 BC, evil eye beads were popularised with the Phoenicians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and Ottomans.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mycobacterial cervical lymphadenitis</span> Human medical condition

The disease mycobacterial cervical lymphadenitis, also known as scrofula and historically as king's evil, involves a lymphadenitis of the cervical lymph nodes associated with tuberculosis as well as nontuberculous (atypical) mycobacteria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Angel (coin)</span> Medieval gold coin in England

The angel was an English gold coin introduced by Edward IV in 1465. It was patterned after the French angelot or ange, which had been issued since 1340. The name derived from its representation of the archangel Michael slaying a dragon. As it was considered a new issue of the noble, it was also called the angel-noble.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coins of Lundy</span>

The coins of Lundy are unofficial issues of currency from the island of Lundy, in the Bristol Channel off the west coast of England. Two bronze coins, the "half puffin" and "one puffin", were issued with a 1929 date and featured a portrait of Martin Coles Harman who owned the island and was responsible for the issue. The coins were struck again with slightly modified designs and updated dates in 1965, 1977, and 2011, as commemorative or fantasy tokens not intended for circulation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Token coin</span> Trade token

In numismatics, token coins or trade tokens are coin-like objects used instead of coins. The field of token coins is part of exonumia and token coins are token money. Their denomination is shown or implied by size, color or shape. They are often made of cheaper metals like copper, pewter, aluminium, brass and tin, or non-metals like bakelite, leather and porcelain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Royal touch</span> Healing power supposedly possessed by monarchs

The royal touch was a form of laying on of hands, whereby French and English monarchs touched their subjects, regardless of social classes, with the intent to cure them of various diseases and conditions. The thaumaturgic touch was most commonly applied to people suffering from tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis, and exclusively to them from the 16th century onwards. The disease rarely resulted in death and often went into remission on its own, giving the impression that the monarch's touch cured it. The claimed power was most notably exercised by monarchs who sought to demonstrate the legitimacy of their reign and of their newly founded dynasties.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Russian traditions and superstitions</span> Superstitions and customs of Russians

Russian traditions and superstitions include superstitions and folk rituals of the Russian community. Many of these traditions are staples of everyday life, and some are even considered common social etiquette despite being rooted in superstition. The influence of these traditions and superstitions vary, and their perceived importance depends on factors such as region and age.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Conder token</span> Late 18th Century token coinage in the British Isles

Conder tokens, also known as 18th-century provincial tokens, were a form of privately minted token coinage struck and used during the later part of the 18th century and the early part of the 19th century in England, Anglesey and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wish tree</span> Tree used to make votive offerings

A wish tree is a tree, usually distinguished by species, location or appearance, which is used as an object of wishes and offerings. Such trees are identified as possessing a special religious or spiritual value. Postulants make votive offerings in hopes of having a wish granted, or a prayer answered, from a nature spirit, saint or goddess, depending on the local tradition.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Iron in folklore</span>

Iron has a long and varied tradition in the mythology and folklore of the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Amulet</span> Object worn in the belief that it will magically protect the wearer

An amulet, also known as a good luck charm or phylactery, is an object believed to confer protection upon its possessor. The word "amulet" comes from the Latin word amuletum, which Pliny's Natural History describes as "an object that protects a person from trouble". Anything can function as an amulet; items commonly so used include statues, coins, drawings, plant parts, animal parts, and written words.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Penny (British pre-decimal coin)</span> Former denomination of sterling coinage

The British pre-decimal penny was a denomination of sterling coinage worth 1240 of one pound or 112 of one shilling. Its symbol was d, from the Roman denarius. It was a continuation of the earlier English penny, and in Scotland it had the same monetary value as one pre-1707 Scottish shilling. The penny was originally minted in silver, but from the late 18th century it was minted in copper, and then after 1860 in bronze.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Twopence (British pre-decimal coin)</span> Former official unit of currency of Great Britain and other territories

The British twopence (2d) coin was a denomination of sterling coinage worth two pennies or 1/120 of a pound. It was a short-lived denomination in copper, being minted only in 1797 by Matthew Boulton's Soho Mint.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wedding superstitions</span> Overview about superstitions

A wedding is a celebratory ceremony where two people are brought together in matrimony. Wedding traditions and customs differ across cultures, countries, religions, and societies in terms of how a marriage is celebrated, but are strongly symbolic, and often have roots in superstitions for what makes a lucky or unlucky marriage. Superstition is often linked to practices involving luck, fate or prophecy, and while many weddings are now more focused on celebratory traditions, many are still practiced, and numerous well-known wedding traditions have roots in superstitions from previous ages. A common example of a superstition involves no one seeing the bride in her wedding dress until the ceremony.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Indonesian numismatic charm</span> Decorative coins used for rituals

Indonesian numismatic charms, also known as Indonesian magic coins, are a family of coin-like objects based on a similar Chinese family of coin charms, amulets, and talismans but evolved independently from them. Indonesian numismatic charms tend to have been influenced a lot by Hinduism, Islam, and the native culture and often depict religious imagery from Hinduism for this reason. The "magic coins" and temple coins from Indonesia are largely based on the Chinese cash coins introduced to the region during the Tang dynasty era in China, and during the local Majapahit era they began circulating in the region. Unlike with Chinese numismatic charms, the coin charms of Indonesia have not been as well documented both historically and in the modern era. A major modern day work about Indonesian numismatic charms in English is Joe Cribb's Magic coins of Java, Bali, and the Malay Peninsula which is a catalogue based on the collection of coin-shaped charms from the island Java acquired by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles during his lifetime held in the British Museum, the book is further supplemented with data and information available from various other sources.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jew with a coin</span> Polish good luck charm

The Jew with a coin is a good-luck charm in Poland, where images or figurines of the character, usually accompanied by a proverb, are said to bring good fortune, particularly financially. The motif was first described in articles from 2000, and probably dates back to the early 1990s. While widely recognized, the figurines are not the most popular good-luck charm in Poland.

Superstitions have been present in Britain throughout its history. Early modern Britain was a superstitious society, and the superstitions were documented at the time. The belief in witches, the devil, ghosts, apparitions, and magical healing was founded on superstitions. In modern Britain, according to a 2003 survey carried out during the National Science Week and a 2007 poll conducted by Ipsos and Ben Schott of Schott's Almanac, knocking on wood is the most popular superstition in Britain, with "crossing fingers for good luck" coming after it.


  1. 1 2 Waring, Philippa (1987). The Dictionary of Omens & Superstitions. Treasure Press. ISBN   1-85051-009-1
  2. 1 2 3 Coins of the World. De Agostini (2000).
  3. Leighton, John M. (1840?). Strath-Clutha or the Beauties of the Clyde. Glasgow. p. 24.
  4. Westwood, Jennifer and Kingshill, Sophia (2009). The Lore of Scotland. A guide to Scottish Legends. London: Random House. ISBN   978-1-905211-62-3 p. 192
  5. 1 2 3 4 Coin News, April 2005. Token Publishing. ISSN   0958-1391. pp. 29–32.
  6. "Broadside account concerning trials and executions for 'Witchcraft, Adultery, Fornication, &c. &c.'". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  7. Chambers, Robert (1885). Domestic Annals of Scotland. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers. pp. 233–234.
  8. 1 2 Coin News, January 1999. Token Publishing. ISSN   0958-1391. pp. 34–35.
  9. 1 2 Bradley, Howard W. (1978). A Handbook of Coins of the British Isles. Robert Hale. ISBN   0-7091-6747-4. p. 165.
  10. Dalrymple, Sir David (1776). Annals of Scotland. London: J. Murray. pp. 300–301.
  11. Daniel, William S. (1852), History of The Abbey and Palace of Holyrood. Edinburgh: Duncan Anderson. p. 117.
  12. 1 2 Coin News, May 2005. Token Publishing. ISSN   0958-1391. pp. 36–38.
  13. Ross, Josephine (1979). The Tudors. London: Arctus. p. 118.
  14. Coin News, December 2003. Token Publishing. ISSN   0958-1391. pp. 50–51.
  15. Werrett, Simon (2000). "Healing the Nation's Wounds: Royal Ritual and Experimental Philosophy in Restoration England". History of Science. 38 (4): 377–399. Bibcode:2000HisSc..38..377W. doi:10.1177/007327530003800402. S2CID   161821600.
  16. William of Malmesbury, (1815). Chronicle of the Kings of England, J. A. Giles (ed.), trans. John Sharpe. London: George Bell and Sons, 1904.
  17. Coins of England and the United Kingdom. (2001). 36th Edition. Spink. ISBN   1-902040-36-8.
  18. McKay, James and Mussell, John W. (eds.) (2001). The Coin Yearbook 2001. Token Publishing. ISBN   1-870192-36-2. p. 112.
  19. Sutherland, C.H.V. (1982). English Coinage 600–1900. Batsford. ISBN   0-7134-0731-X. P. 164.
  20. Lobel, Richard; Davidson, Mark; Hailstone, Allan and Calligas, Eleni (1999). Coincraft's 1999 Standard catalogue of English and UK Coins 1066 to Date. Coincraft. ISBN   0-9526228-6-6. p. 153.
  21. 1 2 Seaby, Peter (1985). The Story of British Coinage. Seaby. ISBN   0-900652-74-8 p. 119.
  22. Latham, Robert (ed.) (1985). The Illustrated Pepys. Extracts from the Diary. Bell & Hyman. ISBN   0-7135-1328-4. p. 30.
  23. 1 2 Chamberlain, C. C. (1963). The Teach Yourself Guide to Numismatics: An A.B.C. of coins and coin collecting. English Universities Press. pp. 4, 166.
  24. Roud, Steven (2003). The Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland. Penguin Books. p. 395.
  25. 1 2 Coin News. Pub. Token. ISSN   0958-1391. July 2005. p. 40.
  26. Gonzalez-Wippler, Migene (2001). The Complete Book of Amulets and Talismans. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN   0-87542-287-X.
  27. 1 2 3 4 Coin News. Pub. Token. ISSN   0958-1391. July 2002. pp. 43–45.
  28. Griffith, M.J.S. (1970). Oral communication to Griffith, Roger S. Ll.
  29. Rodger, Donald, Stokes, John & Ogilve, James (2006). Heritage Trees of Scotland. The Tree Council. p. 87. ISBN   0-904853-03-9.
  30. "Penny Superstition". Psychic Library . Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  31. Straffon, Cherly (1998). Fentynyow Kernow. In Search of Cornwall's Holy Wells. Pub. Meyn Mamvro. p. 25 ISBN   0-9518859-5-2.
  32. Beare, Beryl (1996), Scotland. Myths & Legends. Pub. Parragon, Avonmouth. p. 66 ISBN   0-7525-1694-9.
  33. Hewett, Sarah (1900). Nummits and Crummits. Devonshire Customs, Characteristics and Folk-lore. Pub. Thomas Burleigh. p. 51.
  34. Hewett, Sarah (1900). Nummits and Crummits. Devonshire Customs, Characteristics and Folk-lore. Pub. Thomas Burleigh. p. 52.
  35. Coin News. Pub. Token. ISSN   0958-1391. July 1998. p. 29.
  36. "Roman Curse Coin" . Retrieved 2009-11-12.