Two Headed Coin

If you are coin collector, there is a good chance that at one point or another, you have been curious or fascinated with the existence of two headed coins, also known as double-headed coins. These coins have the same design on both sides and they are often used as good luck charms, or magical trick props. As a coin collector though, there are some important things to know about this fascinating variant.

The first thing that you need to be aware of is that a two headed coin has never been minted or seen circulation. The only incidents of this type of coin that have been authenticated as coming from a US mint is from the safety deposit box of a mint employee. From that incident, there were two individual coins that have been authenticated by professionals, and there is no curiosity or concern from the US government as to how they escaped. These are not collectible items in the least; as the only two of their kind are currently not for sale, they represent oddities, rather than anything that can be kept or catalogued.
The thing to remember, though, is that while you can find a two headed coin, they are always manufactured as props, or they are regular coins that have been restamped or altered in some way to give them this singular appearance. Don’t trust anyone who tells you that they have a real specimen that has escaped from the mint. A US two headed coin is a novelty item and while they can be charming gifts, the good examples usually retail for between seven and ten dollars and sometimes even less. You can purchase them online or in shops that specialize in magic tricks. Depending on the location, you can even get them struck in a machine while you watch.

One example of a real-life two headed coin can be found in the ancient coins of Rome. One favored design from ancient Rome was of two busts facing each other, the portraits usually surrounded with a legend that describes the people portrayed. Other coins, known as AE 18 by collectors, show a Roman nobleman’s head on one side and his wife’s on the other. There are literally thousands of coins from the region that have this design, but finding a good example with clear faces on both sides can be difficult.

Whether you are a magician or a coin collector, take brief look at the prevalence of double headed coins and see what you can find!

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