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Select Numismatic Remembrances of Charlie Chaplin

Select Numismatic Remembrances of Charlie Chaplin

“… possible actors in this drama…”

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For 100 years, Charlie Chaplin has been appearing on various tokens, medals and coins to promote his movies and to honor his legacy. Unfortunately, none honor his role as Billy the page from Gillette’s Sherlock Holmes play. In this post, we’ll take a look at a few examples from each category. Our first brass token promotes Chaplin’s A Jitney Elopement film that was released on April 1, 1915. Chaplin wrote and directed this film, in addition to starring as Edna Purviance’s suitor.

CC Gold Rush Token

Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, starred in and composed the musical score for 1925’s The Gold Rush. Chaplin is quoted as saying, “This is the picture that I want to be remembered by.” At least four different tokens are known to exist promoting this movie at various theaters (Gaiety Theatre, Empire & Prince’s, The Grey Street, Brown’s Theatre) in England during 1926.

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We have another different token for The Gold Rush.

Arcade Tokens

A caricature of Chaplin’s “Little Tramp” character was used on these arcade tokens of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. These base metal tokens are just under one inch in diameter.

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The Paris Mint issued this 71mm medal commemorating Chaplin in 1974.

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This 90 millimeter bronze medal had a mintage of 1,000 pieces and was designed by the Portuguese artist Vasco Bernardo. This medal was issued in 1978, just after Chaplin’s death on Christmas day in 1977.

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Here we have another bronze medal struck the year after Chaplin’s death. This 78 millimeter medal is signed Ulisses above Chaplin’s right shoulder.

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The Musee Grevin in Paris has issued two different 40mm gold plated medals featuring Chaplin for sale in their gift shop over the years.

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This 1989 33mm silver medal honors Chaplin’s 100th birthday and features Chaplin’s characters from The Great Dictator and A Dog’s Life.

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France honored Chaplin on gold 100 francs and 500 francs coins in 1994 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of cinema.

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Interestingly, the Pobjoy Mint struck a series of coins for Gibraltar celebrating the centennial of cinema as 1995. They honored Chaplin on a silver crown that was struck in 1996. Go figure….

silver-coin

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Lastly, we have the south Pacific island nation of Tuvalu honoring the centennial of Chaplin’s first films in 1914. They issued 5,000 of the $1 silver bars and 1,000 of the gold $25 coins.

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