BrianRxm Tokens and Medals (Exonumia) 1/91
Hopalong Cassidy Good Luck Coins
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Hopalong Cassidy was a character created by writer Clarence Mulford in 1904.
Cassidy was a cowboy who worked on cattle ranches in the 1880's.
 
William Boyd was an actor who began playing Cassidy in films in 1935.
He made 66 films, the last one in 1948.
 
Boyd bought the rights to his 1940's Hopalong Cassidy films and the character name,
and produced a very popular television program which ran from 1949 to 1954.
 
It was the first television Western program and later it was shown outside the
United States in various countries.
 
He always appeared with his horse "Topper", named after the character in the
Thorne Smith supernatural novels.
Hopalong Cassidy Photo
1. Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd)
 
Boyd began merchandising the Hopalong Cassidy character, he appeared on everything from
lunch boxes to bicycles, over 2,000 items in all.
 
The Hopalong Cassidy character became so well by 1950 he appeared on the cover of
Time and Life magazines, along with articles on the success of his licensing
and endorsement business.
 
In 1953 and 1954, Boyd made a world tour, visiting Britain, Ireland, Germany,
and later Australia (but not South Africa, which banned some of his comic books).
 
One of the items he began minting in the 1950's were aluminum "Good Luck" coins.
 
Boyd would make personal appearances at rodeos, fairs, hospitals, and he would
hand out the coins to his fans.
The coins were also sold to the public by various means.
 
These coins have been found in many places around the world, kept by people who received
them or found them.
 
Here, William Boyd appears with a bag full of the coins.
 
Hopalong Cassidy Photo
2. William Boyd with bag of good luck coins
 
It is not often that one can see the original producer of a numismatic item holding the goods.
 
Some fans have reported receiving "silver dollars" with Hoppy's face from Boyd,
no doubt actually the aluminum coins, although "special" kids might have received
real US silver dollars.
 
These items are constantly found by metal detectors.
No doubt future archaelogists will find them and wonder.
Hopalong Cassidy Good Luck Coin Examples:
 
Hopalong Cassidy Coin
3. Hopalong Cassidy Good Luck Coin - Standard issue
 
Aluminum, 30mm, 3.24gm
 
Obverse:
William Boyd facing as Hopalong Cassidy
HOPALONG CASSIDY / WILLIAM BOYD
 
Reverse:
Good luck symbols - Horseshoe, Four-Leaf Clover, Wishbone
GOOD LUCK FROM "HOPPY"
 
Hopalong Cassidy Coin
4. Hopalong Cassidy Good Luck Coin - Different portrait
 
This one has a different portrait of "Hoppy" and a different style of clover than the standard token.
This one also weighs less, 3.04 gm.
 
Hopalong Cassidy Good Luck Coin Corroded:
 
Hopalong Cassidy Coin
5. Hopalong Cassidy Good Luck Coin - Corroded
 
This one is corroded and is probably a metal-detector find.
The weight is 3.10gm which is less than the uncirculated standard coin.
 
Hopalong Cassidy items have become "collectibles", including these coins.
This has caused counterfeiters to make cast copies of them, here is one:
 
Hopalong Cassidy Good Luck Coin Modern Counterfeit:
 
Hopalong Cassidy Coin
6. Hopalong Cassidy Good Luck Coin - Modern Counterfeit
 
This item is a modern fake, it looks different, weighs less, and has a cast seam.
The weight is 2.69gm which is much less than the standard one.
Phonograph recording "Hoppy's Good Luck Coin":
 
William Boyd recorded "Hoppy's Good Luck Coin" about a "lucky" silver dollar.
The record was Capitol Records number 30128, made around 1950, the narration was written by
Hamilton Richards, and the record was manufactured in both 78rpm and 45rpm sizes.
 
Hello partners, this is your old pal Hoppy and I've got a story
I've been wishing to tell you for a long long time.
 
Its the story of my good luck coin and boy it's surely
good luck to me 'cause it saved my life
 
It happened quite a while ago when it was the Wild Wild West
 
(Here Boyd describes a cattle drive)
 
Which is where that silver dollar I always carry with me comes in.
Well at the time this story begins I was riding herd for the Bar-Z ranch in Texas
 
(Here Hoppy encounters rustlers, one of whom shoots him)
 
Well, I sure thought I was a goner and when I came to there wasn't anybody around
but me and those three rustlers.
 
I guess one of them went out to the road, he shot me all right before he left.
 
But you know where...right smack in the middle of that silver dollar
I was carrying in the left hand pocket of my shirt.
 
That bullet put an awful dent in it, but it saved my life
 
Well partners, that was quite a while ago but I still kept that old silver dollar,
and whenever I look at it now I always say to myself
 
I think you better keep on giving me good luck
for happy times for the millions of boys and girls who are your friends,
their friendship made me the luckiest father alive.
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