Judy B. writes: I have what looks like a very old coin, as it is very thin and worn. I can’t see a date anywhere, but one side has the writing ZACHARIA TAMSSE around the inner edge, a small flower at the centre, and what looks like flowers with leaves surrounding it, at three points. (Almost as though the leaves had their hands on their hips). At the fourth point, there seems to be a crown. On the reverse, the words read ZACHARIA REGIA DIEN, or close to that. There seems to be a sort of shield, which could be in the shape of possibly a pig, with puffed cheeks, and pointed ears. But, the inner marking would seem to represent an orb with a line running horizontally through it, and atop the orb is a Christian cross that could possibly be Russian or Greek.
The metal looks to be bronze. I’d love to know what it is, as it belongs to a friend who has had it since childhood. I’m doing the sleuthing, as she has not had luck at any coin dealers anywhere, re an explanation.
You have what is best called a “lucky” piece. Coins or tokens of particular types have been revered throughout history as amulets with magic powers. This modern token refers to the events in the 13th and 14th Century when various Aegean (Greek) islands changed hands between various countries and individuals. These islands were often important resting places for pilgrims moving from and to the holy land during and after the Crusades.
Benedict Zacharias was Lord of Chios in 1304 and your token refers to this individual. ZACHARIA REGIA DIEM (roughly in the days of the rule of Zacharias). No coins of Zacaharias survived and that makes for a great amulet. You might get three wishes if you rub it just the right way.