Garry S. writes: Dear Coin Doc: I have a coin with two different dates on it. One side of the coin has the date 1497, the other side has the date 1520. One side shows a skeleton holding a scythe, the other side has a headstone with a vase on it. The coin is about the size of an silver dollar. I do not believe it is a token of any kind. It was found in the early 1960’s in a very out of the way location. Any information as to what this coin may be would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Garry
Coins generally have legends that show an issuing authority, country and often the denomination. Without these elements the item doesn’t match the definition of a “coin”. If that information is available it would help identify the item. Also, the use of two dates on opposite sides indicate that neither is the year of minting. (birth/death dates would be on the same side of the medal).
The style of headstones with funerary urns do not occur until the 19th century and its use is both American and British. Without further evidence I would guess a funeral/death medal, probably struck sometime during the first half of the 19th century. These are interesting pieces and very collectable.