Including Original "Paul H. Letters" Copyright © 1996-2018 Paul V. Heinrich - All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Meteorite with coin embedded

Meteorite with coin embedded

In "Meteorite with coin embedded" at
Yinan Wang wrote,

>Here is a funny little piece for laughs:
>"Iron meteorite with a coin marked Vittorio 
>Emanuel, Italia. Victor Emanuel II, first king of 
>a united Italy."

The auction description stated:

“Lot 265 Iron meteorite with coin embedded Iron meteorite w
Iron meteorite with a coin marked Vittorio Emanuel, Italia. 
Victor Emanuel II, first king of a united Italy. Size: 2 3/8" D 
Weight: 2oz Condition: Very good”

Yes, it is amusing the different types of objects, which get 
confused and mislabeled as a “meteorite.”

Judging from the coin and picture, this object is a tourist
curio that people visiting Mt. Vesuvius once could buy as 
a souvenir  of their visit. Back in the 1800s and as late as
the 1930s, a person visiting Mt. Vesuvius, if they had right
guide, could for a small fee give him or her a coin and 
the guide would with the aid of metal tongs snag a piece
of semi-molten lava from an active lava flow and embed 
a coin in it as you watched. My mother, when she was in 
Italy during the 1930s, paid her guide to create such a 
souvenir from a coin that she had and lava. My sister
currently has this curious souvenir.

An example of such souvenirs is illustrated in “Fascist 
coin embedded in lava” at:

This practice is noted on page 104 of:

Scott, David Dundas, 1856, Italy, classical, historical and 
picturesque. Blackie and Son, London, England.

and page 47 of

Whiteside, James, 1849, Italy in the nineteenth century, 
Volume 3. Longman, Green, Longman, ands Roberts,
London, England.

Best wishes,

Paul H.

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