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Numismatic accuracy in movies

dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

One of my quirks that really drives my girlfriend nuts is that I always notice, and mention the historical accuracy of coins, currency, and firearms in movies (particularly Westerns). I have seen Morgan dollars used in Civil War movies, for example and we all know Morgan dollars didn't exist until 13 years AFTER the end of the war.

I was just wondering if anyone else out there was a history nerd like me, and noticed things like that.

Just for fun, this photo contains a few items that definitely do not belong on an Old West poker table...

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    gonzergonzer Posts: 2,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, Hollywood always mis-spells that actor's name; Robert De Niro instead of 'dinero'.

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    SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,254 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The Star Trek doo dad doesn’t belong.

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,554 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2023 12:07PM

    At the top of this page do a search for coins in movies and find dozens of threads on the topic

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,909 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I was in 4th grade we watched a movie in school which took place in the 1840s. The main character got a silver dollar and I thought it looked wrong. I borrowed the movie and watched it frame by frame to see that it was a Morgan.

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Seated Liberty Dimes fired out of a shotgun can be deadly ("News of the World").

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    BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,164 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I guess it depends on the cutoff for "Old West".

    Definitely wrong

    • The vacuum tube.
    • The braided coax cable.
    • The three tickets to Waterloo.
    • The Pig chip.

    Maybe

    • The bail-style bottle cap was patented in 1875.
    • I'm sure most of the paper money is wrong, but the image won't let me zoom in enough.
    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,432 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dcarr said:
    Seated Liberty Dimes fired out of a shotgun can be deadly ("News of the World").

    I read that some lawmen and some professional gun fighters would put a stack of 10 dimes in their 12 gage shotgun shells and when fired from a shotgun at close range, the results would be devastating and would result in instant death of the person who is shot. I find it hard to believe since a dollar was a lot of money back in the old west and regular 00 buckshot would have the same effect at close range.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dcarr said:
    Seated Liberty Dimes fired out of a shotgun can be deadly ("News of the World").

    In the movie "Young Guns II" Bob Olinger does the same thing.

    "I've got eighteen dimes in each barrel, boy! You ever see what a dollar eighty can do to a twenty dollar steer?"

    As a side note, my aunt Lily Casey was engaged to be married to Bob Olinger, but she broke it off with him due to his love of the bottle. She later married Joseph Klasner, and became Lily Casey Klasner.

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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:

    @dcarr said:
    Seated Liberty Dimes fired out of a shotgun can be deadly ("News of the World").

    I read that some lawmen and some professional gun fighters would put a stack of 10 dimes in their 12 gage shotgun shells and when fired from a shotgun at close range, the results would be devastating and would result in instant death of the person who is shot. I find it hard to believe since a dollar was a lot of money back in the old west and regular 00 buckshot would have the same effect at close range.

    In the movie ("News of the World") Tom Hanks is lacking proper ammunition and in an emergency loads his shotgun with dimes and shoots and kills a bad guy. In the scene, they show actual (real) Seated Liberty Dimes.

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    dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:

    @dcarr said:
    Seated Liberty Dimes fired out of a shotgun can be deadly ("News of the World").

    I read that some lawmen and some professional gun fighters would put a stack of 10 dimes in their 12 gage shotgun shells and when fired from a shotgun at close range, the results would be devastating and would result in instant death of the person who is shot. I find it hard to believe since a dollar was a lot of money back in the old west and regular 00 buckshot would have the same effect at close range.

    Yes sir, that would be around $30 today but it seems that shooting dimes from a shotgun was probably more of a myth, as a single 00 buck 12 gauge shell would be about 5 cents.

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    NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 888 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2023 2:24PM

    @BStrauss3 said:
    I guess it depends on the cutoff for "Old West".

    Definitely wrong

    • The vacuum tube.
    • The braided coax cable.
    • The three tickets to Waterloo.
    • The Pig chip.

    Maybe

    • The bail-style bottle cap was patented in 1875.
    • I'm sure most of the paper money is wrong, but the image won't let me zoom in enough.

    I beg to differ. The Star Trek pin was left behind by Captian Kirk during his time travels. He brought things from various time periods to make the card game more fun! Totally possible

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

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    dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NeophyteNumismatist If you want to get really nerdy, that's a Next Generation Comm badge. It would have been worn by Captain Picard, and that crew. :D

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    NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dsessom said:
    @NeophyteNumismatist If you want to get really nerdy, that's a Next Generation Comm badge. It would have been worn by Captain Picard, and that crew. :D

    I stand corrected!

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

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    VeepVeep Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭

    In a life or death situation and with no shells, a handful of dimes might seem pretty cheap.

    "Let me tell ya Bud, you can buy junk anytime!"
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    jeffas1974jeffas1974 Posts: 310 ✭✭✭

    The $5 and $1 educational silver certificates are from 1896. The other $5 note is a silver certificate from 1886.

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    JWPJWP Posts: 17,671 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Most people that watch TV and movies don't even think about the money being used and I can't remember a close-up of the money that lasts long enough to figure it out myself. A lot of people don't know that Gold coins were every in circulation. Take a 2 dollar bill or a SBA dollar to the store and see the reaction you have from the cashier when you attempt to use it. If you do try it, have a lawyer on speed dial because they will think it is counterfeit. Remember the story of the kid that used a 2 dollar in the school cafeteria for lunch and the school called the police.

    USN & USAF retired 1971-1993
    Successful Transactions with more than 100 Members

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    logger7logger7 Posts: 8,081 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Suprized to see the much better large size notes, like the $5 Educational! I thought there was some rule that they could not use real US currency on set, and only handled bogus bills.

    I remember a Three Stooges film where Mo exclaimed on seeing a $20 gold piece. I'm curious on various robberies in films whether real coins or bills figure in much.

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    The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not a movie, but the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn novel: I remember reading this in high school and the two main characters each received a $20 gold piece after helping heal some other travelers. At the time the story was set (1830s-1840s), no double eagle had yet been produced.

    I'm also a fan of Supernatural. They must have had a coin collector on the writing staff because coin references pop up left and right. They even had an episode about finding pre-1982 copper cents to kill some monster with.

    Custom album maker and numismatic photographer, see my portfolio here: (http://www.donahuenumismatics.com/).

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    jacrispiesjacrispies Posts: 717 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The vacuum tube got me :D

    "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23. Young fellow suffering from Bust Half fever.

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    Zach98Zach98 Posts: 60 ✭✭✭


    In “No country for old men”, during the coin flip scene he uses what I believe was a 1958 Silver Washington Quarter. The film was set in 1980.(Many of the guns were anachronistic: Remington 11/87, HKSP89, and the Glock 19)

    For TWD fans gotta love how the Governor aims his Steyr Aug with his blind eye and gores way more than the 30rnd mag without a reload😂

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like the old deck of cards without numbers... I have one of those old decks... Old playing card decks is another of my hobbies..... Cheers, RickO

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