"The Brady Disneyland Brass Doubloon" Your help needed in completing its history.
This article is often updated / edited and re-confused. :-)
The "Brady" Disneyland "Gold" / brass doubloon variation was first reported to ParkPennies in July of 2016 by Brady J. He recalled its origin possibly as a decoration once affixed to the surface of an arcade machine located in the Pieces of Eight Shop around 15-20 years before. Brady's detailed description of this "themed" Disneyland solid brass Piece of Eight doubloon included mention of a significant amount of silver paint on the medallion reverse and traces of red paint remaining within the inscription at the obverse center. (As shown by the linked Brady images.) Of note, the traces of red paint are similar to those of early WDW brass doubloons. We believe, based on design, condition and supporting recollections by Cast Members, that these brass pirate coins first arrived at the DLR in the late 1960's, shortly before their "Silver" doubloon replacements. However, because these brass coins were made in error, they were not placed onstage. (See also the Disney Doubloons Piece of Eight Stampers article below.)
The Disneyland Gold Doubloon pictured at the top of this page is from WDI in Burbank California and is believed to be an early prototype sample; it features very sharp details and smooth surfaces. Later Disneyland Gold and Silver Doubloons have a more textured surface with softer lettering edges / details.
If you have a picture or additional information about Pieces of Eight, the machine that may have had been associated with this doubloon, or would just like to vent :-) please contact Boomer.
Our thanks to: Dee D.,Todd K., Chuck N., and Fred M.
for sharing information and images that help make this guide possible.
Disneyland piece of eight "cob" stamper coin medallion souvenirs, as shown above, have changed over the years. We believe the examples shown here represent the different medallion blanks. That is the different "Types" made with the different molds / dies made for use in Disney's highly modified Harvard metal typer machines. Your own imprinting / stamping of whatever you wanted was included in the price. However, a large number of these pirate medallions were by choice or surprise ejected by the machine before they were stamped. The very busy typer machine aged over the years... possibly the reason it was taken offstage. Here is a 1998 example of Pirate Stamper imprinting and for comparison here is a 2006 example of Pirate Stamper imprinting.
For this 2018 guide edit, thanks to a larger data base, we were able to narrow the "Types" of doubloons that were issued at Disneyland, ignoring the degree of polish or tumbling given different "Batches" of blank medallions. We are also acknowledging that a darker or lighter antique finish or a heavily tumbled (mechanically deburred / aged) doubloon is of the same "Type" as one with less post casting finish work, polish or wear. Only the originating dies / mold and metal type used to make the medallion blanks were considered. This more objective categorization has greatly simplified medallion Type attribution.
The exceptionally scarce brass versions of the Disneyland pirate medallion, as shown above, were the first to be made and were made of brass in error. (Story below) Cast Member interviews about the two larger pirate logo imaged medallions shown above state that, due to the error in design, these medallions lacked space for a guest to imprint a message. Therefore these blanks could not be used in the machines. So, they were ultimately sold as souvenirs at the original location of the Pieces of Eight shop, probably in the 1990's.
The "Gold" or Brass Disneyland Pirate Doubloon Coins
The very scarce Disneyland "Gold" Cob 8 Escudo
Piece Of Eight
was delivered to the Disneyland park around 1967. Pictured above is a pristine doubloon that we believe was an early WDI sample. Here is a "circulated" doubloon example it shows tarnish and also some details do not look as sharp. Some of these scarce brass cobs were reportedly imprinted by Cast Members around the time the machine was delivered. Although there are recollections of imprinted coins, sadly the coins were often chained to long lost keys. Disneyland brass coins had no finish unlike their Walt Disney World complements that featured a red enamel accent. Very scarce.
The Type I "Silver" Disneyland Pirate Doubloon Coins
Type I "Silver" Cob 8 Reales
Piece of Eight Replica Doubloon
Stamper Coin is very similar in design and details to the brass example e.g. the few faint edge marks at 5 o'clock etc. and it is from the same approximate time period. Additionally, we are confident that the stamper was not placed onstage without medallion blanks and based on multiple accounts, the initial medallions were not brass. Therefore, we believe the Type II was the "silver" replacement medallion blank when it was discovered brass medallions had been made in error. For extra conformation, many stamped coins have been found dated between 1971-1975, leading us to believe that this medallion type II was the brass doubloon's replacement and was onstage at least between ~1967-1975. Look to the bottom edge "rope" design in the 5-7 o'clock area to help attribute the Type I, Type II, and Type III.
The Type II "Silver" Disneyland Pirate Doubloon Coins
Type II "Silver" Cob 8 Reales Piece of Eight Replica Doubloon
Stamper Coin is set apart from other doubloon types / variations by several strong edge marks from 5 to 7 o'clock and a "standard" obverse logo size. Given we have seen many stamped coins with dates of 1976-1998 we believe the Type II was onstage roughly between... wait for it... ~1976-1998. :-) Look to the bottom edge "rope" design in the 5-7 o'clock area to help attribute the Type I, Type II, and Type III.
The Type III "Silver" Disneyland Pirate Doubloon Coins
Type III "silver" Cob 8 Reales
Piece of Eight Replica Doubloon
Stamper Coin "Silver" circa ~1998-2006. This was a time when the Pirate Stamper machine was on and off stage often. This Pirates of the Caribbean medallion variation is less rounded in design and has a darker finish than other "silver" doubloons. Possibly the blank medallion may not have been machine tumbled as we think most other "silver" medallion types were. The Type III was in use in 2006 when the pirate stamper machine was taken offstage. Many rumors suggested the machine will return. However, as of 2018, after 12 years, it has not. Look to the bottom edge "rope" design in the 5-7 o'clock area to help attribute the Type I, Type II, and Type III.
The Type II LARGE Pirate Logo Image Doubloon Souvenir
Type II large image logo doubloon was not a "stamper" medallion. Because of its design, there was no room left for imprinting. However, it made a great souvenir and can be found in both a light and dark finish. (We've included images of them both because we needed another coin to fill an empty space.... er ah... because we knew it would be of interest to you. :-) The light and dark silver colored
Piece of Eight / Doubloon Stamper souvenirs
have reverses that look like the 1976-1998 doubloon. However, their obverses feature a very large center image. A long time friend and retired Arcade Cast Member at the time this medallion was issued shared with us that this "feature" was an error. Because it didn't leave space for guests to imprint a message, the medallions were sold as souvenir key fobs / souvenirs at the Pieces of Eight Gift Shop. Very receptive shoppers snapped them up. Based on the Cast Member's recollection and given these doubloon blanks feature the Type II reverse, we believe they were onstage around the same time as the standard logo Type II doubloons, maybe ~1980-1990's.
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Walt Disney World Pirates of the Caribbean Souvenir "WDW Gold Doubloons" & "WDW Piece of Eight" Stamper Coins
Type I "Silver" WDW
Doubloon Replica. Circa ~1975
Type II "Silver" WDW
Doubloon Replica. Circa late ~1970's+
"Gold" WDW Brass Doubloon Obverse
Type I "Silver" WDW Doubloon Obverse
Type II "Silver" WDW Doubloon Obverse
Our thanks to: Dee D.,Todd K., Chuck N., and Fred M.
for sharing information and images that help make this guide possible.
Walt Disney World pirate stamper coins as shown above, changed over the years as did their Disneyland counterparts. However, at first the onstage WDW piece of eight coins were made of solid brass. Only in the later years, around 1980, were the WDW medallions made of the same "silver" metal as the onstage Disneyland stamper coins. An imprinted Walt Disney World "Gold Doubloon" is linked to confirm that they were onstage, vended by the WDW stamper machine and could be inscribed with a personal message while the machine was at the Caribbean Arcade. Sources have reported that after the Caribbean Arcade (1974-1980) was closed, the remaining blank WDW Piece of Eight medallions were sold at the House of Treasure Shop. Many imprinted WDW "Gold" doubloons are known although no guest inscribed examples of the scarce Disneyland gold / brass doubloons are known. (It was said that a few Disneyland Gold Doubloons were personalized back stage by Cast Members at the time the machine was first setup.)
Like the Disneyland Doubloons above, thanks to a larger data base, we were able to narrow the "Types" of doubloons that were issued at Walt Disney World, ignoring the degree of polish or tumbling given different "Batches" of blank medallions. We are also acknowledging that a darker or lighter antique finish or a heavily tumbled (mechanically deburred / aged) doubloon is of the same "Type" as one with less post casting finish work, polish or wear. Only the originating dies / mold and metal type used to make the medallion blanks were considered. This more objective categorization has greatly simplified medallion Type attribution.
The "Gold" Walt Disney World Pirate Doubloon Coins
Walt Disney World "Gold" or Brass Cob 8 Escudo
Doubloon Replica, unlike the Disneyland doubloon, features a accent of red paint and a logo at the center of the obverse that reads: "Pirates of the Caribbean, Walt Disney World" around a skull and cross bones.
This doubloon or piece of eight was the medallion that greeted the first guests to "stamp a pirate coin". Based on imprinted pirate medallions with dates, we believe these brass tokens were onstage by 1975 and possibly onstage as late as 1980. The details of the WDW brass doubloon are very much like the Disneyland Type II "silver" doubloon.
The Type I "Silver" Walt Disney World Pirate Doubloon Coins
The WDW Type I and the Disneyland Type I doubloons are very much alike in design with the exception of the "Walt Disney World" and "Disneyland" logo inscriptions. Look to the bottom edge "rope" design to attribute the type I and type II.
The Type II "Silver" Walt Disney World Pirate Doubloon Coins
The WDW Type II doubloon or Pirate Stamper Medallion is very much like the WDW brass doubloon in design. We hope to add more clarity to the WDW pieces of eight as we see more of them and readers report their knowledge / visits to this machine. If you can share knowledge of these very collectable souvenirs with fellow readers, please contact Boomer. Note: It is very true that Pirate era coins, as you can see, aren't my specialty. Some readers might notice that the medallion blanks appear to be a replicas of silver 8 reale "pieces of eight" Spanish coins possibly minted in Potosi, Bolivia, circa 1692, not replicas of gold 8 escudos or gold "Doubloons". In my defense, some are gold-colored... and lots of people call them Doubloons... And yes, they really are medallions not coins, but, after all, it's Disneyland... So, let's go along with some fun, common, Disneyland-speak magic here. :-)
A Brief History of Disney
Pirate Piece of Eight Stamper Coin Medallions,
Companion Key Chains, & Medal Typer Tokens Latest Update 2/6/2018
Disneyland Pirates Of The Caribbean
Piece of Eight Pirate Key Chain!
Available only at the Pirates Arcade Museum (Pieces of Eight Shop) via a postcard type vending machine during the first years
stamper coin machine was onstage.
(We have confirmed onstage dates as early as 1972 so far.) Chain beads feature flat sides.
Because the onstage Disneyland Piece of Eight coins
were "silver" the chain was chromed to give the look of "silver" and made from a magnetic metal. (Much like later WDW Pirates of the Caribbean key chains.) As of 2018, these Disneyland carded key chains are far more scarce than similar "silver" WDW carded key chains.
Although Disney Medal Typer souvenirs are not elongated coins, they are sort of related and lots of us "pressed penny collectors" have asked about them. Matter of fact, many people searching Google for information about Disneyland medal stamper machines or stamped coins found ParkPennies.com, poor souls. So, here are the bits of history we have been able to gather and... we are looking for more so please don't be shy about sharing your knowledge.
The Pirates of the Caribbean piece of eight stamper souvenir coin medallions, often called medal stamper machine coins, "doubloons", "Cobs", stamped coins, or Medal Typer tokens, have been favorites of many Disney guests over the years. Not every Disneyland or WDW guest knew of the machines, but, those that did press these coins, often did so over many years. Matter of fact, stamping a personal message on metal disk or a 1692 replica piece of eight coin has been a long time tradition for many Disneyland Fans.
Some lucky Disneyland visitors have made a ritual of visiting the Pieces of Eight Shop in New Orleans Square to press a "Pirate Coin" or visiting the Corner Cafe (Coke Corner) on Main Street to type out the date of their visit, a birthday greeting, their wedding anniversary year, or some mushy-kissy-lovey note on a Disneyland Medal Typer disk.
The ParkPennies.com history of the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean medal stamper coins is not complete yet and undoubtedly in need of corrections. However, based on reports by a trusted ParkPennies operative or two, close to the start of the Disneyland POC project circa mid to late 1960's... We believe that the Pirate coin stamper machine concept was originally designed by the famous Sam McKim. According to the recollection of one nervously sweating ParkPennies source, blinded by strong overhead lights at the time, Mr. McKim envisioned Piece of Eight Arcades placed at the exit to the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions in both Disneyland and WDW. At each location, he planned to place a Piece of Eight stamper as one of the themed arcade attractions. The Disneyland arcade vision became reality as "The Pieces of Eight Arcade" and later became "The Pieces of Eight Gift Shop"; the Walt Disney World arcade vision became reality as the Caribbean Arcade until 1980 when it was closed. Each featured a Pirate Medal Stamper machine and although the machines were very similar, at Mr. Mc Kim's instruction, the Disneyland machine was to offer only silver-colored piece of eight coins and Florida's Walt Disney World piece of eight coins were to be gold-colored. Each stamper offered carded key chains via an adjacent "post card vending machine" modified to offer carded key chains. Silver key chains for Disneyland and brass key chains for WDW. (Key chains from both parks are pictured on this page.)
The plan was followed, mostly. At first WDW offered brass cob style medallions. But later switched to the silver-colored cob coins. Disneyland was from the start assigned silver-colored blanks. However, about two dozen brass medallion blanks inscribed "Disneyland" were initially found inside the Disneyland stamper machine when it was delivered, according to our now nervously fidgeting Cast Member source. These Disneyland brass / gold-colored cob coins were reportedly caught by Mr. McKim at Disneyland before the stamper machine was placed onstage or made available to the general public. However, some examples of the brass pieces of eight doubloons (as pictured above) were kept as souvenirs by Cast Members close to the project at both Disneyland and Walt Disney Imagineering, WDI. Some were also possibly given to friends, family, etc. Additionally, we have received correspondence from one avid collector that recalled his Disneyland brass doubloon was given to him as a gift by a Cast Member that assisted in the renovation of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. According to this report, the brass Disneyland medallion was found loose and displaced within one of the POC vignettes. (Examples of all "Silver" and "Gold" Disneyland and WDW Pieces of Eight are pictured at the top of this page for comparison.)
The arcades changed over the years. In 1980, the Caribbean Arcade was closed at WDW and the Disneyland Pieces of Eight Arcade has become the Disneyland Pieces of Eight Gift Shop. Most of the arcade games, e.g. custom themed pin ball machines and some other furnishings at the parks were sold or gifted to notable Cast Members or their heirs. Other games were moved to new locations. Just a few of the Disneyland themed games stayed in the new gift shop.
The Disneyland Pirate Coin Stamper has been on and off stage, moved from one location to another in the New Orleans Square area as repairs, refurbishments, or relocation was required. At times, ParkPennies.com visitors have asked us what became of the stamper machine. We told them "We look forward to happily posting the news on www.ParkPennies.com as soon as the Piece of Eight machine returns". Over the years from the late 1990's to the early 2000's, we were happy to report it was back... several times, although only briefly each time. By 2006, the machine found its way to a new location in a gift shop not far from the entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, which at the time, was called "Le Bat En Rouge Shop" (previously called the "One of a Kind Shop") only to disappear again soon after.
The pirate key chains marked Walt Disney World, were available at WDW circa 1973-75.(Near the opening date of the attraction at WDW.)
The orange example, courtesy of the C. Neal Collection,
was probably the first doubloon key chain type offered and matched the early brass doubloons offered at that time. The blue carded key chains are much like the Disneyland issues, "silver" in color and made from a magnetic metal possibly to match the later "silver" colored WDW doubloons.
Both chains feature beads types with flat sides which greatly help with authentication / attribution.
2014: As I update this story in 2014, the Pirate medal stamper machine has been off stage since 2006. But we have not given up hope. On several occasions, I have spoken with Disney Cast Members about the "Pirate Coin Stamper". I have been assured that the highly modified Standard Harvard Medal Typer machine is appreciated by Cast Members but is temperamental. Although it was modified to press these heavy custom medallions by Disney many years ago,
over the years, the extreme wear and tear, which is normal for Disneyland, had taken its toll. However, two Cast Members, one retired, told Robert Hoff (Boomer) of ParkPennies that it was their kraft's hope and a goal to restore the machine and return it to "stage".
I too hope this machine returns home soon. As recently as 2010 and 2013, I have heard that Disneyland Cast Members, close to this machine, still hold hope that extensive repairs can be completed and the stamper returned to stage one day. So, do check for the machine now and then and let us know if you spot the Pirates Piece of Eight coin stamper in New Orleans Square or the Medal Typer machine at the Coke Corner Cafe on Main Street USA; we'll do the same.
2017: As I update this saga in December of 2017, I understand that the Cast Member closest to the pirate stamper restoration project, after many years service at the park, sadly has chosen to relocate to the Southeastern US. Both he and his father were well respected, long-time Cast Members and we will miss them. If you have news or comments please contact Boomer.
Odd notes added now and then: In around 2001, I visited a metal reclamation center in Canyon Country, California, just before they relocated. They had contracted to clear water features of "coins" for a few Southern California theme parks over the previous years. I hoped to find some "pressed pennies" from the late 1980's. To that end, a co-conspirator and I sorted through hundreds of pounds of elongated, foreign and US coinage as well as many pirate medallions over a day's time. Most of the stamper pirate medallions had inscriptions, memorials, funny quips. They all seemed to have made memories, or granted wishes. None were brass.
In 2010 we had almost given up hope that we would ever obtain a scan of the brass Disneyland Doubloon, much less the actual coin to prove its existence... Until, on 6/2010 - A Disneyland brass Cob or Piece of Eight stamper coin was offered for auction on eBay! The auction description read: " You are bidding on a "SUPER RARE, BRASS" PIRATES of the CARIBBEAN ATTRACTION SOUVENIR COIN from DISNEYLAND. Replica "Cob" PIECE OF EIGHT Sold only to guests at theme park attraction gift shops. No longer in production or sold to public! RARE PIRATES COLLECTIBLE ! Detailed SOLID BRASS coin Measures 1 3/8 Dia .x 3/32 thick with DISNEYLAND attraction stamp on the back side of coin. Photo is of the coin for this auction! Stainless steel coin is not for sale in this auction, shown only as a comparison to the original pirates attraction coin. Bid now on this RARE TREASURE! Winning bidder pays for shipping. I will accept PayPal payments. Payment must arrive within 7 days of auction close. Thank you for your bid! " An image of that coin, now a treasured part of the ParkPennies collection, is above. If you have any types of variations of "Pirate Stamper Coins" that are not shown, please contact us.
Happy Collecting, Boomer and the folks at ParkPennies.com
NOTICE: In an effort to share what we can with you, we have published this Disney doubloon stamper reference. However, please bear in mind that it is based only on what we have been able to gather to date. It does include the best recollections of knowledgeable people which are sometimes supported by evidence or multiple sources / corroboration. But, recollections are not always cold fact. Basically, we hope this guide is helpful, with the understanding that it is not yet definitive and is subject to future corrections, additions, insanity, typos... Corrections? Additions? Please contact Boomer.