"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 Pirates Arcade Museum / 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 1960s, 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.
We believe the Pirate Cobs or Doubloon examples shown here represent all the different medallion blanks that were used over the years. That is, the various "Types" of medallions made with the different molds / dies for use in Disney's highly modified Harvard metal typer machines. As some readers may remember, your own imprinting / stamping of whatever you wanted was included in the price. (Often guests stamped the date on the medallion. A great help in attribution!) These imprinted dates have greatly helped classify Disneyland pieces of eight and how they changed over the years. Not only the date printed, but, the look of the printing helped. As you can see in the examples above, the very busy typer machine aged over the years. Yes, it was often taken offstage for refurbishment and preventative maintenance. However, the heavy use over 40+ years still took its toll. For comparison here is a sharp, deep, aligned example of a circa 1967 Pirate Stamper Doubloon, a less sharp, deep, aligned example of a 1998 Pirate Stamper Doubloon and a loved but tired example of a 2006 Pirate Stamper imprint which add another attribute to help sort these treasured souvenirs chronologically.
NOTE: For the 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.
NOTE: 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 1990s.
The "Gold" or Brass
Disneyland Stamper Pirate Doubloon Coins
Updated 2/2021 The very scarce Disneyland "Gold" Cob, 8 Escudo,
Piece Of Eight,
were delivered to the Disneyland park around 1967. Pictured above is a pristine Disneyland "Gold" Doubloon that we believe was an early WDI sample. Here is an example of a "circulated" doubloon example which shows some tarnish / patina and softer details probably from handeling, light wear and exposure to air over time. 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 are not known to feature red enamel accents as did their Walt Disney World complements. Brady J. has documented traces of what appears to be red paint in some of the small crevices of a Disneyland brass doubloon! These traces were observed under high magnification. Similar traces of paint were later confirmed on additional doubloons. However, as of this update, no examples of doubloons with intact WDW style red paint have been reported.
The Don Edgren POC
Disneyland Stamper Pirate Doubloon Coin
Very scarce and earliest known "Silver" Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean Piece of Eight stamper doubloon "Type". Purchased from the estate of the late Disney Legend Don Edgren as part of a small cache of Disney mementos attributed and added to this guide in March of 2020. First of its type to be identified and similar medallions not believed to have been offered "onstage" to park guests. The medallion displays a deep, sharply defined and well aligned inscription, highly tumbled / polished surfaces, and a very early casting design reminiscent of the Type I WDW doubloon. Possibly one coin from a set of coins awarded to high profile Pirates of the Caribbean Imagineers in 1967. See Also: Disney Legend Don Edgren's Sliver Doubloon
The Type I "Silver"
Disneyland Stamper 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 I 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 I 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 Stamper 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 Stamper Pirate Doubloon Coins
Type III "silver" Cob 8 Reales
Piece of Eight Replica Doubloon
Stamper Coin "Silver" circa ~1998-2006. Many have asked why this later version of the doubloon is so hard to find. It maybe because it was onstage at a time when the Pirate Stamper machine was on and off stage often, mostly off. Also, we have no reports that the Type III doubloon was ever offered for sale via a basket at the register. The good news, when found this Pirates of the Caribbean medallion variation is easy to attribute. It has a less rounded design and darker finish compared to other "silver" doubloons. The design side of the stamper appears to be nearly flat to the edge. The lack of rounded edges may be because the blank medallion was not tumbled / polished as much as other medallion types were. As always, look to the unique bottom edge "rope" design in the 5-7 o'clock area to help attribute the Type I, Type II, and Type III.
Of note, this Type III doubloon was the last medallion offered before pirate stamper machine was taken offstage in 2006. Many rumors at that time suggested that the machine would return. However, as of 2020, it has not and today's rumors suggest if it does return, it would be as a display item only as at the 2017 D23 Event.
The Type II LARGE Pirate Logo Image
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 ~1976-1998.
This awesome highly polished brass piece of eight replica was offered inside the metal, glass and porcelain Pirates of the Caribbean themed trinket box picture also pictured here. The set was created and offered exclusively for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary in 2005. The attractive miniature presentation chest safeguards the doubloon inside and features a Pirates of the Caribbean attraction themed image, attributed to the legendary Marc Davis. (The image is magnified and clearly visible when looking down through the magnification of the thick glass trinket box lid.) Our thanks to Brady J. for images on this page especially the Disneyland 50th Doubloon Trinket Box Marc Davis image.
Each of the 1,000 limited edition trinket boxes measured approximately six inch tall and five by seven inch wide. All to devoted to protecting an excellent Disneyland 50th anniversary souvenir doubloon. Each treasure chest was also boxed with a certificate of authentication. However, over the years several of these miniature chests and doubloons have been separated, auctioned for sale, lost to time. It is hard to estimate how many of the 1,000 pirate medallions and / or display chests have survived today. (Other than here in y-our virtual collection and guide. :-)
We are grateful to a top Disney elongated coin collector who inquired about this amazing Disneyland 50th anniversary Doubloon. Although it is not a "stamper doubloon" or a "redeemable token", it does share the approximate size and key design features of other doubloons on this page. So, it seemed worthy of honorable mention for other interested fellow collectors. We hope it is of interest to you. Our thanks to the readers that have offered these images and please do contact Boomer if you can contribute additional images for this draft article.
The Walt Disney World Pirates of the Caribbean
Piece of Eight Pirate Doubloons Souvenir "WDW Gold Doubloons" & "WDW Piece of Eight" Stamper Coins Click to open a larger image [CTRL] click to open in a new browser tab
The gold card / brown ink pirate key chains: Marked Walt Disney World, were available at WDW circa ~1973-75. (Near the opening date of the attraction at WDW.)
The gold / orange example, courtesy of the C. Neal Collection,
was probably the first doubloon key chain type offered and matched the early brass doubloons offered by WDW at that time. Because Disney POC key chains feature unusual beads types with flat sides, authentication / attribution is much easier. The blue / turquoise card / dark blue ink pirate key brass chains: Marked Walt Disney World, are currently believed to have been available at WDW circa 1978. (A few yeas after the opening date of the attraction at WDW.)
The blue / turquoise with dark blue ink example, courtesy of "Anony-Mouse", may have been the second doubloon key chain type offered by WDW and matched the early brass doubloons at that time. Because Disney POC key chains feature unusual beads types with flat sides, authentication / attribution is much easier.
The blue / turquoise card / dark blue ink pirate key chrome chains: Marked Walt Disney World, are nearly identical to the blue card with brass chain examples in color and otherwise much like the Disneyland POC key chain issues in that the cards feature magnetic chrome chains to possibly match the later "silver" colored WDW doubloons (?)
Because all these Disney doubloon key chains feature unusual beads types with flat sides, authentication / attribution is much easier. ParkPennies has not been able to confirm that this style Pirates of the Caribbean key chain card was ever onstage or if it was possibly a test or sample card etc. Given that the reported discovery location was a craft shop that made items for Disney, we believe, "Experimental" may best describe this card variation pending evidence that it was onstage. We hope to add more history and details soon. If you have any information about these key chains / cards, please contact Boomer.
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.
Walt Disney World Stamper 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 Stamper 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 Stamper 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. :-)
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 1960s... 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 The Pirates themed arcades would be 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 Pirates Arcade Museum", later "The Pieces of Eight Arcade" and even 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 Disneyland themed "games" remain in the new gift shop today.
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 1990s to the early 2000s, 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.
A Brief History of Disney
Pirate Piece of Eight Stamper Coin Medallions,
Companion Key Chains, & Medal Typer Tokens (Observations and rumors gathered over the years. Latest Update 7/16/2020
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 1980s. 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 June of 2010 - A Disneyland brass Cob or Piece of Eight stamper coin was offered for auction on eBay! We had almost given up hope that we would ever obtain even a scan of the rumored brass Disneyland Doubloon, much less the actual coin to prove its existence... 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 the legendary brass Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean doubloon medallion, now a treasured part of the ParkPennies collection, is pictured at the top of this page.
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 from other that Disneyland Cast Members, close to this machine, still holding 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 (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.
2017: The D23 Expo held at the Anaheim Convention Center featured a special exhibit, “Walt Disney Archives Presents—A Pirate’s Life For Me: Disney’s Rascals, Scoundrels, and Really Bad Eggs”. Avid Disneyana collector and website author, Dan of NostalgicDisney.com, was there. He shared this picture taken of Dan of NostalgicDisney with Ed Ovalle of the Disney Archives... And in the background, a highly themed, for display only, Disney piece of eight stamper machine! (There were two well-known Disney piece of eight stampers, one at Disneyland and one at Walt Disney World. This 2017 D23 Event is the most recent sighting of either machine. As of 2020, the last known sighting of an operational stamper machine was at the Disneyland Resort circa 2006.) Our thanks to Dan for sharing his excellent images and background story. Here is a link to visit Dan's excellent NostalgicDisney.com web site.
2019: "Reliable Sources" tell ParkPennies operatives that the beloved Pieces of Eight stamper most likely has made its last curtain call. As many guests reading this will remember, this unique destination souvenir machine was enjoyed by generations making custom, fun, nearly indestructible treasured keepsakes. For some it became a tradition to make our own keepsakes of fun days, first dates, first park visits, birthdays... over nearly four decades, ~1967-2006! Oh those days my friends, we thought they'd never end... :-) Even a dozen years after its last appearance, many of us (Okay maybe just me?) still held hope of another onstage comeback. Sadly, it looks like we won't be seeing the "Show" again. But, I'll remember past fun days with loved ones at Disneyland every time I glance at the doubloon setting here on my desk. :-) If you have any types or variations of "Pirate Stamper Coins" that are not already shared here, 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.
Our extreme thanks to:Dan of NostalgicDisney.com, Brady J., Dee D.,Bill H., Todd K., Chuck N., Fred M. and "Anony-mouse" for sharing information and images that help make this guide possible.