Relive the Cold War with Hollow Spy Coins - ITS Tactical
 

Relive the Cold War with Hollow Spy Coins

By The ITS Crew

Spy Coins

So you’ve got some secret information to pass to your contact, who’s cleverly disguised as the friendly Hot Dog vendor outside of Home Depot…

How do you do it? Simple. Some cash, a Spy Coin and the uneasy feeling of indigestion.

Before we get into the review of the Spy Coins from www.spy-coins.com, let’s look a little bit into their history.

Update: ITS now offers the Hollow Spy Coin (Half Dollar) for sale in the ITS Store!

History

Spy Coins

During the Cold War, spies used hollow coins to pass secret messages, hide suicide poisons and smuggle microfilms without detection.

On May 1st, 1960 U2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union and taken captive. In his possession was a hollow silver dollar containing a poisoned needle that was to be used to take his own life in such a circumstance. For one reason or another, he did not use it and was held for 21 months by the Soviets.

He was then exchanged for Soviet spy KGB Colonel Vilyam Fisher (aka Rudolf Abel) at the Glienicke Bridge, in Berlin, Germany.

Colonel Fisher was also no stranger to hollow coins… his original capture by the United States FBI was directly related to a hollow nickel that was used to transport microfilm.

There’s a great read about the Hollow Nickel Case on the USA FBI Website here.

Making a Spy Coin Hollow

Spy Coins

The Spy Coins from Deru & Sons Mfg. are quality, through and through. They start with two authentic US Mint coins for each Spy Coin produced, and precision machine them into the two halves that make up each Spy Coin.

Each Spy Coin comes with with two machined unlocking rings that are used to “open” the coin. This is done by inserting it, tails side down, into the beveled side of the ring and slamming it down to jar the tails side free.

The reason for including two rings (that we forgot to mention in the video) is so you can give one to your Hot Dog Spy buddy so he can open the passed information.

Concealed Information

Spy Coins

The tails side of each larger coin, like the Kennedy Half Dollar, has an inner beveled section that keeps a MicroSD Card secure. What’s that you say? A MicroSD Card can fit inside a coin? You bet, and you can now keep up to 32GB of information in your Spy Coin thanks to the new size that Samsung recently released.

While there is no beveled edge in the Spy Coin Nickel (the smallest diamater coin they make) it too conceals a MicroSD Card. Since we’re talking about the Nickel, here’s a interesting tip on the unlocking rings that are included.

Spy Coins

The size just happens to be able to fit on some wedding ring fingers, so you could be walking around with a Spy Coin Nickel in your pocket, and the unlocking ring on your ring finger, and no one would be the slightest bit suspicious if you were shaken down down by the opposition.

How to Get Yours

The Spy Coins available from spy-coins.com come in various denominations, and you have the option of buying them with or without a MicroSD card.

Note: ITS Tactical Members receive 25% off their order from Spy-Coins.com. Click here to learn more about the ITS Tactical Crew Leader membership.

There’s a Quarter, Any State Quarter, Half Dollar, Nickel, Ike Dollar, Euro Half Dollar, Pound and even a Silver Eagle, although I don’t know why you’d want to ruin a good Silver Eagle in this economy. That’s something a mugger would surely take from your pocket!

Be sure to check out the Radiopacity images when visiting Spy Coins, it’s neat to see the difference between a real Nickel and a hollow one!

Notes

Spy Coins

These coins are virtually indistinguishable visually, and only to the trained eye would you notice the cut line on the tails side. A giveaway to these coins is the flip test though.

They definitely have a hollow sound to them when being flipped, jingled with other change, or if handled a certain way.

Definitely an awesome tool in the right situations, especially from an EDC perspective. It’s great peace of mind knowing that your data is hidden away in your pocket full of change. Just don’t spend it!!

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Discussion

  • MSgtMattice

    That’s a pretty cool article, Thanks again guys for the scoop.

    • Mattice,

      Thanks for the feedback!

      ~ Bryan

  • Alex Bollman

    Awesome article. Good write-up, I may buy one of these more for a fun to have it type of thing. I am an Intelligence Studies major and actually learned about Gary Powers’ special coin in one of my spycraft classes. On a side note…who has a Home Depot in their area that has a hot dog vendor outside of it? What the hell, my Home Depot is slackin on their pimpin’

    • Alex,

      Glad you liked the article. Those Intel Studies spycraft classes sound interesting! The Home Depot Hot Dog vendors are pretty common here in TX.

      ~ Bryan

  • Cool, I love 70s tradecraft stuff. All you need in the picture is a minox camera

    ~James G

  • David Smith

    awesome! gotta have one now! 🙂

  • Used alot in magic as well, ask me how I know? Yup I loved magic as a kid and teenager, still have some around here somewhere. I suggest the nickel because nobody ever has a 50 cent piece anymore.

    • I do Doc… Rarely leave the house without a Kennedy Half-Dollar, which is why I bought the one from Spy-Coins you see in the video 🙂

      ~ Bryan

  • Virius

    One questions:
    Why do you carry a micro SD card on your keychain, personally I only deal with micro SDs in my blackberry and it is a pain to take out. Just wondering what you would use one for if you could easily have a regular thumbstick.

  • Scott

    Do these ever have the possibility of opening without the ring? What keeps them locked in place?

    • I haven’t tried opening without the ring but I would imagine it’s very difficult. Which is both good and bad I guess…

  • THUR TURNER

    DEAR SIR
    I HAVE A 1797 ENGLISH CART WHEEL PENNY,I HAS BEEN CUT IN HALF AND THE MIDDLE
    HAS BEEN MILLED OUT. I WAS WONDERING IF IT COULD HAVE BEEN USED AS A SPY COIN
    BY THE BRITISH AFTER THE REVOLUTION IN ORDER TO PASS ON MESSAGES TO THE OFFICERS OF THE BRITISH ARMY.?

  • Randall Laubhan

    Hey, I hand been given a US penny in change that was one half of the spy coin. I wasn’t aware of a penny being used. Any ideas about what this is…?
    Randy

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