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October 2022 - Jack o' the Lantern

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This item is password protected and available to members of The Geocoin Club only. If you are a member of The Geocoin Club, you will receive the month's password in club newsletter email.

Design By: Chris Mackey 

Dimensions 45 mm Wide

Thickness 3.5 mm

Finish Black Nickel
Enameling Soft w/Epoxy Coating

Trackable? Yes

Has Icon Yes

October 2022 - Jack o' the Lantern

Design notes from the artist:  Chris Mackey

As a bit of a geocoin collector myself, I can empathize with the amazing lengths some collectors will go to procure an elusive coin.  I've seen people travel across a state, across a country or even across an ocean to get a coin.  As incredible as this is, the length some people will go for a coin is the stuff of legends and so it is with "Jack of the Lantern".  This Halloween, I'll feel just a little bit different about carving my lantern knowing the story...

People have carved Jack-o-lanterns for hundreds of years in a tradition attributed to old Irish folklore about the legend of Stingy Jack.  Jack was beyond frugal and he'd never spend his own hoarded coins if the opportunity came to con someone else into spending theirs.  He was so parsimonious that he even went so far as to trick the Devil himself into paying for his drink.  Upon inviting the Devil to have a drink with him, he slyly convinced Satan to transform himself into a coin in order to pay for a couple drinks at a local pub. The devil delighted in the idea of pulling one over on the bartender to steal a drink and agreed to the plan.  As soon as he transformed himself though, Jack was transfixed by the beauty of the coin and quickly placed his crucifix over it to keep the devil from escaping.  Eventually, Jack realized the danger he'd put himself in and made a bargain with the devil to release him as long as he promised not to hurt Jack or take his soul.  

 A year passed by and the devil is not one to forget their encounter so he stopped by to visit Jack.  As usual, Jack was contemplating how to snatch some fruit from an orchard without having to pay in coin.  The clever Jack once again convinced the Devil to help him in his plan by climbing into the tree to steal the fruit and toss it down to Jack.  However, once Jack had received his spoils, he quickly carved a crucifix in the trunk of the tree to trap the Devil.  Seeing his predicament, the Devil made a promise not to bother Jack for at least another ten years or ever take soul.

Unfortunately, Jack's wasteful life caught up to him and he passed away.  As the legend goes, God took one look at Jack and turned him away from heaven for his covetous nature.  The Devil had already promised not to take his soul so he was even denied entry to hell.  The devil had not forgotten being tricked twice by the same man though and he cursed Jack to wander the night with only a burning coal to light his way in a carved-out turnip.  His ghostly form has been said to roam the earth ever since just looking for a home to come into from the night.  To keep him at bay, the people of the land would carve horrid and scary faces in turnips, beets or gourds and light them with candles to frighten away Jack's ghost.  

So while we might go to extravagant lengths to procure a beautiful coin, never forget Jack's plight for being too stingy!  Trade fair, give freely, share your beautiful coins when you can, and keep carving your Jack-O-Lanterns! 

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