Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology.
Lucky Charm, Lucky Penny.
A medallic item intended to be carried by a person, the item purporting to bring good luck; an amulet or talismanic medal. Ancient man carried such talismans; Egypt was a source for many of these since the time of the pharaohs. Such items contain symbolic designs, often highly mysterious. The custom has continued throughout the centuries to modern time were lucky charms, pocket pieces, pendants and other medallic forms are produced, often encouraged by religious, fraternal or other groups.
Lucky pennies are a type of talismanic medal, largely inspired by large bronze pennies of England and Early America. Masonic and other fraternal organizations include carrying such medals as part of each member's ritual. The item contains symbolic devices – often elaborate –sponsored by the local lodge; it also contains the member's name and class or degree of statues. Many thousands of these have been issued, sponsored by lodges in many localities. Large collections have been formed and catalogs published listing the many varieties. The condition of most lucky pennies do, indeed, exhibit the fact they were carried as pocket pieces.
To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Lucky Charm, Lucky Penny
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