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Category: Exonumia



24K Gold Plated, UNC

38 mm (1.5”), 32 grams

HISTORY: Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson 1926‒1962) was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. As a young woman, struggling to make a steady living in the acting world, she accepted a modeling commission (for 50 bucks) from photographer Tom Kelley to do a nude model shoot. On May 27, 1949, with Kelley’s wife present, the photographs were taken against a red velvet cloth background. Monroe signed her model release form as Mona Monroe to disguise her identity. The photo, named “Golden Dreams,” was circulated as a pin-up calendar. It was later replicated on other products, including playing cards and coffee mugs.

In December 1953, however, Hugh Hefner (1926-2017) rolled out his controversial Playboy magazine. Monroe was featured on the premier issue cover, and her “Golden Dreams” was the centerfold. Of course, the magazine and the centerfold became an instant success. Monroe’s disguise as “Mona” was over.

This novelty coin, bought from a Chinese coin dealer, was very likely minted in China. Otherwise, there is no information as to the designer or sculptor.

OBVERSE: On this metallic coin, we see a photographically impressed image of “Golden Dreams” with the addition of Monroe’s name, date of birth and death, and signature. It is rimmed with 24-karat gold.

REVERSE: Monroe’s “Golden Dream” pose is struck on an unidentified metal and overlaid with 24-karat gold. The rim is a design of repeating wavelike scrolls.