Cold War Reproduction Nickel
The Microfilm Cipher
Michael has perfected the art of microfilming and through actual photographs of the cipher and conversations with those "in the know" he has created a true and clear duplicate right down to the correct size, font, and coding. It is the only true replica of its kind, and is actually of better quality than the original.
From the FBI Website:
The message apparently was intended for (Soviet spy Reino) Hayhanen and had been sent from the Soviet Union shortly after his arrival in the United States. It read:
“1. WE CONGRATULATE YOU ON A SAFE ARRIVAL. WE CONFIRM THE RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER TO THE ADDRESS `V REPEAT V’ AND THE READING OF LETTER NUMBER 1.”
“2. FOR ORGANIZATION OF COVER, WE GAVE INSTRUCTIONS TO TRANSMIT TO YOU THREE THOUSAND IN LOCAL (CURRENCY). CONSULT WITH US PRIOR TO INVESTING IT IN ANY KIND OF BUSINESS, ADVISING THE CHARACTER OF THIS BUSINESS.”
“3. ACCORDING TO YOUR REQUEST, WE WILL TRANSMIT THE FORMULA FOR THE PREPARATION OF SOFT FILM AND NEWS SEPARATELY, TOGETHER WITH (YOUR) MOTHER’S LETTER.”
“4. IT IS TOO EARLY TO SEND YOU THE GAMMAS. ENCIPHER SHORT LETTERS, BUT THE LONGER ONES MAKE WITH INSERTIONS. ALL THE DATA ABOUT YOURSELF, PLACE OF WORK, ADDRESS, ETC., MUST NOT BE TRANSMITTED IN ONE CIPHER MESSAGE. TRANSMIT INSERTIONS SEPARATELY.”
“5. THE PACKAGE WAS DELIVERED TO YOUR WIFE PERSONALLY. EVERYTHING IS ALL RIGHT WITH THE FAMILY. WE WISH YOU SUCCESS. GREETINGS FROM THE COMRADES. NUMBER 1, 3RD OF DECEMBER.”
The FBI website has the entire story, which is nothing short of fascinating.
The coin itself, as used, was a "hybrid" for unknown reasons. The front of the coin was a 1948 75/25 Cupronickel (a plain old nickel). The rear of the coin however was a Philadelphia silver war nickel. During WWII, nickel metal was in such short supply that the US mint actually made nickel coins from an alloy of mainly silver and copper, with added manganese. To differentiate these from former and future nickels, a large mint mark was placed over the Monticello figure on the rear of the coin.
The cavity cut into the original hollow coin was small and not much larger in diameter than the microfilm. This allowed the coin to retain much of its original weight and not appear too light in the hand. A tiny hold of approx .020" (.5mm) was drilled through the loop in the "R" in the word "TRUST" on the headside of the coin allowing the operator to use a small pin to push the two sides of the coin apart. Very ingenious, but a coin that you can push apart with a .020" pin cannot be held together very tight in the first place.
The end result of this loose fit was the eventual capture and prosecution of KBG agent Rufolf Ivanovich Abel when the coin was dropped onto the floor and it inadvertently popped open.
Our reproduction coin is made orginal as follows: A 1948 front coupled with a silver war nickel Philadelphia mint rear is used. A .20" hole is properly drilled through the loop in the "R" in the world "TRUST", and for demonstration purposes, it is intentionally left with a loose fit allowing the operator to open it with the supplied pin. The pocket is cut shallow and with a diameter just large enough to house the microfilm, allowing the coin to retain most of its original weight.