A blog reader has sent me a picture of a medal that bears unusual inscriptions on both sides. Can a reader make sense of these?

Here’s another unsolved crypto mystery that was provided to me by a reader of this blog. A reader, who is interested in coins and medals, recently sent me an email, telling me about a medal with strange inscriptions she came across on the internet. She doesn’t remember exactly where she saw it, but the users of a web-forum told her that pictures of a medal of this kind are available on a Swiss website.

I looked at the pictures, but I couldn’t make any sense of the medal inscriptions.

The Swiss website with the medal pictures is operated by crypto and mathematics expert Didier Müller, with whom I had the pleasure to exchange a few mails, when I wrote my steganography book Versteckte Botschaften a few years ago. I contacted Didier, and he told me that he didn’t know anything about this medal and its inscriptions either. However, he allowed me to use his pictures on my blog. So, I decided to ask my readers.

 

The front side

Here’s the front side of the medal (at least, I declare it the front side because it bears letters, while the other side only contains numbers):


Source: Didier Müller

As can be seen, the inscription mainly consists of a seven-by-seven letter matrix. Only the letters from A to G appear, which means that an alphabet of seven letters is used. The digits on the left and the right are line numbers (from 1 to 7, with the first and the last number omitted).

A possible interpretation of MDMDF is: Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag (i.e., the days from Tuesday to Friday in German). The letters standing for Sunday (first column) and Saturday (last column) are omitted.

 

The rear-side

On the rear-side of the medal, …


Source: Didier Müller

… the number seven plays an important role, too. The inscription shows a circle divided into seven segments. The number 3.25 is roughly (but not exactly) 24/7. 6.51 is close to 24*2/7, 10.17 is close to 24*3/7, and so on. The inscription almost looks like the dial of a clock that divides the day into seven time units.

 

What do the inscriptions mean?

I have no idea, what the inscriptions on this medal mean. I can’t see any relation to other coins and medals I have covered on this blog. Here’s an overview, starting with a Freemason medal from London:


Source: Library & Museum of Freemasonry

Here’s a Freemason medal from Connecticut:


Source: Proceedings of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons

There’s even an NSA medal with an encrypted inscription:


Source: NSA

Here’s a Navy medal with an encrypted inscription:


Source: Keller

The following soccer coin contains a hidden message:


Source: Public Domain

This Canadian nickel bears a Morse message:


Source: Public Domain

Here’s a dog tag:


Source: Reddit

This medal can even be called the world’s first crypto currency:


Source: Karsten Hansky

As can be seen, there are quite a few medals and coins that involve cryptography or steganography, but there’s no obvious relation to the medal shown above. Can a reader make sense of the two inscriptions anyway?


Further reading: The Top 50 unsolved encrypted messages: 18. The Moustier altar inscriptions

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Kommentare (10)

  1. #1 Richard SantaColoma
    http://proto57.wordpress.com/
    28. März 2019

    I first thought it looked like a perpetual calendar, so I searched for -perpetual calendar coin- in Google images. I came up the same, or very similar coin. The people on this coin site seem to have figured it out:

    https://www.coincommunity.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=173473

    Apparently, it does relate to a calendar, and is use in some sort of Indian Astrology:

    https://bharatiyajyotishmantrasaadhana.blogspot.com/2010/04/lotus-theory-author-dr-m-mahendar-ma.html

    The “seven” seems to be the seven planets, and it is used to either predict, or understand, some sort of Indian homeopathic relationship…

    Next comes the vital hour cycle in the lotus theory. The time of birth determinesthe vital hour cycle which is also under the influene of any one of the 7planets. The vital hour is fixed and does not change. And it does notcorrespond exactly to the Hora system followed in astrology. In this theory 24hours of the day is divided by 7 planets and each planets shares a duration of3 hours 25 minutes. Rahu and Ketu are excluded in this system.
    From midnight to 3.25 A.M. Moon vital hour
    From 3.25 A.M. to 6.51 A.M is Mercury vital
    From 6.51 A.M. to 10.17 A.M. is Venus vital hour
    From 10.17 A.M. to 1.42 P.M. is Sun vital hour
    From 1.42 P.M. to 5.08 P.M. is Mars vital hour
    From 5.08 P.M. to 8.34 P.M. is Jupiter vital hour
    From 8.34 P.M. to midnight is Saturn vital hour
    In this way every person is under the influence of two major planets. One planetdetermines the planetary constitution by the day of birth and the second planetis determined by the time of birth. The second planet is called the vital hourplanet. Both day of birth and time of birth are essential for astrologicalwork. Similarly in lotus theory also the day and time of birth indicate theplanets under whose influence a native will lead his life.

  2. #2 Magnus Ekhall
    Borensberg
    28. März 2019

    The letters follows a pattern: Going from right to left, and skipping every other space, you get ABCDEFG.

    I agree that this looks like some sort of calendar.

    The numbers on the other side are trickier though…

  3. #3 Magnus Ekhall
    Borensberg
    28. März 2019

    An idea regarding the numbers: they are hours and minutes, not decimal hours.

    So for example 6.51 means 6 hours and 51 minutes. Then the math adds up much better.

  4. #4 Richard SantaColoma
    http://proto57.wordpress.com/
    28. März 2019

    … also according to that forum, this type of coin is sold as a “Cycles of Life Indicator Coin”, implying a Rosicrucian connection:

    https://www.amorc.org.au/rosicrucian_books/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=505

    There are instructions on its use, there. But if I had to guess, I’d say the concept is originally the Indian/Lotus/Astrology one… I don’t recall any such Rosicrucian calendar like this. But I have really no idea which came first…

  5. #5 Klaus Schmeh
    28. März 2019

    I think, my guess about the dial was correct. If one devides a day into 7 equal units, one gets exactly the numbers on the medal:
    0h 00 min
    3h 25 min
    6h 51 min

    But why would somebody divide the day into seven units?

  6. #6 Richard SantaColoma
    http://proto57.wordpress.com/
    28. März 2019

    “But why would somebody divide the day into seven units?”

    Your guess was correct. And the reason is, apparently, to assign one each of seven planets to each time segment, so that a certain planet would be represented by the time you were born.

    I was born at six pm, so I am “Jupiter”, in the “6” segment:

    “From 5.08 P.M. to 8.34 P.M. is Jupiter vital hour”

    I was born on a Sunday, so I am in the first column, and so with the the 6th row for “Jupiter”, my letter is “E”.

    I feel more like a “G” today, but whatever.

  7. #7 Thomas
    28. März 2019

    This is the system described by the Rosicrucian author Harvey Spencer Lewis in “Self Mastery and Fate with the Cycles of Life” (https://www.rosicrucian.org/rosicrucian-books-self-mastery-and-fate-with-the-cycles-of-life). Since MDMDF is assigned to the days, the medal was produced for German speaking people.

    Klaus – are you starting an esoteric blog, aren`t you a member of the GWUP? 😉

  8. #8 Arnim
    29. März 2019

    The letter square reminds me of the central part in the perpetual calendar in the german wikipedia aubout that subject: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ewiger_Kalender#Geschichte
    Perhaps the dial part is about when to skip a year in the top part?

  9. #9 Oleksandr Stepanchenko
    Green Brook
    31. März 2019

    All hi. There is an interesting regularity:
    20.34-17.08=3.26
    17.08-13.42=3.66
    13.42-10.17=3.25
    10.19- 6.57=3.66
    6.51-3.25=3.26
    3.26 +3.66 +3.25=10.17
    All of good luck.

  10. #10 Thomas
    31. März 2019

    Why interesting? Since Lewis divided 24 hours by 7, each period lasts approximately 3 hours and 26 minutes (there is no period of length 3. 66).