The “Jesus Saves / (cross) / Eternal Life” and “Lord is Coming / (cross in circle) / Millenium” aluminum pieces were distributed in the early 1970’s and perhaps earlier in the streets of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada as well as Seattle, Washington state (and very likely many different places in North America) by people wishing to spread their message. It worked like this. They would drop the items on the street (which was usually, it seems, Granville Street here), someone else would pick it up thinking it was a dime, read the message and either a) keep the item or b) throw it away so that someone else could pick it up again. The message would thus get delivered and whether or not it was acted upon depended on the individual and if they did not act on it, well when the new millennium came (which could be at any time) then….
The cross in circle emblem (which is called a “Sun Cross”, a Bolgar cross, a Sunwheel, a Solar Cross, Odin’s Cross or Woden’s Cross) is one of the oldest symbols for Christianity. I do remember seeing it on some signs put up by some religious groups but I never researched into seeing who they were. I have searched religious “coin” minters websites and not come up with this piece yet.
I have seen similar concept coins in bright brass which might have been the size of a 5 dollar gold coin (US) and maybe some nickel sized ones as well. All of these were seen at dealer’s tables.
All the pieces I picked up were along the Granville Street Mall close to Georgia Street, which is why I gave that location above. This was quite a heavily trod area of town and close to where at least one small group could often be seen proselytizing on any Friday or Saturday night. As well some people would leave small tracts in phone booths, etc. One I found, which Ron Greene might have, was in the approximate shape and design of a Visa credit card. Any one of them could have distributed the item (and they could have been distributed elsewhere but I was not there to see them). There would be one or two such items every time maybe. At the time I saw one television report concerning their appearance in Seattle. This would be after 1971 after cable television arrived in Vancouver.
~ Duff Malkin