Cubits


Cubits, used as currency on Galactica, came in two versions. The symbols on the obverse are from the Alphabet of the Magi created in the 1500's by Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim. The symbols used from this alphabet were Gimel and Shin.

The reverse had a representation of the Sri Yantra symbol, the same symbol used for the Galactica patches, flag and wall/podium medallion.

To dispel a fanbase fallacy, they were not "G" or "L" cubits, there was not a third "A" cubit and they did not represent the initials of Glen A. Larson.

The cubits were made of a lightweight white metal, likely a zinc alloy, and then plated gold in color, each weighing 13.25 grams. These were the only cubits made for the show.

Over the years, there have been many different replica cubits made, even some from metal. Generally, these metal replicas have a very soft, muddy background as opposed to the sharp faceted background of the originals.

One of these replicas made by KPM Services was so nicely made, die coined from solid brass, that they have been regularly passed off as originals. These replicas were available via the classified section of Starlog Magazine from September 1982 through October 1983. I personally bought some of these from KPM in 1982 and still have them.

KPM only made one cubit type, the one with the Shin symbol and while the background was sharp, it was more level than the faceted background of the originals. They were slightly thinner and weighted 18.5 grams each. They also had a defect which I will discuss later.

Most of the original cubits that came out of the studio in the early 90s were in a single box containing mostly Gimel cubits. This box was acquired by a collector and some cubits were sold to other collectors individually, but the bulk of the box was eventually sold to a single collector.

Somewhere along the way, a very large number of the KPM replica Shin cubits were acquired and mixed in with the box of original Gimel cubits. The story that was floated was that the duller looking (by then patinaed) brass cubits were used while filming as filler for the better cubits. This is not true. To be clear, I'm not saying that either collector fabricated this story. I don't know who fabricated it, but it was fabricated nonetheless.

The KPM cubits can be easily differentiated from originals when side by side, however, they can be harder to identify independently by the non-expert.

If you are a collector and need to discern whether you are looking at an original or KPM cubit, use these photos, or look for the asymmetry in the Sri Yantra symbol. One of the triangles is inverted compared to its opposite companion.

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