Part of shipbuilding since ancient times, keel laying ceremonies signify the formal start of a ship’s construction. To mark the occasion, newly minted coins were placed under wooden keels by the youngest member of the construction crew to bring luck to the ship or, should the ship sink, to pay the ferryman to convey lost souls across the mythological River Styx to the underworld Our 1961 brass and enamel plaque was made for ship #1012 at the Kawasaki dockyards in Japan, then the world’s largest ship building facility. According to the records, ship #1012 was commissioned in 1962 under the name, Belgulf Union, and chartered by Gulf Oil. The ship was broken up in 1979, its relatively short life possibly due to its small size or high cost of operations. Keel laying plaques are rare and highly prized by maritime enthusiasts. Condition: Excellent. Dimensions: 6.25" x 10.75".