The following description was prepared by William Gross:
Among some Hassidic courts, it was a practice for the Rabbi to give a blessed silver coin to his Hassidim as an amulet. Such protection might be given for all manner of life events, from healing from an illness to success in travel and the amulet was carried on the body of the recipient. This custom was particularly popular among the Ryzhiner Hassidim and these coins were called "Shmirot". To such coins were attributed extraordinary power and value and they were treasured with great care and love.
After the specific event for which they had originally be given, such a coin or coins were used in the making of other objects, which maintained the special aura of the Rabbi. Such a coin would be melted in other silver with the amuletic valued being spread evenly to all the silver. Then a ritual object would be fashioned by a silversmith and the special nature of the item would be inscribed on it, indicating in one of several ways that this object had been made from "Shmirot". Such objects in the Gross Family Collection include Kiddish cups, a Havdalah tray, a Shabbat salt holder, a Chanukkah Menorah, a Torah crown, and a fork and spoon.
This object is a Kiddish cup fashioned from such silver. Such cups were used for blessing the wine so that each use renewed the power of protection granted by the Rabbi. The decoration on the cup, in addition to the scrolling vegetation, contains an image of a griffin, and a basket (of fruit?) atop an architectural column.
Inscription: Cup of Holiness (Kos Shel Kodesh)