I love tokens and medals (and many other numismatic items as well). At the recent World’s Fair of Money, I poked around the bourse and bought a number of interesting things. Back at the office, I photographed each before taking the pieces to a bank safe deposit box. In the modern age of digital imaging, I can enjoy numismatic pleasures by viewing them on my computer screen. This week I show some medals I purchased from Tony Terranova.
If you would like to become involved in tokens and medals, there are three great organizations—each of which publishes a magazine and is a forum for shared information. Check their websites:
The Token and Medal Society, formed in the early 1960s, covers all specialties—from car wash and turnpike tokens of modern times to Betts medals relating to topics in colonial America. If you join now, you will get as a freebie my new book, the second edition of A Tune for a Token. This alone might be worth the cost of your membership fee!
The Civil War Token Society, formed in 1967, is devoted to its title subject and is a door opening into a wonderland of thousands of different patriotic tokens and store cards of the early 1860s. You can build a fine collection of many hundreds of different varieties for under $100 each, with some under $30. Great rarities in Mint State are apt to cost just in the hundreds of dollars.
Medal Collectors of America was formed early in the present century and is a forum for discussions and articles that often are quite academic with in-depth research.
As to my new medal purchases:
The Ohio medal by G.H. Lovett shows a coining press in operation, which is an unusual subject. Three goddesses are in attendance—a classical touch.
The Yale medal with a chariot, two horses, and Victorian-style goddess are evocative of an ancient Syracuse decadrachm. This is an example of great early 20th-century art by Bela Lyon Pratt, who is best known as the designer of the 1908 gold quarter eagle and half eagle.
Betts 602 is one of the various medals showing the New World in relation to the Old. This one has inscriptions in the Dutch language and is dated 1782.
The illustrated map medal is new to me, listed as Eimer 11396, and I will study its features to learn more. What is now the United States was Mexico in the western part.
The token dated 1846 may have a Mormon connection and uses on the obverse the Liberty Head found on $5 gold coins from 1795 to 1807.
I have a lot of fun studying and learning about things like these!
More next week (on a different subject).