It is difficult to live in the Washington, DC area without being interested in politics. Some statistics have shown that 60-65 percent of all people either work for the Federal Government, a contractor to the federal government, or working in a job that supports the people, contractors, and governments. For those of us whose daily habits includes watching cable news, the Sunday morning shows, and reads Politico on a daily basis, it should be no surprise that a coin collector would be interested in political exonumia.

So I was ordering CDs from Krause Publishing and found myself short of the $49 needed for free shipping. While looking for something interesting to fill out the order, I found Warman’s Political Collectibles: Identification and Price Guide. I did not know why this was with their numismatics books, but it looked interesting and added it to my order. Satisfied my order would ship for free, I placed my order.

When it arrived, I flipped through the color pages and glanced at a number of interesting pages, but did not think twice. It was interesting but I had other things to do. This past weekend, I picked up the book and from Chapter 1, I found why this book would be of interest to exonumia collectors: “Medals, ‘Coins,’ Badges, & Plaques.” It is an entire chapter on tokens, medals, woods, and ribbons of politics from years past.

For most of the 19th Century through the early 20th Century, it was common to see medals and ribbons on the campaign trail. Hard Times Tokens with pithy statements on the political issue of the day were as common as money was not. Many of the medals shown in the book have holes so that they can be worn as jewelry. And the book shows quite a few ribbons that are real interesting and had me looking at the archives of online auctions to see who has listed these items.

Warman’s Political Collectibles is a full-color book printed on heavy glossy paper. The images are fantastic and the information appears to be solid. While the price ranges are based on the author’s research at the time the book was published (2004), there should not be a big difference between the published prices and what you should expect to spend today.

It would be impossible to catalog every political collectible that ever existed, but this book highlights some of the more interesting items and potential prices ranges for each. The one chapter about political exonumia was a pleasant surprise and worth purchasing if you have an interest in political collectibles.

Cover image complements of Krause Publications.

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