Over the last few years, I have become a fan of hometown collecting. Hometown collecting is personal, and it represents your past, your family’s past, and even the history of where you grew up or currently live. Some of us moved while growing up and can look for collectibles from multiple places.
Hometown collecting now includes this medal from South Mecklenburg High School, where I went in the 1970s.
My family moved from New York to just outside of Charlotte in 1974. The area was outside of Charlotte, and Charlotte fueled its growth by annexing unincorporated parts of the county just over its borders. Within a few years, we were living in Charlotte.
I went to high school at South Mecklenburg High School. It was in one of the county’s unincorporated areas with a mailing address of nearby Pineville. Pineville is famous for being the birthplace of James K. Polk, the 18th President of the United States.
South Meck was the local basketball power. Future college and pro stars like Bobby Jones and Walter Davis played for South. After Jones and Davis graduated, they went to play for the University of North Carolina and then starred in the NBA. We won the State AAAA Championship my sophomore year.
While doing my hometown search for numismatics from Brooklyn and New York City, I had an idea to search for items from other times in my early life. I entered “South Mecklenburg” in the search bar to see what I could find.
After scrolling past old copies of the school yearbook, I found a bronze medal for the high school. I do not remember a medal like this. After I dug through a box to find an old yearbook, it resembles a school’s logo in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Since I collect numismatics of my past, I bought the medal and waited for it to be shipped.
The seller was from Europe and waited for the mail to swim across the pond. It was better looking in hand than in the picture online. The medal is 42mm in diameter with something to attach to a chain or a ribbon. It is one-sided, and Herff Jones is engraved on the reverse. I tried to contact Herff Jones and said they do not think they have records going that far back. Someone was going to look and see what they could find.
I graduated from South in 1978 then enrolled at the University of Georgia. Although I have found a few medals from Georgia, I may change my search criteria and see what else I can find.
My desk is nowhere near being clean and organized as I would like it to be. Tonight, I lifted a stack of papers looking for something and found my Long Island Railroad Sequicentenial bronze medal.
The Long Island Railroad (LIRR) is the largest commuter railroad in the United States. The LIRR runs the length of Long Island to bring commuters into New York City in the morning and home in the afternoon. The LIRR is part of everyone’s life in Nassau or Suffolk Counties, even if you are not a commuter.
When the LIRR was chartered on April 24, 1834, its mission was to provide rail service between New York City and Boston. The service used a ferry connection between Greenport on Long Island’s North Fork and Stonington, Connecticut. Weather and other issues forced that route to stop operating in 1849, but overland routes continued.
The Pennsylvania Railroad purchased the Long Island Railroad in 1900. They broke up the service that went north to Boston and the Long Island segments. The northern service is now part of Metro-North, the third-largest commuter railroad. The LIRR remained as a service to Long Island for both commuter and freight rail.
After World War II, the new middle class began to purchase more cars, causing a decline in ridership. In the early 1950s, New York State began to subsidize commuter rail services around New York City. By 1965, the state purchased the LIRR from the Pennsylvania Railroad to create the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority (MCTA). A short time later, the state bought Metro-North from the New York Central Railroad, who previously purchased it from the Pennsylvania Railroad. When the state completed the purchase of the three remaining subway lines, the agency was renamed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
Today, the MTA is responsible for the New York City Transit Authority (subway and busses), the bridges and tunnels in New York City, the LIRR, Metro-North, and a cross-jurisdiction police department run under state authority. The MTA partners with New Jersey Transit for the parts of their service that run in New York. New Jersey Transit is the second-largest commuter rail service.
Remarkably few railroads have survived in the United States, but the LIRR is still going. The LIRR is the oldest commuter rail service in the United States. It was quite an accomplishment to celebrate 150 years. Along with the announcements of service improvements, the LIRR created many souvenirs, including a bronze medal.
The Medallic Arts Company designed and struck a 64mm (2.5 inches) 5mm thick bronze medal for the LIRR. The obverse depicts the logo the LIRR used to celebrate the sesquicentennial. The reverse uses a logo found on stock certificates from the mid 19th century. It may not have been the original logo, but it was the oldest found.
The surface of the medal has an antiqued finished and appears to have a shellac coating.
Senior executives received the medals as a bonus, and many were given to VIPs. Employees could purchase medals from the LIRR Public Affairs office in Jamaica Station for $8 per medal. To purchase the medals, employees had to provide their “IBM Numbers” at the purchase time.
For those not old enough to remember, “IBM Numbers” were early employee identification numbers. The name came from the number a computer, the company’s IBM mainframe, and assigned to the employee. Companies that used the system would use a punchcard system to identify employees.
The medal is not common but not scarce. Several years ago, an inquiry to the LIRR about the medals amused their public relations department. Aside from not having records that old, nobody in the office worked for the LIRR when the medals were issued.
A casual study of the market shows that most are missing the presentation box. The presentation box was likely only available to the executives and VIPs. It is more difficult to find the medal with the original presentation box.
If you like what you read, share, and show your support
The delay in the report was because I was traveling home from seeing my nephew graduate from high school. Although high school graduation may seem like something that did not require a long trip, it was necessary for me to see my nephew graduate. Since he is classified as “special needs,” this was a huge event in his life.
Although a stupid rule prevented him from graduating with honors (they moved in the middle of the year and did not spend enough time at the school), he did qualify for an academic award that covers all four years of high school. The award was a medal, which he wore along with an academic honor rope.
Medals are an interesting part of numismatics. They are not a currency but has been used as such. They have no value, but we attach importance to them. Medals come in all shapes and sizes and have their appeal.
Award medals are usually happy. They represent an accomplishment and in many cases worn as a proud sign of that accomplishment. Even medals awarded posthumously that provide reminders of the departed are appreciated because it represents the good within that person.
Medals may be one of the most underappreciated areas of numismatics. Maybe that should change. It might cause more people to become interested in the hobby.
And now the news…
June 3, 2019
Details of a new collectable coin series was announced today by the Royal Australian Mint to celebrate 50 years since Neil Armstrong took “one giant leap for mankind”. → Read more at news.com.au
June 5, 2019
The use of smaller coin denominations is gradually becoming extinct as many… → Read more at ghanaweb.com
June 5, 2019
Dear Reader, As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. → Read more at jpost.com
June 6, 2019
The coin sold for five times its estimate. A 30-year-old British man with a metal detector came across a small 24-carat gold coin the size of a penny this past March. Yesterday, it sold at auction for $700,000. → Read more at news.artnet.com
June 6, 2019
When it comes to honoring troops who made the ultimate sacrifice as they gained victory during the Normandy landings, it’s not partisan. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is partnering with Rep. → Read more at ijr.com
June 7, 2019
THESSALONIKI, Greece – Police in central Greece have arrested a man suspected of dealing in illegally excavated antiquities who had allegedly placed an advert to sell ancient coins on a Greek website for second-hand items. → Read more at foxnews.com
June 8, 2019
It started with a hiker who plucked two curious objects from a bit of scattered trash, a discovery that launched months of speculation and investigation. Each wafer-thin bit of metal — one about the size of a quarter, the other a dime — bore strange inscriptions on either side, worn nearly smooth over time. → Read more at azcentral.com
What happens when a policy that was supported by a popular vote becomes less popular? You get the situation that the British government faces as Brexit inches closer to its March 2019 execution.
On June 23, 2016, the people of the United Kingdom held a referendum as to whether the country should leave the European Union. The vote and process has been called “Brexit,” a portmanteau of the term “Britain Exit,” as in should Britain exit the E.U.?
Brexit won by a very slim margin.
As a result of the Brexit vote, the British Parliament voted to complete the Brexit process in March 2019 and the Prime Minister resigned. PM David Cameron was against Brexit and felt that someone else should lead the government who favored the process. Theresa May was selected to be Britain’s second female Prime Minister and will lead the country through Brexit.
However, polls in Britain show that Brexit is no longer as popular as it was in 2016. These polls were taken following the announcement that the Royal Mint mint will be producing a 50-pence coin commemorating Brexit next March.
Although the coin has yet to be designed, the British tabloids, especially those who have soured on Brexit, have been running editorials with anti-Brexit mockups. With these mock-ups frequently appearing in Britain’s newspapers, polls are showing that the pre-Brexit election support of nearly 49-percent has eroded to 37-percent.
Opinions on the concept of a Brexit coin are almost evenly split with 37-percent in favor of the coin, 34-percent against, and 29-percent with no comment or opinion.
In the United States, the only way to raise public passion about a coin is for it to have an error, such as the “Godless Dollars” for coins missing their edge lettering and the motto “In God We Trust.” Otherwise, only we numismatists care.
At least the Brits are paying attention!
And now the news…
October 30, 2018
View photosMore A special 50p is just one of the many changes Britain’s departure from the UK will bring. The commemorative coin, which is expected to carry the words “Friendship With All Nations” will be available from March 29 – the day the UK leaves the EU. → Read more at finance.yahoo.com
October 30, 2018
New collectors' coins commemorating statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski are to be released on Tuesday, in a year in which Poland marks its independence centenary. Paderewski's is the fourth coin in a series issued by the National Bank of Poland. → Read more at thenews.pl
October 31, 2018
“II am visiting this gallery for the second time in a month,” says Ayushi, a New Delhi-based history honours student. “The glimpse into the past is so fascinating that I have brought along my friends to have a first-hand experience of the remarkable collection of Indian currency,” she adds. → Read more at gulfnews.com
November 1, 2018
The Royal Australian Mint wants you to be on the lookout for $1 coins specially marked with A, U or S. → Read more at abc.net.au
November 2, 2018
Increased gold buying by consumers and central banks pushed overall demand for the yellow metal up slightly in the third quarter, according to the World Gold Council's Gold Demand Trends 2018 Report. → Read more at seekingalpha.com
I was going to stop doing the LOOK BACK series after the summer, thinking I would have time to create new content. But we all know that real life has a way of changing even the best-laid plans. While fighting off a severe sinus infection thanks to the mold spores that thrive in this damp weather, business picked up. I am ecstatic that my new business is catching on but the infection put a damper on things.
I need a week to catch up. While doing so, I will publish two more LOOK BACK articles and try to finish a few of the new posts I started. For today’s LOOK BACK, I want to remind everyone that numismatics is more than coins. You can satisfy your collecting urges with exonumia as well as with coins.
Although the dominant area of numismatics is the collection and study of legal tender coins, numismatics is more than just coins. Numismatic is the collecting and study of items used in the exchange for goods, resolve debts, and objects used to represent something of monetary value. This opens up numismatic collecting to a wide range of items and topics that could make “the hunt” to put together the collection as much fun as having the collection.
Exonumia is the study and collection of tokens, medals, or other coin-like objects that are not considered legal tender. Exonumia opens numismatics to a wide variety of topics that could not be satisfied by collecting coins alone. An example of exonumia is the collection of transportation tokens. You may be familiar with transportation tokens from your local bus or subway company who used to sell tokens to place into fare boxes. Others may have used tokens to more easily pay in the express lanes at bridges and tunnels. A person who collects transportation tokens is called a Vecturist. For more information on being a Vecturist, visit the website for the American Vecturist Association.
Token collecting can be the ultimate local numismatic collection. Aside from transportation tokens, some states and localities issued tax tokens in order to collect fractions of a cent in sales taxes to allow those trying to get by in during down economic times to stretch their money further. Some communities issued trade tokens that allowed those who used them to use them like cash at selected merchants. Some merchants issued trade tokens that were an early form of coupons that were traded as coupons are traded today.
While tokens are items used to represent monetary value, medals are used to honor, commemorate, or advertizing. The U.S. Mint produces medals that honor people, presidents, and events. Medals produced by the U.S. Mint are those authorized by law as a national commemoration including the medal remembering the attacks of 9/11.
Commemorative medals are not limited to those produced by the U.S. Mint. State and local governments have also authorized the producing medals on their behalf that were produced by private mints. Many organizations also have created medals honoring members or people that have influenced the organization. Companies have produced medals to honor their place in the community or something about the company and their community.
Many medals have designs that can be more beautiful than on coins since they are not limited to governmental mandated details and their smaller production runs allows for more details to be added. Medals can be larger and thicker than coins and made in a higher relief than something that could be manufactured by a government mint.
Exonumia collecting also involves elongated and encased coins. You may have seen the machines in many areas where you pay 50-cents, give it one of your cents, turn the wheel and the cent comes out elongated with a pattern pressed into the coin. Elongated coins have been used as advertisements, calling cards, and as a souvenir.
Encased coins are coin encircled with a ring that has mostly been used as an advertisement. One side will call the coin a lucky coin or provide sage advice with the other side advertising a business. Another form of encased coins are encased stamps. Encased stamps were popular in the second half of the 19th century and used for trade during times when there were coin shortages.
Other exonumia includes badges, counter stamped coins, wooden money, credit cards, and casino tokens. Counter stamped coins are coins that have been circulated in foreign markets that were used in payment for goods. When the coin was accepted in the foreign market, the merchant would examine the coin and impress a counter stamp on the coin proclaiming the coin to be genuine based on their examination. Although coins were counter stamped in many areas of the world, it was prevalent in China where the coins were stamped with the Chinese characters representing the person who examined the coin. These Chinese symbols are commonly referred to as “chop marks.”
One type of counter stamped coins are stickered coins. Stickered coins were popular in the first half of the 20th century; they were used as an advertisement. Merchants would purchase stickers and apply them to their change so that as the coins circulated, the advertising would reach more people. Some stickered coins acted as a coupon to entice the holder to bring the coin into the shop and buy the merchandise.
Remember the saying, “Don’t take any wooden nickels?” If you are a wooden money collector, you want to find the wooden nickels and other wooden denominations. Wooden nickels found popularity in the 1930s as a currency replacement to offer money off for purchases or as an advertisement. Wooden nickels are still being produced today mostly as an advertising mechanism.
We cannot end the discussion of exonumia without mentioning Love Tokens and Hobo Nickels. Love Tokens became popular in the late 19th century when someone, usually a man, would carve one side of a coin, turn it into a charm for a bracelet or necklace, and give it to his loved one. The designed are as varied as the artists who created them. Hobo Nickels are similar in that hobo artists would carve a design into a Buffalo Nickel to sell them as souvenirs. While there are contemporary Love Tokens and Hobo Nickels, collectors have an affection for the classic design that shows the emotion of the period.
Currency collecting, formally called notaphily, is the study and collection of banknotes or legally authorized paper money. Notes can be collected by topic, date or time period, country, paper type, serial number, and even replacement or Star Notes (specific to the United States). Some consider collecting checks part of notaphily. Collectors of older canceled checks are usually interested in collecting them based on the issuing bank, time period, and the signature. For the history of currency and their collecting possibilities, see my previous article, “History of Currency and Collecting”.
Scripophily is the study and collection of stock and bond certificates. This is an interesting subset of numismatics because of the wide variety of items to collect. You can collect in the category of common stock, preferred stock, warrants, cumulative preferred stocks, bonds, zero-coupon bonds, and long-term bonds. Scripophily can be collected by industry (telecom, automobile, aviation, etc.); autographs of the officers; or the type of vignettes that appear on the bonds.
Militaria: Honorable Collectibles
Collecting of military-related items may be considered part of exonumia but deserves its own mention. It is popular to collect military medals and awards given to members since the medals themselves are works of art. Families will save medals awarded to relatives and even create museum-like displays to honor or memorialize the loved one.
Militaria includes numismatic-related items that represent the various services. One of the growing areas of collectibles is Challenge Coins. A challenge coin is a small medal, usually no larger than 2-inches in diameter, with the insignia or emblem of the organization. Two-sided challenge coins may have the emblem of the service on the front and the back has the emblem of the division or another representative service. Challenge coins are traditionally given by a commander in recognition of special achievement or can be exchanged as recognition for visiting an organization.
Over the last few years, civilian government agencies and non-government organizations (NGO) have started to create and issue challenge coins. Most of those agencies have ties to the military, but not all. Like their military counterparts, a manager or director can give challenge coins in recognition of special achievement or for visiting an organization.
Another area of military collectibles is Military Payment Certificates (MPC). MPC was a form of currency that was used to pay military personnel in foreign countries. MPC was first issued to troops in Europe after World War II in 1946 to provide a stable currency to help with commerce. MPC evolve from Allied Military Currency (AMC) to control the amounts of U.S. dollars circulating in the war zone and to prevent enemy forces from capturing dollars for their own gain. Prior to World War II, troops were paid in the currency of the country where they were based. With the ever moving fronts and the allies need to control the economies to defeat the Axis powers, AMC was issued to allow the military to control their value.
After the war, MPC replaced APC in order to control the currency and prevent the locals from hoarding U.S. dollars preventing the building of their own economies. When military officials discovered that too many notes were in the circulation, being hoarded, and thriving on the black market, series were demonetized and reissued to military personnel. Those holding MPC notes, not in the military received nothing and were encouraged to circulate their own currency.
MPC were printed using lithography in various colors that changed for each series. From the end of World War II to the end of the Vietnam War there were 15 series printed with only 13 issued. Although the two unissued series were destroyed, some examples have been found in the collections of those involved with the MPC system. Amongst the 13 series that were issued, there are 94 recognized notes available for collectors. Most notes are very affordable and accessible to the interested collector.
The original article can be read here.
Keeping with this week’s theme of sports on coins, a company named Baseball Treasure (at baseballtreasure.com) created baseball “coins,” technically medals, representative of all 30 teams. Each team is represented by one player whose likeness will appear on the medals.
These medals are licensed by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Most of the medals are made from one ounce of copper. The medals are mounted on a baseball-card-sized cardboard card with player highlights, similar to what you would see on a baseball card.
The medals are sold in packs of three, six, and nine—or you will receive multiple packs of three medals. You can buy a box containing 36-packs. Assuming a pack contains three medals, their “Treasure Chest” contains 108 medals. For $3,000 you can buy a 12 box package with 432 packs containing 15,552 medals.
According to their website, one in every 432 packs will have a version of the medal made in .999 silver. Silver medals have been struck for each of the 30 players.
If you want to go for the gold, one in every 21,600 packs contains a specially marked medal redeemable for a gold medal featuring Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees. This was created to commemorate his rookie record of 52 home in the 2017 season.
José Altuve of the Houston Astros Copper Medal
Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers Silver Medal
Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees Gold Medal
For those who are into trivia and would like to win a silver medal, they will post a clue on social media with the answer being a major league team. If you want more information, visit their #JoinTheHunt webpage for more information.
Previously, Upper Deck created hockey coins that they sold for $100 per coin on a virtual basis. While you could request the physical coin, they created a system to buy and trade these medals. There was also the chase to find the gold versions in this series.
The hockey coins are legal tender coins in the Cook Islands.
I had interviewed the Vice President involved in the program and just could not bring myself to write about the interview because I was very skeptical about how the program worked. Initially, they were sold in what they called e-Packs, virtual packages that would be held by Upper Deck. From the e-pack website, collectors can trade with each other.
One of my issues with this program is that they are sold blind packaged like baseball cards. You do not know what is in the package until it is opened. At $100 you can receive either a one-ounce silver coin, one-ounce high relief coin, one-ounce silver frosted coin, or a quarter-ounce gold coins. It would be a real bargain if you received a gold. It would be a worse deal than many Royal Canadian Mint silver coins otherwise.
Visiting their website recently, there is an option to purchase the coins at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) throughout Canada. There is no option to physically purchase coins in the United States except through the e-pack website.
These coins must be selling well enough for Upper Deck to continue the program.
In both cases, I am just not impressed with either program.
Both programs are over-priced.
The Baseball Treasure program is selling one-ounce of copper medals at $6.65 each. With the current copper price of $3.2858 per pound, each coin contains 20.5-cents of metals. The rest is packaging, licensing, and distribution. Even so, that is a 3,123,9-percent markup that you may never make up on the secondary market if you were to lose interest, especially since this is a medal and not a legal tender coin.
Of course, it is a better deal if you found a silver or gold medal. Then again, part of the markup to the copper medal is subsidizing the silver and gold medals. Without knowing how many medals or packages are being produced, it is difficult to determine how much of the $6.65 price is subsidizing the gold and silver.
Baseball Treasure’s program is certainly a more interesting idea than the Upper Deck Hockey Coin Program. It is more affordable and carries less risk. The Treasure Hunt also looks like fun and maybe something I will look into. But for now, it is not something I will collect. But if you do be aware that the copper medals may not return much more than $1-2 on the secondary market, depending on the price of copper.
Those of us committed to numismatics as a hobby has recently seen terms thrown around about a challenge coin that is more damaging to the hobby than anything that has been argued amongst ourselves.
USA-North Korean Summit Challenge Coin created by the White House Communications Agency
The challenge coin in question was created by the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) for the now-canceled summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jung-Un. The partisan nature of our national politics and now the status of the summit has created a false narrative about the challenge coins that do not do the hobby any favors.
To set the record straight, a challenge coin is not a coin. A coin is a disk, usually made from metal, formed into a disk of standardized weight and stamped with a standard design to enable it to circulate as money authorized by a government body. In the United States, only the U.S. Mint is authorized to manufacture coins.
Challenge coins are medals with an organization or event logo or emblem that are part of a tradition to honor service. Challenge coins are part of a military tradition that started during World War I when Ivy League students went to war and created these coins as an act of camaraderie.
According to legend, a World War I pilot was shot down behind enemy lines and captured by German soldiers. Since the pilot kept the coin in a pouch around his neck, the Germans did not confiscate his coin. That evening, the pilot was kept in a French-German town that was bombarded in the evening by allied forces. The pilot escaped during the bombing. During the next day, the pilot came upon a French military unit who was told to watch for German soldiers posing as citizens. To prevent from being arrested and executed by the French soldiers, the pilot showed them his challenge coin. One of the soldiers recognized the insignia and delayed the execution until they were able to verify the pilot’s identity. Once the story spread, a tradition was born!
As a show of camaraderie, units began to issue specially designed coins to each other. The challenge came when members drew their challenge coin and slapped it on the table, the rest of the members with them must produce their challenge coin. If someone does not have their challenge coin, that person must buy a round of drinks for the group. The challenge is used as a morale builder amongst the group.
Challenge coins regained popularity around 1991 with the veterans and descendants of the Pacific Fleet honoring the service of those who survived and did not survive on the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. They saw wider acceptance, especially outside of the military, following the attacks on September 11, 2001. As retired military members began to lead security-related civilian agencies, the use of challenge coins grew beyond the military.
The challenge coin in question is the product of a military organization.
The WHCA was founded in 1942 as the White House Signal Corps to provide communications for the White House. It is their job to make sure that whenever and wherever the presidents needs to communicate with the government or foreign leaders that he can do so and securely if needed. It is under the jurisdiction of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
This is not the same agency as the White House Communications Director. That position was vacated by Hope Hicks in March 2018. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would report directly to the Communications Director, not the WHCA.
Since 2003, WHCA has created challenge coins for nearly all overseas travel by the president. Only the secret travels to war zones when the president made surprised visits to U.S. troops were not honored with a challenge coin.
In this case, the challenge coin that made the news was made for the members of the advance team whose job it is to make all of the arrangements for a safe and successful trip.
The U.S. Mint does not produce these challenge coins. An approved manufacturer is contracted to design and strike the medals. That contractor works with the WHCA to create the design. After the design is approved, a limited number of medals are produced.
Everyone who is part of the mission receives a challenge coin. Some journalists who fly on Air Force One may receive challenge coins, most do not accept them. Former NBC News Anchor Brian Williams admitted to collecting Challenge Coins during a broadcast in 2009.
The inventory is separated to make sure that enough challenge coins are available to everyone making the trip and a few who were left behind on support duty. For example, one is probably set aside for Sarah Sanders who does not travel as much. As the first Press Secretary who is a mother with children still at home, she understandably stays nearby to care for them.
The rest are offered for sale in the White House Gift Shop.
The White House Gift Shop (WHGS) is located in the White House and open to anyone able to visit. It is a separate organization from any of the agencies mentioned. If you cannot visit, everything the gift shop offers is available on their website at whitehousegiftshop.com. This includes challenge coins.
Reporters covering the White House spotted the WHCA Challenge Coin in the WHGS, took a picture and used their social media access to report its existence.
Irrespective of the political arguments being made over the subject matter, there is nothing illegal or morally wrong with the challenge coin. Although government funds were used to create the coin, those funds are included as part of the budget passed by Congress. Yes, the WHCA has a budgetary line item for the creation of challenge coins to help with the morale of the military detachment to the White House.
One of the reasons I looked into this issue was to find out who designed the coin. The artist did such a good job that I would recommend that they apply for the Artistic Infusion Program with the U.S. Mint. It is a fantastic representation for those participating as part of the advance team. The artwork and symbolism were really nicely executed. Using the enameled flags in the background leaving the two leaders to stand out without the enameled finish has a strikingly good look.
It is one of the best design I have seen for a challenge coin representing an event.
This challenge coin is no longer for sale in the WHGS. The webpage for the medal was changed to note that a new challenge coin will be designed for the event by the same artist who designed the WHCA challenge coin. The CEO of the WHGS published a note saying that the new challenge coin will be similar to the WHCA challenge coin. If you are interested, you can order one from their website.
A few weeks ago, the U.S. Mint announced to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee that they would be producing silver medals based on the design of previous presidential medals. These medals would be struck using the same .999 silver planchets that are used for the American Silver Eagle coins.
Silver Medal from the 2013 Theodore Roosevelt Coins and Chronicles Set
The U.S. Mint thinks that the silver medals would be a popular seller since silver coinage sells well. Using existing designs, the U.S. Mint hopes to be able to save time and money by removing the process of creating new images and not having to undergo the onerous review process of the CCAC and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.
I think the U.S. Mint is missing a point. Collecting commemorative silver and American Silver Eagle coins have the cache of being legal tender coins.
Although there are some very dedicated collectors of medals and other exonumia, the vast majority numismatics collectors are collecting legal tender coins.
If you look at the offering of some of the most prolific world mints like the Royal Canadian Mint, New Zealand Mint, and the Perth Mint, they offer a wide variety of offerings as legal tender coins. Countries like Niue and Somalia contract with other world mints to produce non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) coins to sell to the public.
Many of these programs are a success because they are legal tender coins. It is a mindset that the coins are worth more because they are legal tender. Even coins advertised as being legal tender from Native American Nations (tribes) gain attention.
People are drawn to the concept of collecting and/or investing in real money.
Medals are not money.
Although it sounds like a harsh assessment of the concept, the only downside that can be foreseen is if the U.S. Mint faces a planchet shortage like it did in 2009. Otherwise, I am not sure it will sell like I think the U.S. Mint is portraying.
For the first poll of 2018:
Super Bowl 52 Official 2-Tone Flip Coin
(Courtesy of the Highland Mint)
In 1966, discussions between the upstart American Football League and the National Football League led to the development of a championship game. The idea came from Kansas City Chief’s owner Lamar Hunt to have a single game to crown the championship during the five years it would take to merge the leagues.
The game was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game and was first played in the Los Angeles Coliseum on January 15, 1967, between the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. The game drew 61,846 in a stadium that held over 90,000 people. Halftime entertainment featured Al Hirt and the marching bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling State.
Green Bay, coached by the legendary Vince Lombardi, won the game 35-10. Bart Starr was the game’s MVP. Kansas City was not a bad team, coached by Hank Stram and led by quarterback Len Dawson. But the Packers were just that much better.
The game was broadcast by both NBC and CBS who charged $42,000 per 30-second commercial. It is estimated that the game was seen by more than 51 million people.
The first game to be officially branded as the Super Bowl was Super Bowl III played at the Orange Bowl in Miami. It was also the game that introduced us to significant pre-game hype when New York Jets Quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a Jets victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. The Colts were led by Coach Don Shula and the legendary Quarterback Johnny Unitas. The Jets’ 16-7 victory has been said to have accelerated the merger between the leagues.
Super Bowl LII will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a nice city but not exactly a “hot” spot in February. U.S. Bank Stadium will be sold out to its capacity of 73,000 and should be seen by a national television audience of over 111 million people. It is estimated that another 30 million, including 4 million from Canada, will be watching around the world.
Advertisers are paying $7.7 million per 30-seconds for their commercials. Adjusting for inflation ($42,000 in 1967 would be the same as $314,711 today), it is costing advertisers almost 24½-times more than the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Although the production of the commercials has been a big deal, the gauntlet was thrown down in 1979 when Coca-Cola aired “Hey kid, Catch” starring Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Tackle “Mean” Joe Greene. If you have not seen it or want to see it again, you can watch it at https://youtu.be/xffOCZYX6F8.
Super Bowl LII marks the 25th year that the Highland Mint of Melbourne, Florida will be striking the medal used in the coin toss. Prior to the making of the official coin, each game either used a coin of their choosing or the host city created their own medal. Of course, the NFL could not pass up a marketing opportunity and has decided to control the process.
After the game, the coin used for the coin toss is sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. If there is an overtime game, as there was for Super Bowl LI, the same coin is used as the pre-game coin toss.
The official coin “is carefully struck of fine silver plate and selectively flash plated with 24kt gold,” according to the Highland Mint. Each 1½-inch coin is individually numbered with a mintage limit of 10,000. Super Bowl fans and the fans of the winning team can order one directly from the Highland Mint.
And now the news…
January 29, 2018
The Wilmington Symphony will premiere ‘The Dance of the Coin’ Feb. 3 at the CFCC Wilson Center. Handling coins is still a regular occurrence for many people. Writing this story served as a reminder that touching these artfully cast pieces of metal is as close as most of us ever come to touching history. → Read more at starnewsonline.com
January 29, 2018
More than $50 million worth of gold bars, coins and dust that’s been described as the greatest lost treasure in U.S. history is about to make its public debut in California after sitting at the bottom of the ocean for more than 150 years. → Read more at foxnews.com
January 29, 2018
The Royal Mint is set to honour four generations of the monarchy with a new coin depicting the Queen and three future kings. A new £5 coin will feature Her Majesty and her son the Prince of Wales, grandson the Duke of Cambridge and great-grandson Prince George. The historic coin will show their initials E, C, W and G, and three crowns. → Read more at standard.co.uk
January 30, 2018
New culture of asking for change surfaced after VAT says Al Tayer → Read more at gulfnews.com
January 30, 2018
Metal detectorists Paul Adams, 58, and Andy Sampson, 54, began dancing around a field in Suffolk, crying out in joy when they stumbled upon a handful of ancient coins potentially worth £250,000. → Read more at dailymail.co.uk
February 1, 2018
The pool drains into a fountain called a “nymphaeon”—the first such structure found in Israel. → Read more at newsweek.com
February 1, 2018
The US Mint recently began accepting mutilated coins from scrap recyclers after a 2 year hiatus while it investigated an alleged massive Chinese coin fraud operation. → Read more at motherboard.vice.com
February 1, 2018
While many countries are winding down use of physical money in favour of card and app payments, Germans are stubbornly clinging to the clink of coins and rustle of banknotes. → Read more at gulf-times.com
February 2, 2018
Dubai resident explains his fascination with coins and the story behind his collection → Read more at gulfnews.com
February 3, 2018
A new 50p coin will be in circulation this year to mark 100 years since women first got the vote. → Read more at bbc.com
February 3, 2018
One of the most important pieces of the Super Bowl has a Florida connection. Going inside the factory making the official game coin. → Read more at firstcoastnews.com
There may be a coin, token, or medal that will help celebrate any holiday or occasion.
Someone looking for a collecting idea decided to find out if there was a coin for every holiday or commemoration. After searching online for the last few months, this person found over 150 coins and medals to cover more celebrations than Hallmark has cards for.
I had asked for a sample of some of the finds. There were a few commemorative coins and medals from the United States and foreign made. Many are known, some were a bit obscure.
Then I decided to ask about specific holidays. With Groundhog Day approaching, I asked what was in the collection for that celebration. I was expecting a Canadian coin with a badger or Canadian marmot on the reverse. Instead, I was sent a link to the “Happy Groundhog Day Commemorative Coin.”
Happy Groundhog Day Commerative Coin
The Happy Groundhog Day Commemorative Coin is technically a medal. It is a 1½-inch gold-colored medal available from Punxsutawney Phil’s Official Souvenir Shop in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. For the low price of 94-cents each (and likely with added shipping costs), you can also have a medal to add to your collection to celebrate Groundhog Day.
When they pulled the poor rodent out of his warm home, probably from a comfortable sleep, and paraded him around, Phil did see his shadow, thus winter will last for six more weeks. Historically, Phil and his ancestors have only been 39-percent accurate.
I wonder if weatherman Phil Connors made it back to Punxsutawney for this year’s celebration?