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“My Tiniest Bit of Victoriana”

“My Tiniest Bit of Victoriana”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

As a collector of most things exonumia, I have lots of loves. If it’s neat and I’ve never seen it before, there’s a good chance I’ll buy it. If you’ve been a regular reader of this column, then you know how varied my tastes are. One area I love is the coins, tokens, and medals of England’s Queen Victoria. 
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“I always wanted a Norse-American medal…”

“I always wanted a Norse-American medal…”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

The famous 1925 Norse-American medals are the work of James Earle Fraser of Buffalo nickel fame. As a youngster I remember the first time I ever looked into a dealer’s case and saw a 1925 Norse-American medal. It was large, octagonal, and had a really neat and appealing Viking design. Back in the 1960s the medals were not overly expensive, but another coin, probably a Liberty Seated dime, must have caught my attention that day and the Norse-American medal was forgotten. 

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“When Half a Buck Just Ain’t Half a Buck”

“When Half a Buck Just Ain’t Half a Buck”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

The items related to numismatics are as diverse as the stars in the skies, and so too are the methods and means of collecting them. Some collect type coins, others collect Morgan dollars, some collect Hard Times tokens, and others collect everything under the sun. I’m in danger daily of joining the last of those groups. 
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“He Was More Unfortunate Than Criminal; An Accomplished Man and A Gallant Officer.” George Washington

“He Was More Unfortunate Than Criminal; An Accomplished Man and A Gallant Officer.” George Washington

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

On October 1, 1780, British Major John Andre was tried for treason and war crimes in the Old Dutch Reformed Church at Tappan, New York. The following day Major Andre was hanged by the throat until dead on the front lawn of the church. What was Major Andre’s crime that he was treated so differently than most captured Redcoats? 
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Mom Was Right – Every Nickel Counts

Mom Was Right – Every Nickel Counts

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

My parents, John and Jeannette, were born in 1912. They began dating in 1928 when each was 16 years old, and they were married in 1930 when they turned 18. It was the height of the Great Depression, but by April 1936 they had four “Depression Babies.” World War II ensued a few years later, and then after the war – Mom and Dad had four “Baby Boomers,” including yours truly, number seven of eight, born in 1950. 

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“Of Watch Fobs and Large Cents”

“Of Watch Fobs and Large Cents”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

A few weeks ago while visiting my favorite internet bidding site I saw an exonumia item I just had to own. There was a “Buy It Now” provision with the piece, and after a moment’s consideration, I bought it outright and skipped the bidding process. 

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“North to Alaska, We’re Going North, the Rush Is On!”

“North to Alaska, We’re Going North, the Rush Is On!”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

Well, perhaps not all the way “North to Alaska” like the old Johnny Horton song suggests, but a stop in Seattle in 1909 is in order for this installment of the Exonumia Corner. Some readers may recall that I attended the March 2015 ANA mid-winter convention in Portland, Oregon. While there I combed the bourse floor for items for my collections. 
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“The Coolest Love Token Ever!”

“The Coolest Love Token Ever!”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

Well, at least it’s currently the “coolest” in my personal collection. Among other things, I collect Liberty Seated dime love tokens by date. To make it into my collection of more than 150 pieces, each love token must be unholed and unmounted – I’m down to eight dates needed for completion. 
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