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“Judgment Day at the 2015 Portland, Oregon Spring ANA”

“Judgment Day at the 2015 Portland, Oregon Spring ANA”

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

I recently flew out to the ANA Mid-Winter National Money Show Convention, held this year in Portland, Oregon, on March 5, 6, and 7. I stayed with my daughter, Jenna, and her fiancé, Jason, in Vancouver, Washington, right across the Columbia River from Portland. I am an accredited ANA Exhibits Judge, and among other fun things, that’s what I did while in Portland. 

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“Water, Water Everywhere…Except in My Canteen”

“Water, Water Everywhere…Except in My Canteen”

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

The wide-open nature of the exonumia field has always attracted me – where else can a collector find so many numismatic items turned into so many neat and unusual treasures? Virtually all of my exonumia collection revolves around coins, or at least items that used to be coins before their identity was altered forever. 
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“My 1915-S Panama-Pacific Octagonal $50 Gold Slug”

“My 1915-S Panama-Pacific Octagonal $50 Gold Slug”

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

The 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition was held in San Francisco, California to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal and “the freedom of the seas” the canal would bring to the world’s maritime enterprises. Five different U.S. commemorative coins were issued to correspond with the Exposition, all of them produced at the San Francisco Mint. 
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“A.N.A. Centennial Elongates”

“A.N.A. Centennial Elongates”

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

In 1991 the American Numismatic Association held its Centennial Summer Convention in Rosemont/Chicago, Illinois, a grand event that was capped by a world-class auction by Bowers and Merena. I walked the bourse floor daily, took a successful side trip and picked up a complete set of Liberty Seated half dollars for a future auction – one of my fondest memories of the trip -- and generally had a fine time
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“V for Victory in WW II”

“V for Victory in WW II”

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

Winston Churchill’s famous “V for Victory” sign was one of his trademarks, and provided a shot in the arm to the fighting spirit of the brave people of the beleaguered British Isles during the darkest days of World War II. From everyday citizens to the highest Marshalls in the English army, every man, woman, and child was behind Churchill and his indomitable spirit. 
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“Zippo Lighters and the Cent Not Spent”

“Zippo Lighters and the Cent Not Spent”

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

“Zippo Lighters Light the World” is the old advertising slogan I remember from the 1950s and 1960s. Zippo advertised everywhere and their biggest draw was the indestructible nature of their famous Zippo lighter. “Break your Zippo and we’ll replace it for free” went one slogan. 
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“Drums Along The Mohawk”

“Drums Along The Mohawk”

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

When I first encountered this installment’s Exonumia Corner item, the words that immediately popped to mind were "Drums Along The Mohawk," a classic 1939 black and white movie starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert, based on the novel of the same name by Walter D. Edmonds. The movie was a childhood favorite of mine in the 1950s, and nearly every time it came on television—depending, of course, on whether the weather was good enough to play outside—I would sit cross-legged on the living room floor and watch the adventure unfold. 

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“Put A Penny, Take A Penny”

“Put A Penny, Take A Penny”

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

We’ve all seen them in our favorite convenience store and elsewhere, those little plastic “put a penny, take a penny” trays next to the cash register. Your bill came to $2.01? Take a penny from the tray and pay the cashier. At your next stop the cost was $1.99; put that penny change in the tray for the next person who needs it. 
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