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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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“Pictures of an Exposition”

“Pictures of an Exposition”

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

I don’t usually collect postcards or other paper items, but when I saw this on my favorite internet auction site I had to own it. The numismatic nerd in me took over owing to the subject matter, and with the aid of the “buy it now” feature of the site, my wallet was $5 thinner but my collection was greatly enriched. 
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“Presto-Chango, Ala-Kazam”

“Presto-Chango, Ala-Kazam”

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

Magician’s coins. We’ve all seen them, and some collectors – yours truly included – actually own a few of them in various “denominations.” A magician’s coin is typically a pair of mismatched denominations, often a cent and a dime, each with one side planed off and then paired back-to-back so it appears the coin has changed denominations when in the hands of a skilled prestidigitator.
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“Can She Bake A Cherry Pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy”

“Can She Bake A Cherry Pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy”

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

What can a holed 1838 large cent have in common with an obscure 19th century musical ditty? There actually is a slight connection, as you’ll see. I have owned the coin in question longer than I can remember, purchased from a junk-box at a coin show decades ago. I bought it for a dollar or two as I assumed it was a substitute gear from some long-ago machinery, made perhaps by an enterprising person to fix a machine that had broken down. 
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