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By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger

For decades now I have been quietly collecting the model coinage of Great Britain. I have scores of pieces in my collection including over two dozen Mint State varieties of Joseph Moore’s bi-metallic Model Halfpenny and Penny pieces. I also have the Jubilee Model coinage of Victoria in multiple varieties and in the highest grades I’ve been able to locate in all my many years of pursuit of the series.

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger

Among my many exonumia passions are love tokens. I have been quietly working for years on a set of never holed and never mounted Liberty Seated dime love tokens, 1837 to 1891, and I am just a half dozen dates away from completion. Every now and then another love token that is far outside my field comes along, the collector in me takes over, and presto, before I know it, I am the owner of yet another neat exonumia item. Case in point is this installment’s love token.

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger

The beauty of exonumia is that it knows no boundaries – if it has to do with numismatics in some remote way, that’s generally good enough for an exonumia collector. My personal collection contains paper, wood, metal, plastic, and Bakelite items and more, and some of them have been featured right here at this website in my many blogs.

By Ben Orooji, Numismatist & Assistant Production Manager

Most collectors are familiar with trade tokens such as Hard Times tokens and Civil War store cards. Born out of a necessity for small change, these non-government issued items could also display a small advertisement for the business that issued them, thus serving two purposes.

By Frank Van Valen, Cataloger & Numismatist

My parents turned 18 in 1930 and were wed in October of that year at the height of the Great Depression. Millions of previously gainfully employed American workers were out of work due to the Depression, and countless thousands of these unemployed workers lived in “Hoovervilles,” ramshackle gatherings of shacks and people that were named for Republican president, Herbert Hoover, and his policies that brought the world to bankruptcy and the American way of life to a screeching halt.

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger

​I recently added a neat French postcard to my exonumia collection simply because of the subject matter. The card is an advertisement for Biscuits Pernot, no doubt a popular snack in France in the late 1890s and early 1900s. The illustration on the front of the card, however, is what made me buy it. A trompe l'oeil Series 1899 $1 "Black Eagle" silver certificate forms the backdrop to what Frenchmen of the day no doubt thought of as a comical rendition of the American scene.

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger

By the 1920s B. Max Mehl’s numismatic empire had stretched cross-country from Fort Worth, Texas, to every corner of America and beyond. A simple inquiry with his firm and one’s mailbox would soon be filled with a Mehl mailing envelope chock full of goodies and advertisements for the active collector and for would-be sellers as well. In the last installment we discussed an illustrated mailing envelope, cover letter, and return envelope – Mehl thought of everything!

By Ben Orooji, Numismatist & Cataloger

For those of us fortunate enough to have delved deeply into this wonderful hobby, the discovery of an unusual coin-related item often comes as an exciting deviation from the “norm.” For those of us obsessed enough to actually seek these items out – new pieces are tightly held treasures. Such is the case with the item I present here, the classification of which would certainly vex even the most organized among us. I present it simply as a piece of numismatic miscellanea.