ANA Blog

17 Feb 2018

How the first bankers (goldsmiths) created money

Exonumia | Prospector

The goldsmiths as early bankers provided safekeeping services for the gold bars and coins that was held in their vaults and made a profit by charging vault storage fees. In return the goldsmiths issued "deposit receipts" for the gold placed in storage. People would take these deposit receipts back to the goldsmith whenever they needed gold to buy something. So the buyer paid the seller in gold then the seller placed his gold in the vault at the goldsmiths office for safe keeping. Eventually everyone soon found out that it was easier to use the "deposit receipts" to buy something. Thus the "deposit receipts" became the first notes.

23 Jan 2018


Exonumia | Longstrider

So, it has been brought to my attention that I have very few coins/medals from Italy, my historic homeland. Well here is my newest acquisition from that beautiful country. As you can see below, I hope, it's a tough one to photograph, is a semi rare silver medal. It depicts the famous love story of Paolo and Francesca. In case you are not familiar with this story I will give you the short story. I recommend you look it up yourself. Francesca da Rimini, 1255-1285, was a historical contemporary of Dante Alighieri, famous for writing Dante's Inferno the Grand Comedy. He put her story in the famous poem. She was married to Giovanni Malatesta, a man from a wealthy family yet a cripple. The marriage was political to help solidify the peace. She later fell in love with her husbands younger healthy brother, Paolo. Although Paolo was also married, they had a 10 year affair. Giovanni ultimately caught them making love in Francesca's bedroom sometime between 1283 and 1286, killing them both. Dante put both of the in his second circle of hell. That reserved for the lustful. Here the couple is trapped in an eternal whirlwind. Doomed to be forever swept through the air just as they allowed themselves to be swept away by their passions.

19 Jan 2018

Mystery Medal

Exonumia | wdhyder

I enjoy researching interesting tokens and medals. Sometimes they stump me. Pictured here is one such stumper. I am hoping that someone reading this blog will have some idea about what this particular medal commemorates.My best guess? The obverse shows the American eagle superimposed on the Rising Sun. I have not had luck translating the Japanese characters in the sun's rays, although one attempt suggested they say Otojiro. The reverse suggests the piece commemorates the sailing of the Otojiro. Enomo to Seattle on June 9, 1904. I do not know if that is a sailing date from Japan or an arrival date in Seattle.The light characters punched into the field before the final, heavier letters were punched suggests this may be a generic medal, perhaps sold as a souvenir of a voyage that the recipient could engrave with their own message.If anyone has any ideas or recognizes the medal, I would be happy to hear from you.

11 Jan 2018

**Tiny Token, Big Message**

Exonumia | Kepi

I found this little token at an on-line auction...One of my favorite places to browse around. There wasn't too much information on it in the description, but it really "spoke" to me with it's message of "Liberty" and "The Lord's Prayer". It is a 1876 MS Centennial Exposition, Liberty Bell, Lord's Prayer Token. This has a composition of copper, is 16mm and also has a bezel edging. I really liked the mahogany tones with orange flecks of luster. This token came from the Virgil M. Brand Collection. Okay, now who is Virgil M. Brand you say... Well, Q. David Bowers wrote a book about him in 1983... "Virgil Brand; The Man and his Era; Profile of a Numismatist." I had no idea, but this man was a prominent numismatist especially of coins, medals and tokens, which included a hoard totaling over 1,355 items! It was said that he had one or more wooden barrels filled with Uncirculated Civil War Tokens! Can you imagine! He was also a Chicago Beer Baron. He was born in 1862 and began collecting around 1879. I feel really honored to have one of his pieces now in my collection. I hope you enjoyed this blog and will want to learn even more about this wonderful Numismatist of the past!

28 Dec 2017

Any So-Called Dollar collectors & traders

Exonumia | user_36667

Are there any So-Called Dollar collectors out there???? If so, I have rare Alaska-Yukon Pacific Expo. SCD's to trade. 12.28.17, This forum is the LEAST ACCESSIBLE and most forlorned site "Available". I wish I had NEVER wasted my on a ANA membership. There are no viable So-Called Dollar Groups to encourage collectors to engage in this forum . In the years I've been a member, I've been told my NGC membership does not include Unlisted So-Called Dollars, There is a farcical So-Called Dollar Section and as a Disabled Veteran, I cannot defend the absurdity of a So-Called Dollar Collector who has absolutely no affinity with other collectors contributing to a So-Called Dollar group.

27 Dec 2017

1906 San Francisco Fire Department Fob

Exonumia | wdhyder

My son is a fireman in Idaho and a 2011 recipient of Idaho's Medal of Honor for valor and heroism as a fire fighter. I hope that his son, my grandson, will catch the collecting bug and become a numismatist in his own right some day. To that end, I have been collecting early fireman themed medals and tokens with the idea that they will become his own collection when he is older (he is only 5 years old now).Last summer, a fellow collector showed me images of the fob pictured here and offered it to me if I could tell the story of the reverse inscription. It was assumed that SFFD stood for the San Francisco Fire Department and the April 1906 date somehow tied it to the 1906 earthquake. Yes, living in California, I do collect earthquake related exonumia and it would fit my fireman collection.I did find the story and now the piece resides in my collection and I hope in my grandson's collection in the future.The story?Fireman's fob awarded to Matthew Brown for saving the life of a young girl and reuniting her with her father after her mother perished in the fire that destroyed San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. The mother and child were visiting San Francisco and the mother died in a hotel that burned following the earthquake. Brown rescued the three year old girl and took her to his home in Oakland where he and his wife cared for her. The girl's father, distressed that he heard nothing from his wife, traveled from Phoenix to San Francisco in search of his family. So many people were displaced and living on the streets and in camps that the effort could have proved fruitless. Being just three years old, who knows what might have happened to an unnamed orphan in the chaos that followed. Brown, however, kept in touch with those helping people searching for their families and on April 28, 1906 was able to reunite the young girl with her father. Whether the fob was a gift from the father or an award from the department is unknown. The station for Truck Company 8 was destroyed in the fire that swept through the city and there are no posted records from the company for the earthquake.

27 Dec 2017

**Ancient Egyptian God Series** SOBEK

Exonumia | Kepi

Hi Everyone! I would like to share with you my latest addition to my silver collection! It's the third in the series " Ancient Egyptian Gods" by Sunshine Mint. Known as the Lord of the Waters, "Sobek". He is the God of strength, power and fertility. He has a protective instinct and guarded the Pharaoh, the Egyptian people and the army. Crocodile mummies have been found in many tombs still guarding the person who was lain to rest there. This is a heavy duty round of 2 ounces of pure silver stamped in an ultra high relief design. This Egyptian Crocodile God stands with crossed arms, carries a staff and wears a headdress. Behind him flows the Nile River with plants growing from the soil to symbolize fertility. The reverse depicts a pyramid covered with a wall of hieroglyphics. While a crocodile lays atop a table depicting Nile River motifs of waves and fish. Inscriptions include “2 oz,” “999,” and “Ag.” I'm really looking forward to the fourth God in this series. Yet to be revealed... Thank you for looking and your comments!

15 Dec 2017

Part 3: The Manufacturing Triad of the Bureau of the Mint

Exonumia | DrDarryl

In Part 1, I limited the time period of my discussions from 1958 through 1962. Expanding my discussion by a few years earlier and later, I'm able to provide another example of an "unintentional medal series" manufactured by the Bureau of the Mint.From the first accompanying image (I only own the silver and bronze specimens), it can be said that a minimum of three types of procurements were made by the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior series is composed of a Distinguished Service (gold), Meritorious Service (silver), and Commendable Service (bronze) medals. Note that the type of service award is identified on the obverse.The second accompanying image compares the Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce "meritorious service" (silver) medals.It can be said that the metal type (gold, silver, and bronze) was associated to an award level (Distinguished, Meritorious , and Commendable).It can be said that the U.S. Government agencies showcased its headquarters building in Washington DC on the medal's reverse design.It can be said that the reverse design replicates the award level and has an engraving pad area.It can be said that U.S. Mint engravers left their hallmark on either the obverse or reverse (Department of the Interior - Gilroy Roberts - reverse, right bottom of building)(Department of Commerce - Frank Gasparro, obverse, under right leg of eagle).

05 Dec 2017

*Cleopatra* Egyptian Gods Series

Exonumia | Kepi

Now who doesn't like Egyptian history and mythology... Gods, magic, pyramids, mummies, exotic women*** I love this stuff...all the way back to when "Abbott and Costello Met the Mummy"... haha With that said I had to have this collection! The first in the series is "Cleopatra" which is a 2 oz. High Relief Silver Round. The obverse of Cleopatra is sculpted in the style of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic carvings. Rising from the surface of the round, Cleopatra comes to life through subtle movement, indicated by the space intentionally left void behind her neck. Because her face is not incused, she appears to be moving forward. To her right is the cartouche of Cleopatra, a vertical oval featuring a horizontal line at the bottom, signifying that the inner text was a name of royal lineage. To the left of Cleopatra sits the Eye of Horus, sculpted by Heidi Wastweet. Below the Eye of Horus sits a bowl of figs, which Cleopatra's servants used to smuggle in a poisonous snake called an asp, which slithers down her shoulder and neck. It is widely believed that Cleopatra committed suicide through the lethal bite of an asp. The reverse features the Goddess Isis, of whom Cleopatra was said to be the reincarnation. The banner of the scarab beetle rests below. The scarab beetle was a symbol of great power in ancient Egyptian mythology, responsible for pushing the sun into the sky at dawn.The Hieroglyphics on the field were taken from ancient Egyptian papyri, featuring writings about Cleopatra. The pattern to the left and right of the weight-and-purity hallmark can be found on the outer wall of the Temple of Horus. They represent a bed of lotus reeds blooming in the Nile. This is a beautiful design and the weight of it in your hand really feels like you are holding a hunk of silver! Thanks for your comments!


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