I have been fascinated by the series of books published by Whitman on the hundred greatest coins from different collections. I have purchased, read and enjoyed the ones on ancient and U.S. coins. There also are titles which deal with errors, modern U.S. coins and currency. Yesterday I received a copy of the "100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens," and I am impressed.
The book listed from one to one hundred, what Katherine Jaeger and Q. David Bowers consider the most notable. While surely each person will arrange these medals and tokens in different order, there is no denying that all are worthy of interest and, where possible, purchase. One page is devoted to each entry, and this page includes a color photograph of the item, several paragraphs of commentary, and what is called "Estimated Market Values." There also is a helpful 21-page forward and introduction which place exonumia in context.
The first piece identified is the Liberatas Americana medal of 1776. Among others are the great Erie Canal medal, Lesher dollars, Civil war tokens, Assay Commission medals, Indian peace medals and Feuchtwanger coins. I am currently focusing on the colonial (or pre-federal era), and there is good representation from that period. Among those that interest me are the Bar Copper, William Pitt token, Myddelton token, and the Elephant coppers. I am pleased to own two from this era: the Talbot, Allum & Lee and the Rhode Island Ship tokens.
This book was published in 2007, so obviously it is not new. The coin values identified are probably dated, but I did not buy the book for that purpose. I am delighted that I got around to purchasing this handsome volume and I know that it will provide many hours of enjoyment.