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Well worn Copper's Blog

08 Jun 2018

US/NK Peace Summit Commeratives

Exonumia | Well worn Copper

Sales of the US/North Korea Peace Summit commemorative "coin" appear pretty ho-hum. eBay is listing quite a few ranging from $49 to $999 (good luck, dude). Whoever designed this "coin" was obviously not a numismatist. American collectors don't like colorized coins, medals, or paper money, so that's strike one. The design isn't so good either, and at first glance looks like the inside of a bottle cap. eBay is also selling a knock-off medal for $138. It gives no information regarding size, or metal content, which isn't good either. Seems someone out there thinks coin collectors will buy just about anything. Probably have better luck selling them in the slick Sunday Paper adverts. I also wouldn't be surprised if someone starts a rumor the U.S. Mint will recall all copies of the 1991 Korean War Commemorative Silver Dollar if peace is established, and prices go thru the roof. Either way, good luck Don and Kim.

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04 Feb 2017

Art Bars from the 1970's and 1980's

Exonumia | Well worn Copper

Pictured is a pewter "Art Bar" from the Franklin Mint circa 1976. Its from a bicentennial set and depicts the Hessian defeat at Trenton. Art Bars were a big deal in the 70's and early 80's, especially those struck in silver. In a numismatic world of round things, something rectangular appealed to many collectors. Typical bars were one ounce silver and depicted every occasion imaginable. They made great gifts at Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries. Private mints like Franklin Mint and Danbury Mint did them in pewter as well, and stretched them out into series where you could purchase the latest one every month. The down side was most of the non-silver ones had no resale value on the secondary market. As for the silver stuff, they quickly became obsolete once the U.S. Mint starting striking Silver Eagles. If you look through issues of The Numismatist from that era, you will see many dealers who sold lots of silver bars. They even had price guides and included stuff like rarity, but most were melted down in 1979-1980 when silver went up to $50. I really don't see any of these any more.

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07 Jan 2017

American Revenue Association Medal - Liberty Cap Design

Exonumia | Well worn Copper

Pictured is a bronze exhibit medal from the American Revenue Association. The ARA was established in 1947 and is an extension of stamp collecting. Members collect tax stamps, railroad stamps, and just about anything regarded non-postal. The medals go to exhibitors and are typically uniface. The Liberty Head with Cap is reminisant of the early Large Cents of 1793-1796. Sometimes these come on eBay for around $10-20. Makes a nice display item.

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06 Jan 2017

Skylab Plaster Casts from MACO

Exonumia | Well worn Copper

I recently had a pair of plaster casts said to be from the estate of sculptor Adlai Stevenson Hardin. Hardin made the plasters which were eventually made into medals by Medallic Art Company (MACO) sometime in the 1980's. The plasters were about eleven inches in diameter and hands down the most fragile items in my collection. The medals were for Skylab I and II. Skylab was sandwitched between the Apollo/Space Shuttle era and quickly forgotten. You could call the missions an early attempt at space stations. I love space mission exonumia and you could write a book about it, there's just so much out there.

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06 Jan 2017

Slabbed 1895 Superintendent Medal

Exonumia | Well worn Copper

Attached are photos of a 1895 Herman Kretz Mint Superintendent medal struck by the U.S. Mint. The three inch copper medal has been slabbed MS63 BN by NGC in an oversized holder. I love the patina of the piece as well as its history. Only 151 medals were said to be struck and while the Superintendent series is brief (only five different superintendent medals were ever struck) the medals remain impressive. The NGC slab is about the size of a 5x7 photo frame and always is the subject of interest when displayed. Sometimes you just gotta go big....

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