USA, ILLINOIS, American Centennial medal, 1889, pewter


USA, ILLINOIS, medal, 1889, Obverse: bust Washington L, USA IN GOD WE TRUST, Reverse: THE CENTENNIAL OF OUR NATION 1789 APRIL 30 1889 CHICAGO COMMEMORATION, Edge: plain, holed at top, pewter, 38mm, 14.1g, Douglas-IL51, dents, edge bumps, VF

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A Washington portrait medal commemorating the founding of the Federal Union under the Constitution.

There are two kinds of things that are called “medals.” One is things that look like coins but don’t express a value. Sometimes those medals are considerably larger than most coins. The other kind of medal is a metal thing designed to be displayed on one’s chest, often a reward for something, often in a military context. If the medal is small enough it is sometimes called a “medallet.”

The word “exonumia” is used to describe all kinds of things that are “like” coins but are not coins. I wrote a blog post on that subject. Basic categories: 1. used like a coin but not issued by a national government, 2. looks like a coin but not made for spending, 3. other things that we are interested in.