USA, so-called half dollar, Civil War Centennial, 1961, silver


USA, medal, 1961, Obverse: eagle on drum, CENTENNIAL OF THE CIVIL WAR, Reverse: mounted bugler, FT. SUMTER FIRST MANASSAS CALL TO ARMS, .925 silver, 30mm, 2.5mm thick, 17.1g, by Heraldic Art Company, in original envelope, envelope has writing or sticker or both, traces of rainbow toning, BU

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The Heraldic Art Company was a competitor with the larger Medallic Art Company. Medals were a business from the mid-19th century until the 1990s. Now not so much. These medals were basically half dollars. You could make them for about $1.00, sell them for $2.50, people would buy them and collect them. Because the TV was black and white and not so interesting.

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.