USA, Pony Express silver medal, 1961


USA, medal, 1961, Philadelphia mint, Obverse: dismounted rider holding horse, gazing at telegraph lines, THE PONY EXPRESS ST. JOSEPH TO SACRAMENTO AN IMMORTAL SERVICE TO THE UNION, A. Lincoln sig., Reverse: horse, telegraph lines, tapper, UNITED STATES 1961 CENTENNIAL MEDAL THE PONY EXPRESS TERMINATED BY THE TELEGRAPH SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH OCTOBER 24, 1861, Edge: plain, silver, 33mm, 19.5g, mintage 3000, in original envelope, writing and wear on envelope, Unc

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The Philadelphia mint has been in the medals business as a sideline since it was founded at the end of the 18th century.

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.