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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 40, October 7, 2007, Article 8

NEW BOOK: '100 GREATEST AMERICAN MEDALS AND TOKENS'

[Yet another upcoming Whitman release is '100 Greatest
American Medals and Tokens'  We've discussed the book
in prior E-Sylum issues and it will be great to see the
finished product.  Below are excerpts from the publisher's
marketing materials.  -Editor]

"100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens, by Katherine Jaeger
and Q. David Bowers, will debut at the Whitman Coin and
Collectibles Atlanta Expo, October 11–13. In this beautifully
illustrated book, the authors take the reader on a personal
guided tour of these historical artifacts of colonial America,
the early states, the Confederacy, the U.S. Mint, and private
issuers.

"“Each of the 100 Greatest was voted into place by leading
exonumia dealers, researchers, collectors, and historians,”
says Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker. Inside the reader
will find prized and seldom-seen rarities—the unique and
high-valued pieces that collectors dream about. The famous
Libertas Americana medal, featured on the front cover, is
significant for its influence on the United States’ first
coinage. The book also explores more readily available
and widely popular medals and tokens: pieces so beautiful
or with such fascinating stories that everybody wants one.
The “Am I Not a Man and a Brother?” token that implored
against slavery, the copper Civil War tokens that circulated
in place of regular coinage in the early 1860s, the Indian
Peace medals given to chiefs in the Old West, and dozens
more are pictured in striking full color.

"The book includes a foreword and appreciation by numismatic
legends Russ Rulau and David Alexander. An illustrated
introduction tells the history of medals and tokens in
America and how they evolved. Prices from the past and
present, recent auction results, and tips on collecting
each of the 100 Greatest give a view of today’s market.
The authors describe how to collect and enjoy medals and
tokens, aspects of the marketplace, grading, conservation,
and smart buying. And an information-rich appendix
describes the pieces voted 101–200, offering the reader
a springboard for further exploration.

"“100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens is not just a
price guide or a fancy picture book,” says Tucker. “It’s
a time machine that takes the reader to a hundred different
points in American history. And it’s a fascinating introduction
to the hobby of collecting these important pieces of
material culture.”

"The book is coffee-table-size, 148 pages, full color,
with photographs and stories for each piece. It also includes
market values, field populations, quantities struck, and
catalog references. Retail price is $29.95. A special
collector’s leather-bound Limited Edition is available
for $69.95.

"100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens will debut at the
Whitman Coin and Collectibles Atlanta Expo (October 11–13).
After that it will be available online and at hobby shops
and bookstores nationwide."

[The late Arlie Slabaugh was one of the token and medal
experts who nominated pieces for inclusion in the book.
I was delighted to be asked to be one of the voters who
helped winnow the nominee list down to the chosen 100.
It was a tough job, but quite enjoyable.  I was familiar
with many of the pieces, but given the wide range of
possibilities I doubt if more than a few of the voters
came into the task fully aware of all the pieces.  Time
and again I found myself faced with Sophie's Choice -
forced to rank two equally beloved pieces.

The final list and ordering of the list has been a carefully
kept secret, giving a "cue the drumroll" reality-show flavor
to the unveiling of the finished book.  I'm looking forward
to it, and hope to hear reader comments once the book hits
the streets. -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

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