Tom Casper writes:
I have added watch fobs to my exomumia collecton for a while. I agree with Dick Johnson that watch fobs are numismatic for all the reasons he mentions. In addition, most fobs contain advertising for events or businesses just as tokens and medals do. I wanted to mention Schwaab Stamp & Seal Co. of Milwaukee, WI as a prolific issuer of watch fobs. At one time they claimed to be the largest producer of watch fobs in the U.S. Attached are scans of one of their pieces. I will have an exhibit of Schwaab-made material at the Central States Convention in Schaumburg, IL from April 25-27, 2013.
Bill Hyder submitted these thoughts (and great images) on watch fobs as numismatic items. Thanks!
I agree with Dick Johnson's assessment; yes - many watch fobs are numismatic. Some fobs and medals were struck with the same dies, both obverse and reverse, while others were struck uniface for fobs. Careful examination will show that the fob portion was removed from the medal. In other cases, careful examination will show that the medal was struck without the fob attachment.
Fob from the Bill Hyder collection
Medal from the Iversen collection
Die trial of the obverse die from the Iversen collection
The loop for the AYPE piece may have been incorporated in the reverse die since it is not present on the obverse die trial. An example of an integrated loop can be seen on the Medallic Art die for the McCormick Reaper Centennial medal (H&K 460). I have not seen the McCormick medal with a loop, so I suspect they were trimmed off when the medal was finished, although they could have been retained when needed.
Gene Brandenburg writes:
During the late 1960's I attended a tiny 6 or 7 dealer coin show held in a local junior high school (Suitland, Md.). I recall buying a silver watchfob with a $5.00 gold liberty embedded in the center ($17.50). An inscription read "happy birthday from father" or something similar. I soon fobbed it off (sorry) on someone else and wonder if it still exists - did it survive the great melt of 1979-1980, or the current one ?
Steve Tannenbaum used to display pages of watchfobs for sale at his bourse table, FWIW.
Joe Boling writes:
The Japanese military used watch fobs as graduation insignia from various military schools. When I was getting monthly Japanese numismatic auction catalog (sadly no longer published), it often offered fobs.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
ARE WATCHFOBS NUMISMATIC?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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