Last week Dennis Tucker posed the question,
“If you had a choice of receiving one or the other of these, which would you choose, and why?” The choices were:
a) a ten-pound bag of mixed, completely unsearched 19th-century silver dollars (types unspecified), or
b) a ten-pound bag of mixed, completely unsearched 19th-century U.S. medals and tokens.
Here’s what some E-Sylum readers decided.
Chris Fuccione writes:
In my younger days I would have said that I would take the bag of dollar coins but as I got older my interests have changed where I am now more interested in the history of coinage than I am in the coins themselves. Besides Civil War Tokens I don’t know that much about medals and tokens. I do know if I got that bag it would take me years to learn about each item.
Fred Michaelson writes:
I'd go with the exonumia, hands down. The dollar bag could have a lot of monetary value, but it would be as exciting to me as a Home Depot gift card. The exonumia bag could have a much higher excitement value, not to mention a lot more items in it because the average weight of a piece of exonumia is probably quite a bit lower than a dollar's one ounce. Just think of an AU NY and Harlaem RR token or a nice Bolen piece, or a thousand other possibilities. A no-brainer.
Ginger Rapsus writes:
I would practice what I preach...try collecting something new, and I would take the bag of medals & tokens. Perhaps an unknown variety would turn up. Maybe something scarce. But every item would be interesting, and different from the usual. Hoping for a great bunch of Civil War tokens!
Ralf Böpple of Stuttgart, Germany writes:
Would I choose a bag of silver dollars or a bag of medals and tokens? I didn't have to think for a second to decide on the exonumia. Need a reason? Counting tailfeathers on Morgan dollars is utterly boring, and the draped bust dollar is the only really attractive design anyway (I hope I don't get banned from US numismatic circles for lifetime for this...)
I can see I'm outnumbered, but I'll go contrarian on this one. As much as I love tokens and medals, I think I’d be too tempted by potential value of the silver dollar bag. Morgan dollars didn’t appear until 1878, so 3/4ths of the bag could be earlier and fairly valuable compared to the average token or medal. But like one of Dennis' respondents, I would probably sell the dollars and buy medals and tokens of my choice with the proceeds (if my wife’s credit card company weren’t already first in line).
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
IF GIVEN A CHOICE, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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