Eric Schena submitted this great article about
his quest to locate information on an interesting modern West
Virginia token. -Editor
One of the benefits of collecting exonumia from my region is
the ability to get to the source of the matter, so to speak. One
such opportunity was recently afforded to me thanks to Dave
Schenkman. At the February Nummis Nova dinner, Dave gave me a
token of recent manufacture from O'Hurley's General Store
in Shepherdstown, WV. The token, good for 1.00, was in a style
that did not resemble anything from a major token maker but
rather looked locally produced.
Seeing as I work near Shepherdstown, on a lunch break, I drove
over to O’Hurley’s General Store to see if I could uncover the
story behind the token. Sure enough, I talked to the owner of the
store, Jay Hurley, who also happened to be the gentleman who made
the tokens. When I first asked about them, he asked if I came to
spend it. Considering my interest in tokens and how they were
used, this provided me a rare chance to have such a discussion
with a token maker as well as issuer.
The story he told me is that about 15 or so years ago, he and
a local blacksmith had some scrap brass leftover from a recent
metalworking job. They commented to each other that the metal
looked very close to gold and that they should make some "gold
coins" of their own.
The blacksmith cut the dies by hand and they modified a steel
press/punch to strike the tokens. He said they struck one batch
of about a hundred tokens. Hurley still has the dies but they
were buried in a cabinet in the back and couldn't get to them
easily when I visited.
The tokens were good for 1.00 and Hurley used to hand them out
every once in a while. Such stories about similar tokens from the
past are now lost forever, so I particularly value the chance to
record these tales.
Jay Hurley and his coin press
Great job, Eric! Numismatic sleuthing
doesn't have to be hard, and it's always fun. I challenge
other E-Sylum readers to take up the cause as Eric has,
and document the stories of modern exonumia now, while the makers
and distributors are still around to answer our questions.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
OVER 500 NUMISMATIC TITLES
: Wizard Coin Supply has over
500 numismatic titles in stock, competitively discounted, and
available for immediate shipment. See our selection at www.WizardCoinSupply.com
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: email@example.com
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster