Tokens, medals, and other non-currency coins offer more value than meets the eye. Called exonumia, old subway, restaurant, or political tokens could be worth thousands of dollars to the right collector. Other exonumia pieces aren’t worth much but serve as lovely bits of nostalgia. Here are five ways to enjoy exonumia collecting.

  1. Investigate the Value of Rare Tokens

You may be tempted to chuck that old merchant token in a drawer. Your metal detector may alert you to a state-fair ride token that you toss in your toolbox. Before you dismiss these tokens as common souvenirs of another era, do some research.

Collectors of exonumia search for many types of tokens and medals, including:

  • State and city tokens
  • Civil War tokens
  • History-themed tokens
  • Love and friendship coins
  • Advertising tokens
  • Wild West show and trader tokens

In some cases, existing examples of old reward, commemorative, and business tokens are rare. You may have the one token that no one else can find. Before you give that token away, do some research on the market demand and value of the piece.

  1. Inspire a New Collector

Exonumia pieces are wonderful introductory gifts for young people who want to learn more about numismatics. With a virtually limitless array of tokens from which to choose, you can tailor an entry-level token collection to mesh with the recipient’s interests and hobbies.

Pique a young person’s interest in coins and tokens by browsing the exonumia available from your gold and silver dealer. Choose pieces that appeal to a student’s love of:

  • Horses, dogs, and other animals
  • Colleges and universities
  • Branches of military
  • Historical periods
  • Historical figures
  • Law enforcement and spy agencies
  • Movie and cartoon characters
  • Musicians and artists

When possible, provide a written background about the pieces you give to young people for their collections. Knowing the stories behind the tokens can inspire young people to complete their entry-level sets of tokens and collect additional types of exonumia.

  1. Decorate With Exonumia

Interesting tokens can enhance the theme of any room. Have fun with your tokens and show them off to guests by displaying your exonumia proudly.

Whether you own a few gigantic novelty coins or a set of miniature dollhouse coins, have the coins professionally mounted in attractive frames. Choose from frames that hang on the wall or easel-style frames that sit on your fireplace or bookshelf.

If your powder room has a vintage theme, hang some Hobo and Buffalo nickels on the walls. Decorate with boardwalk and beach tokens for a seaside bathroom theme. Find boat tokens to frame and hang in a nautical-themed bedroom. Mount a set of NYC subway tokens to add energy and impact to an urban-style living room.

Keep a set of theme-park or ski-resort tokens on your desk to remind you to have fun sometimes. Hang restaurant tokens in the dining room for culinary flair. Display retro merchant tokens in the kitchen and enjoy the authentic, busy-kitchen accents.

  1. Commemorate Events With Tokens

Do you know a couple who will soon celebrate their silver or golden wedding anniversary? Create a special collection of exonumia that celebrates their unique bond. Medals and tokens are wonderful mementos for people who have everything.

Commemorate an anniversary with the following types of tokens:

  • Honeymoon city or resort
  • Year of marriage
  • Favorite team
  • First couple’s car
  • Shared activities
  • Spiritual and occupational themes

Wish a loved one a happy birthday with a set of medals or tokens from the year of their birth. Include a Hodge-podge of political, cultural, and historical tokens to give your loved one a small glimpse into the day they were born.

  1. Build Your Own Collection

The wonderful thing about exonumia is the wide-open range of categories from which to choose your pieces. Do you want tokens from Chicago in the early 20th century, or are you looking for Hard Times tokens from the early 1840s? You can easily create your own niche collection of medals and tokens by following your passions.

Shop estate sales, garage sales, and antique shops to find rare and interesting tokens. Look inside old jewelry boxes, purses, toolboxes, and wallets to find tokens. If you’re looking for specific types of tokens, shop with your rare coin dealer. They have larger selections of niche exonumia and receive new pieces often.

Whether you’re interested in a certain time period, mode of transportation, notable individual, industry, or small town, there’s a token or medal waiting for you. Create your own custom exonumia collection for fun, but keep your eyes out for the one-of-a-kind tokens and medals that could make your collection valuable.

Read up on the rare tokens and medals in your chosen category. A Hard Times token minted between 1832 and 1844 could be worth $25, or it could net you $5,000. Take the time to study the differences in the common and rare tokens you plan to collect now and in the future.

Browse our extensive collection of exonumia by contacting Rocky Mountain Coin today. We serve token and medal collectors in the Denver and Greenwood Village, Colorado, area.